Three Simple Tricks To Elevate Your Open Rate

You worked hard to get that email list growing, and you’ve been doing everything “by the books.” 

You have a welcome campaign setup and you send regular messages to your list. Not only that, but you make sure to send a good variety of emails at the right time. 

But there’s a problem…

Your open rate is abysmal. 

And if people aren’t opening your emails, then they’re also not reading or clicking through… which we all know is a bad thing.

To help alleviate the issue, we put together a few tips that are proven to help marketers get more of their emails opened.

Let’s take a look!

1. Change Up Your Subject Line Formatting

Let’s face it, inbox overwhelm is a very real issue that plagues all of us.

Even if you’re a rockstar at writing captivating subject lines, it’s easy for all those email headlines to blur into a sea of sameness.

While we do agree that learning to write better email subject lines is very important, sometimes you need to shake things up a bit. And formatting helps your subject line stand out.

Here are a few of our favorites formatting strategies you can steal for your own subject lines:

  • Using brackets
  • Adding a colon or divider line
  • Capitalizing one “power” word
  • Hashtags
  • Using all lower case characters

Pro tip: Be careful with special characters – overdoing it could land you spam!

Now, adjusting your formatting may seem like too small a change to make a difference, but isn’t it worth trying out to help your open rate?

You can start testing these ideas out in your next few campaigns and measure the results to see how each one works for your audience.

The results may surprise you!

2. Tweak And Resend

Sometimes, the reason why your emails don’t get opened is because you’re sending them at a time that didn’t work for your audience. Or perhaps the subject line didn’t appeal to them. 

Whatever the case may be, if you notice some contacts don’t open your email campaigns, you can send another version later.

The idea here is pretty simple. If you send out your campaign but a percentage of contacts don’t open up, just tweak your message a bit and re-send!

A great example of a company who does this is TOMS:

As you can see from the image above, TOMS sent an email (very) early in the morning, which I didn’t open. Since I didn’t open this “End of Season Sale” campaign email, they sent me another one with a new subject line!

Now, if you’re running a similar promotion, you’ll want to use an automation funnel to deliver your messages hands free. Here’s what that would look like in your Sendlane account:

If you want to get a similar funnel up and running, here’s a quick rundown of the step-by-step process:

  1. Add your first email
  2. Next, add a Wait action to give contacts time to see your message and click open
  3. Put in a Conditional Split (aka an if/else action) that’s set to check for anyone who opened your first email
  4. On the “Yes” side – continue your funnel as usual
  5. On the “No” side – compose an alternate version of your first email that’s designed to go out to this segment of your audience, catching them up to speed with your promotion before they continue on in the funnel

And there you have it!

This setup will ensure that any contacts who didn’t open your first email will get a second opportunity to learn more about the new promotion you’re running… and you’ll get another chance to sell them on your offer!

3. Use An Automated Win-Back Series

As with most email lists, there’s a chance that quite a few your of contacts have become inactive. And the worst kind of inactive contacts are the ones who stop opening your emails altogether. 

While your initial thought may be to scrub your list of these ones, there’s actually a way to help get them opening your emails again.

We call this particular method a win-back or re-engagement campaign. 

It’s another popular option utilized by many marketers:

The way this works is that you target a sequence of emails to people who haven’t opened or clicked on your emails for a while with the goal to get them to open up again. The content of the email is aimed at getting them to engage with your brand again. 

Maybe click a link or opt-in to something again. 

At the end of the sequence, if they’re still not opening, then you can let list hygiene scrub them from your list so that you’re keeping it healthy and full of only people who want to read your content.

To learn how to set this up, you can read our detailed tutorial for how to set up a win-back campaign in your Sendlane account!

Ready To Elevate Your Open Rate?

Here at Sendlane, we’re a big fan of automation because of how well it works at keeping your audience engaged and help to combat the issue of inactive contacts. But sometimes we need to try out a few different tactics to help things along.

We all know how frustrating it can be when your emails aren’t getting opened, but as you can see from this article there are ways to help fix the problem. 

You can test out one to get started or go all out by trying all three! 

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re hoping to get more people opening your emails is that sometimes part of the problems lies in who you’re using for your email marketing.

Each ESP is different and can impact your deliverability… but Sendlane has some of the best deliverability ratings out there!

You can give us a free test run and see how our service can help boost your marketing efforts – starting with your open rate 😉

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Kristen Dahlberg

Content ManagerSendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!