In this article I will give you several tips that can help you in improving your open and click-thru rates.
1) Open rate
In order to your email campaign be successful the first necessary thing is that people open and read your email newsletter. Online publishing is very similar to traditional publishing. When you buy a daily newspaper, you probably don’t read everything. You don’t have that much of free time and not every subject is equally interesting for you. If you are a sports fan you will read the sport section but you might skip an article about latest movies . In most cases you will decide what you are going to read upon subject titles.
Same thing with email newsletters. One of the two most important factors that influence whether or not your subscriber will open your email newsletter will be your subject line. In order to have good open rates and click-thru rates you have to know your audience. Your message has to be well targeted.
There are several rules you have to follow in order to make effective subject lines.
Your subject lines should be short and snappy to get attention of your subscribers. Many people receive dozens of emails every day and some other people that have web sites and often make posts on different places like web forums, discussion lists, publish articles, can get more than 100 emails per day. So your message will have a very big competition in your subscriber’s inbox. That’s why your subject line has to grab attention of your subscriber. This doesn’t mean that you have to use usual spam techniques. On the contrary. Avoid using words FREE, GUARANTEED, Make Money Fast, Limited Offer and other get-rich-quick schemes words. Not just because of your subscribers. If you use these words it is most likely that your emails will never even reach them. Their ISP will take care of that with their spam filters. Also don’t capitalize every letter and don’t put several times exclamation. You don’t need to shout, people will “hear” you if you know how to “tell” them your message.
So your subject line has to be short and snappy, best thing is that you include one title from your articles in your subject line. It can be some breaking news or exlusive interview. People like to read breaking news or exclusive interviews that can’t be found anywhere else. Also, people often read how-to articles (for example - How To Choose The Right Email Marketing Software) or so called “number” articles (for example – 7 Tips For E-publishers On A Shoestring Budget).
Good thing is that you put your newsletter name in brackets, at the beginning of your subject line in order to be easily recognized from other emails in inbox.
Please bear in mind, that your subject line has to be consistent. What do I mean by that? Of course that you will change the title in your subject line but you have to find the best subject form and stick to it. For example:
[NewslettterName] Your Subject Title, Issue #x, Date
Don’t forget, in order to make effective ads and this apply to subject lines, as well you have to remember 3 words – test, test, test! You have to experiment with different models and find out which work best for you.
Beside Subject line, From field is another info that your recipients will see in their inbox. People have to trust you in order to decide to read your emails. You don’t open your doors to every person who knocks, don’t you?
If you are well-known person, trusted expert in your industry, for example some reputable Internet consultant and you are the only person that is involved in creation and publishing of the newsletter put your name in From field. If several people are involved in that process and if it is a corporate newsletter, use your company name.
Most important thing with From fields is that you don’t experiment with it. Choose one From field and stick to that. It is very un-professional that you often change your From field and beside that, in that case, your open rate will decline.
Useful tip is that you ask your subscribers to make a filter rule for your email newsletter, based on your email address, From field or some part of your Subject line. For example, they can put [YourNewsletterName] in a filter rule for your newsletter or your From field name so every time they get the email newsletter that matches that rule it will be moved to a specially designed folder, for example YourNewsletterName. So this way your newsletter won’t end in their Bulk folder. That is also one of the reasons why you should be consistent with your From field and subject line.
2) Click-Thru Rates
Clicks come once your email newsletter is opened. With good open rate you have finished only one part of the job. Now, your newsletter has to be well designed with appropriate content and concept, and most important, well targeted in order to have a decent click-thru ratio (CTR). You have to know your audience. You can increase your CTR if you put your most important articles and ads at the top of your email newsletters. Don’t write too long articles. It is better to write articles where you will list several tips. Also, don’t overload your newsletter with ads. People want to read useful things and not lots of ads.
Also, you know that a picture is worth more than 1000 words, so it is good that if you publish a HTML newsletter that you include photos that will be relevant to your articles and that are clickable. Click-Thru rates get higher if you give some value-added services to your subscribers. You have to make a good relationship with them. Treat them well, write useful articles, give exclusive discounts to your subscribers and they will show their appreciation.
Different types of email newsletters have different click-thru ratio. Click-Thru ratio is important, but it is not the most important. Just because many people click on your follow-up article or offer doesn’t mean that they will actually buy your software or service. In some cases, lower CTR can get you more sales than some good CTR. Think about that next time you start your email campaign.
Dejan Bizinger is a Contributing Editor for Infacta. Infacta is email messaging services company providing powerful, yet easy-to-use award-winning Group Mail, software for sending highly-personalized email messages and Group Metrics, software for email tracking. For more information visit: http://www.infacta.com