(This post was initially published as a LinkedIn Pulse article.)

Are You Disappointed in Your Email Open Rates? How To Get Them Out of the Basement and Up the Stairs!

Email marketing is still extremely relevant in 2015 but, like most things, approaches have had to evolve in order to remain effective. No place is this more true than with opening rates, in which marketers evaluate how often their email communications are opened and read.

Every email you send that doesn’t get read is a missed opportunity, and
subject line tricks and formulas that may have worked a few years ago
might not carry the same weight today.

Much of this is due to the problem of email volume inundation: The average email account today is spammed with anywhere between tens and hundreds of junk communications per day, on top of a varying volume of legitimate/wanted ones.

On top of the inundation problem is the growth of scepticism (if not cynicism): people have become desensitized to sensational headlines. Things that may have piqued interest in 2010 now just scream “scam!” or “yeah right, I don’t believe
THAT!” to the average consumer.

What does this all mean? You’ve got to get creative in order to get opens these days. At a minimum, you’ll need to invest in some longterm strategic thinking.

In fact, your plan for improving open rates should be occurring long
before an actual email is sent or a subject line is read.

What Goes into That Plan?

1) Be Known, Liked, and Trusted: The largest factor in any email open rate is going to be the sender, so you need to make sure

People get hung up on writing the perfect subject line when the reality is that you could still pull off stellar open rates if

  • people easily recall who are
  • you’re a trusted sender
  • you advice is valued
  • you are coming across wanting to be helpful rather than selling something.

2) Double confirmation Opt in: Use “double” opt in confirmation.
When you ask people to click through two quick steps to take respond to a call to action,  it reflects a greater interest by the reader. Depending on the type of communication, it also forces people to see your name twice, fostering recognition of you, your brand, product, service or cause.  It reinforces who you are and your request for a commitment by the reader.

By the way, this also applies when you are trying to “capture” the email address of a prospect or partner.  For example, when you design and launch a squeeze page or other form of landing page,  people should have to briefly click twice to provide their email address.

(Also, see Item 3 below.)

The people you lose because they couldn’t be bothered to confirm their interest in that freebie are probably not great prospects to begin with.

3) Valuable, Informative Freebie: Make it actually useful. Ideally,
you would give them something they’re not finding somewhere else.

As discussed in prior emails, people are typically offered a freebie of value (e.g. brief report, audio, or video presentation  that provides useful information). For prospects, these freebies are offered through squeeze pages or other forms of landing pages in exchange for the email address.

(See LinkedIn Pulse article entitled: The Art of the Giveaway

4) Effective Followup: This is probably a step where the most drop off in open rates occurs, and yet does not get much attention. Ensure that the quality of your email followups can compete with that of your first email/freebie-incentive.
You should even consider your second and third email. In fact, in an email marketing campaign, if each email  builds on a prior one, referring back to the prior one and tying into the next one.

Each email should offer helpful information that cultivates the relationship by overdelivering value. Give people information they can’t live without. Prove you’ve done your homework and have the answers they’re looking for.

By the way, to build an email list for your business you’ll need an
specific type of webpage called a squeeze page. The problem for most of
us is setting up a page like this can be a nightmare unless you have
software that will build it for you with a few clicks of a mouse.

One option is called Click Funnels and just like the name suggests you can build any type of webpage you want with a few clicks that sets up your “sales funnel” with calls to action for your product, service, or nonprofit cause.

Click funnels has a two week free trial so click the link below and
check it out.

Get your account now. Click HERE!

Thank you. If you found value in this post, please share it with others.

Roberto Ragone

Business, Nonprofit, Arts Consultant
Actor, Writer, Producer

Ragone Enterprises and Productions
Ragone Strategies and Initiatives

Transforming Vision to Value

Roberto Ragone has over 25 years experience in government, nonprofits, and business, working with them on strategic planning, marketing and public relations, fundraising, and outreach. He has also worked on literary, film, and theatre projects.

One of his guiding principles is a determination to help you attract popularity, prosperity, and prestige — fans, friends, funds, and fame. He helps define and disseminate the uniquely compelling story about you, transforming your vision to value so you “REaP” the benefits of your hard work.