As Digital Marketers, some of our greatest challenges revolve around email increasing open rates and click-through rates.

Our target audiences are ever-evolving and the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing; however, it’s important to note that a few simple changes and practices can help increase both your open rates and click-through rates. Sound too good to be true? We promise, it’s not. Now, let’s get to work and get into how to increase open and click-through rates!

How to Increase Open Rates

  1. Improve your email deliverability. 

    We get it: this sounds like a daunting task, but our Email Deliverability Guide is here to help! Your email deliverability rate is the total number of emails successfully delivered to the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) divided by the total number of emails sent. 

    The higher your delivery rate, the more emails make it to the inbox, thus increasing your chance of strengthening your open rate. 

    Now, what if you’re saying, “But Net-Results, our email deliverability is fine, but our open rate is plummeting!”

    Have no fear. Implement the following best practices for email deliverability, and you’ll be golden.
  2. Spice up those subject lines

    Gear up for the cold hard truth, folks: poor subject lines are killing your open-rates. The good news? You can change that! A report from Retention Science shares that subject lines with six to ten worlds deliver the highest open rate, and subject lines personalized for each recipient will also boost your open rate.

    Most importantly? Make your subject lines fun. Retention Science also reported that subject lines with movie titles or song lyric references had a higher likelihood of being opened. Try it out!

    Regardless of which route you choose (why not experiment?), it’s important to make your subject lines stand out. If they don’t, your email will be left unopened in a sea of other sad, unopened marketing emails. Tragic.
  3. Find the best time to send your emails

    Depending on your industry, the time in which you send your emails varies greatly; however, in general, weekends are the worst time to send B2B emails—think about it, how often do you go through your work email while running errands, watching football, and munching on some hot wings? You probably don’t, and neither does your audience.

    In order to find the best, most optimal time to send your emails, be sure to pull some quality data from your Marketing Automation software reports. Based on open rate and click-through rate, you’ll be able to find that sweet spot for all upcoming email communications.

    It’s all about timing, baby.
  4. Segment, segment, segment

    And segment again! Just kidding (but not really). Segments are the backbone of the Net-Results platform and they can be used for your contact lists, custom reports, campaign qualification, lead scoring, and more. Seriously, don’t sleep on these guys!

    Segmenting your email list helps you to personalize your emails to your specific contacts—a standard practice that’s impossible to achieve when you send everything to your entire list (and honestly, it just upsets those who are uninterested in the info). Only send relevant information to a relevant audience, otherwise, you can kiss your open rate goodbye.
  5. Be careful with how many emails you send

    On the subject of ‘how not to annoy your audience,’ don’t blow up their inbox on the daily. Even if your content is great, it won’t go over very well if your audience sees several emails from you in their inbox every single day.

    Yes, email lists need to be nurtured in order to gain traction, but there’s a balance we all must find.

    Now it’s important to be consistent while you nurture and build trust with your audience, but make sure your consistency doesn’t overwhelm your lists.

    As a general rule, sending emails once or twice a week will keep you and your audience happy and informed; therefore, increasing your open rate over time.
  6. Resend your emails

    Your audience members are busy, and there’s a pretty good chance they skimmed past your email during their last inbox scroll-athon.

    Hey, it happens. In order to up your open rate (as well as click-through), we recommend re-engagement campaigns (i.e. resend that email, y’all).

    You might be thinking, “But Net-Results, you told me not to annoy my audience!”

    True. We did, but re-engagement campaigns are more helpful than harmful, believe it or not. Best practices for resending include changing the subject line, but keeping the email content the same. We guarantee your open rates will soar with a re-engagement campaign here and there!

How to Increase Click-Through Rates

  1. Optimize

    You know what’s the worst? When you open an email on your phone and it’s alarmingly apparent that the sender never anticipated said email being opened on a…phone.

    Y’all, it’s 2020 and no one has time for non-mobile optimized emails. There, we said it. 61.9% of email opens occur on mobile devices, and it’s time to get with it.

    If your emails are not tailored to mobile devices (as well as desktop!), consider them deleted. On top of being deleted, they’re definitely not receiving clicks—double whammy. In order to up your click-through rate, your email communications must be optimized for mobile devices—no ifs, ands, or buts.
  2. Only include relevant content for your audience

    This one seems like a no-brainer, but much like our previous mention of segments, it’s important to only send content that will, without a doubt, interest your intended audience. Click-through rates rely (almost) entirely on whether or not your content speaks to the reader.

    Don’t bog down your email content with boring, lackluster blogs, articles, whitepages, or resources. If you have to, find a way to make CTAs shine! Speaking of which…
  3. Focus and narrow down your CTAs

    CTAs are like candy—they’re delicious and exciting, but there is such a thing as having too much (cue sugar hangover).

    Your audience enjoys choices, but when pressed with too many, they become indecisive. If your emails are scattered with various CTAs and you’re seeing minimal click-through, that’s probably why. When it comes to CTAs, the fewer the better.

    On the subject of CTAs, placement is also important. In general, it’s believed that CTAs placed in the left region of an email have a larger positive impact on click-through rate. In addition, when it comes to CTAs, consider placing them near the top of your email.

    While it’s common practice to establish a Z-pattern of reading for web content, it’s said email engagement follows more of a U-pattern; thus, the lower your CTA is placed in an email, the less likely you’ll receive a click.
  4. Prettiness = Click-through(ness)

    Okay, we know this is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many bad emails make their way through our personal inboxes.

    Remember, “pretty” doesn’t mean you shoving a ton of colorful, busy images into your emails. In digital marketing speak, “pretty” is often synonymous with “clean.”

    When it comes to images and email design, it’s important to make your emails visually appealing without alienating your audience with a bunch of crazy colors and design elements. Simplify your design, clean up your text, and let your CTA shine bright like a diamond (cue RiRi). 

    Clarity within your emails will increase click-through rate and ensure your audience enjoys receiving your email content, and really, isn’t that all we can ask for?

We hope these points help you and your team assess your email campaign open and click-through rates. If you have any questions or want more way to increase open and click-through rates, schedule a chat with one of our Marketing Automation experts today!

Ta-ta for now! Happy emailing,

Lexie Robbins
Digital Marketing Specialist at Net-Results Marketing Automation

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Alexis Robbins