Email Marketing: How to get an extra 7% to 12% open rate every time

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Email marketing is still the most effective form of social media. Yes it is very social.

Email subscribers are the most valuable, treasured and loyal people in your community—especially amongst marketing and social media professionals. And as a marketer you have the most intimate relationship with your subscribers because you are given permission to enter their sacred Inbox.

Congratulations on earning this level of trust, it’s a big achievement!  

Holding up our end of the bargain

Remember that because people trust you, they also have an expectation that you will continue to deliver timely and valuable emails.

You must take this opportunity seriously—it is a moral obligation to serve your community with remarkable content. And your readers demand it. So what is the biggest tip I have to share?

Biggest discovery in seven years

I have been testing email marketing for more than seven years, and the biggest discovery I have made along the way is how to get 7% to 12% of your email list to open your emails. Every time.

The secret tactic

The secret sauce you need in order to achieve this is doing a follow up sendout. After three to five business days, get a list of all thecontacts who didn’t open your first email and resend the exact same email to them but with a new subject line that reads, something like, “Did you miss June’s Bluewire News? [Marketing eBook & Expert Interview]”

Keep the From Name, From Address and the body of the email identical.  This simple, but highly effective tactic gets me an extra 7% to 12% open rate every single time.

What about an increase in unsubscribers?

That crossed my mind a lot in the early days, and the fear of losing subscribers actually stopped me from testing this theory for too long. As it turns out, I had nothing to fear—unsubscribes remained under 1%.

In fact the opposite was true; rather than annoy people, many people actually replied saying thanks for resending. Plus once people opened the email, the clickthrough rates were on par with the original message. Usually more than 20%.

So even on my modest subscriber list of 3,500 people, the extra ~350 readers every month is a big result.

Moral of the story: Busy people make time for quality!

If you as a marketer publish quality, people want to receive your emails. Quality is the key here.

This tactic of sending a follow up email won’t work if your content isn’t remarkable. In fact nothing will work if your content is remarkable. But because you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you know this already!

Let me know how this works for you

In the comments, please let me know how you find this approach. I’d love to hear if it helps your open rates.

If you found this article useful and would like to explore these ideas further, I have written a short ebook called A Short Guide to Email Marketing and Social Media, which is a free download on my website.
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Adam Franklin is an international social media speaker and marketing manager of Bluewire Media—an Aussie web strategy firm. Please feel free to download our Web Strategy Planning Template. Follow @Franklin_Adam on Twitter or connect on Google+.

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Comments (1)
  • Great point. It’s basically re-targeting :). And people often worry too much about unsubscribes, but unsubscribes are good. You want a list of just those who truly want to hear from you. 

 
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