How do I improve my open rates?

Andrea Zappone

This past week I’ve been asked the question “How do I improve my open rates?” more times than I have in the past three years I’ve worked here at Informz!

I wanted to provide some good starting points on how to attack this loaded question, in case you too are losing sleep over your troubled open rates. There are three main mailing elements that influence your open rates: envelope properties, subscriber list, and delivery method.

Envelope properties refer to the items your subscriber sees when your mailing lands in their inbox: your subject line and friendly from. Well, of course you need to be testing your subject line to see what works best for your audience, but have you ever considered the subject line’s less attractive younger cousin, friendly from? Ask yourself: Is my friendly from recognizable?

Start there. I then suggest to clients that they “test away” using the built-in A/B split testing feature on the setup tab of the Mailing Designer.

Subscriber list refers to your mailing recipients. Is your mailing list “clean?” Meaning, do you have older email addresses from 2003 that may no longer be in use? Next, what percentage of your subscriber list has NEVER opened a single mailing from you?  We call these people emotionally unsubscribed and they’re the worst.

The quickest and most efficient way to boost your open rates is to get a handle on your subscriber list. We always recommend conducting a re-engagement campaign, where you’d first isolate your emotionally unsubscribed, and then enter them into a campaign aimed at re-engaging them. At the end of the campaign, we recommend suppressing those who didn’t respond from future mailings because these people clearly aren’t interested in receiving email communications from you.  They’re depleting your email block, ruining your open rates, and hurting your deliverability.  Get rid of ‘em!

Lastly, take a look at your delivery methods.  How frequently are you emailing your subscribers? Too often? Are they sick of hearing from you? And, what time of day/day of week are you sending? Is there a better option? Test it out.

If you’re interested in chatting more about the three main items that affect your open rates, feel free to contact me.

About the Author
Andrea Zappone

Andrea is the Client Sales Executive at Informz and has been with the company since April 2011. Andrea works with Informz clients to make sure they're getting the most out of their Informz partnership to find digital marketing success.