3 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve The Open Rate in Your Email Campaign

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Margelit Hoffman: How to Increase Open Rate in Email Campaigns

I was recently advising two different clients on improving the open rate on their email campaigns: one is a nonprofit and one is a 30-person fashion company. The last thing I wanted to do was to overwhelm the person in charge of sending out the campaigns, so I came up with a list of simple changes that they made immediately, with very positive results.


1. Send SOMETHING out.

If you’re gathering your list waiting for the perfect time to send them something, or waiting till your site is perfect, or waiting for a video to be finished… I have news for you: there is nothing perfect in this world. I believe that Gd is the only perfection.
Therefore, get over yourself, and send something out. Because if someone signs up for your e-newsletter and doesn’t hear from you for months, the next time they hear from you, you’ll be reintroducing your brand to them. They may not remember you. The point is to be there for people at the moment they realize that they need what you do. So consistency is key.

2. Text first, images second.

My Gmail account does not enable images in emails until I click on “Always display images from this sender.” Most of the people on your list have the same scenario.
Most of the people on your list decide in a split second if they will open your email, or trash it. You want your text to show up in the blurb next to the subject in their inboxes, NOT image code, or something that says “website banner.” Give them the info they need in their inbox before they even click on the email to open it–because they may not open it if they don’t know what they’re getting!

One of my clients made this small change and saw a 1% increase in their open rate on the next campaign. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but with a list of 19,000, that equals 190 people, and a quarter of those showed up at their next live event.

3. Utilize Rich Media. It’s called Rich for a reason!

Send videos, photos and audio in your emails. Create extra value every time someone opens an email from you.
Most of our emails have included videos, because besides doing social media for our clients, we make them videos. We tend to feature our videos in our ezines, and because of this, we have enjoyed an open rate in the 40% range, which is phenomenal for a for-profit business.

I thought I’d make this quick, because I know YOU don’t have much time, so go ahead and make these changes in your next email campaign, and please share the results with us in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @Margelit

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12 Responses to "3 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve The Open Rate in Your Email Campaign"

  1. Hank Shrier says:

    Great ideas. Thanks for sharing very good advice.

  2. Great tips! The “get over the perfection” thing especially hits home for me.

  3. Brit Shneuer says:

    Hi Margalit,
    Thanks for the good ideas, love the integration of generosity and marketing.

  4. Shawn Hakimian says:

    Very useful stuff. keep it up.

  5. Thanks for your generousity of spirit! The tips are great!

  6. jewishmoms says:

    Listen everybody, I followed Margelit’s advice, and it really works!

    After I read Margelit’s advice I went to google trends, saw “Chelsea Clinton Wedding’ and decided to make a video for my next newsletter about Chelsea’s wedding and intermarriage, and then I made “Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding” the subject of the newsletter email.

    Listen to this… that email had an open rate of 51% and a click rate of 85.2% ! What’s interesting is that the open rate is my highest ever, but is only a few percentage points higher than average. But the click rate is dramatically higher than the norm, about 15-20% higher than average.

    Thanks Margelit, I can’t wait to get more tips from you!

    Chana Jenny Weisberg, http://www.JewishMom.com

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