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Three Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Emails

Three Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Emails

You’ve completed the initial step of reaching past (and hopefully future customers) by building a comprehensive electronic mailing list for your e-commerce store. Unfortunately, you’ve noticed that the open rates from your emails are not as high as you were hoping. You may be wondering if your lower-than-anticipated open rate is cause for concern. The first step to increasing your open rate is to understand exactly what one is and where your open rate compares to the industry average.

What is an Open Rate?
An open rate is the percent of the number of people who opened the email divided by the total number of emails sent (excluding any bounced emails).

How to Calculate an Open Rate
An example for calculating an open rate, would be if 100 emails were sent and 30 recipients opened the email, the open rate is 30%.

(30 emails opened/100 emails sent) *100 = 30%

In the likely event that some of those emails bounced back, you would account for that by subtracting the undelivered emails from the total number sent.

30 emails opened/ (100 emails sent – 10 undeliverable emails) *100 =
(30/90) * 100 = 33%

Industry Average
Each industry has a slightly different open rate. To give you a comprehensive picture of the state of your open rate, most e-commerce emails achieve about a 17% open rate. Hopefully, your average open rate is close to 17%, but everyone wants to do better. Here are the top three ways to increase your email open rates.

1. Write Telling Subject Lines

The most important part of your email is the subject line. If you can’t get your customer’s attention to click on your email, everything else in the body goes to waste. Using the subject line to tell (different than selling) what is inside the email is valuable to the customer is a critical component to getting them to open the email.

The valuableness of what is inside the email is clarified in the body once the recipient opens it. How you go about communicating that value can be done in different ways. Try using humor, showing compelling numbers, and, above all, creating urgency or sparking curiosity.

Coming up with a good subject line can take some time and practice, but the results will incentivize you to keep trying new approaches. Here are some tips for writing subject lines:
  • Make sure the subject line is no longer than 50 characters or it may not be viewable in its entirety on the recipient’s screen
  • Explain clearly and concisely what the purpose and value of the email is
  • Use a conversational tone and avoid sounding overly promotional
  • Include a verb to indicate action 
  • Personalize the email by using their first name (this can be done using Merge Tags)
  • Include any discounts, such as % off 
  • Incorporate the date or holiday into the subject line (example: Great Tops for Fall: $25.99—September 10-16 Only)
  • Use signs or symbols (example: ⌛ is Running Out) 
  • Ask a question (example: Ready for a New Wardrobe?)
  • Create excitement (example: Just Announced! New Stock Added!)

2. Avoid the Spam Folder

To avoid being marked as spam:
  • Create a business domain – Marketing emails that show the email came from a free email service provider, like Gmail and Yahoo Mail, are not as trustworthy as ones sent from a domain name, so it’s important to create an email domain with your business name
  • Avoid trigger words that often get emails marked as spam (examples include: sales, free, click here, open, visit our website, this isn’t spam, please read, limited time, get it now, don’t delete)
  • Encourage customers to add your email address to their contacts or directory

3. Don’t Bombard your Customers with Too Many Emails

Last but not least, don’t send too many emails. If you send too often, you may get ignored and your open rates will decline, and your customers might even unsubscribe. Remember that your electronic mailing list is private and valuable. It’s your responsibility to use your email list responsibly, and only send meaningful content that you have put a lot of time and effort to create.

Using these principles, you should be able to increase your open rates to your e-commerce store. Happy emailing!

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