Tips To Increase Your e-Mail Open Rate

I am sure that you have heard (and probably heard it often) that the money is in the list… and it’s true! Once you have a list you are able to mail out appropriate offers and earn money from doing so. It is important then to do what ever you can to, first, ensure that your e-mail reaches the recipient’s inbox and, second, that the recipient opens the e-mail and reads the contents. This begs the question, then, “Are there things that I can do to help ensure my e-mail arrives safely and also has a better chance of being opened?” The answer, obviously, would have to be, “Yes” or this would be a very short article indeed!

The very first comment I would make, and it is obvious, is to ensure that you have permission to mail the recipient. There would not be a day go by that I do not receive at least one e-mail from someone I have never heard of before. I am certainly not on their list by my choice and there is very little that annoys me more. These e-mails are instantly designated as junk and do my very best never to receive any more from the sender. Permission is easy to get and, while this is not an article on how to go about building your list, let me just say all you need to do is set up a squeeze page with an opt-in form on it and drive traffic to it… job done!

The next thing that I think is an absolute must when it comes to getting your e-mails opened is to have a great headline. What I do to help in this area is to keep a ‘swipe file’ of great headlines. I make sure I am on a significant number of mailing lists for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is to find great headlines. If I feel that I want to open an e-mail because the headline entices me to do so then I will ‘swipe’ it and put it on file. Later, when I am looking for a good headline I will browse my “swipe file” and find one that leaps out at me and alter it to fit my offer. If I never use it then nothing is lost. If I don’t keep it then I cannot alter it to my needs as it will have been long forgotten. Here are a couple of examples from my swipe file. “This is embarrassing but…” or “Rice, gasoline and web traffic?”. How about “Stop writing new blog posts. Here’s why…”. Anyway you get the picture… make your title count. If it’s not good enough the e-mail is headed for the recycle bin!

Another little tip that works well is to put your name in the title of the e-mail. If you don’t put it in the title make sure your e-mail starts with something like, “Hi…., It’s [Your Name] from [Your Website or brand] here.” This helps keep your name in front of the recipient on a regular basis so they don’t forget you and they are reminded that they opted into your list willingly.

While I am using the word ‘regularly‘ let me say that you need to mail your list often. If you don’t they will forget you. Yes, you will get those who opt out but they would likely have done so anyway. The solution to that particular problem is to send even more traffic to your offer or squeeze page and simply replace them. If someone opts out the my advise is simply this… move on!

Because you are mailing often you have the opportunity to send regular ‘know, like and trust’ e-mails. Not every e-mail has to offer a product for them to buy, in fact I strongly recommend that you don’t do this. Rather, mix them up with e-mails that allow people to get to know you a bit better and in so doing build trust. As the trust builds then so will your success as those who choose to stay on your list can become loyal followers and will react more and more positively to your offers.

Don’t forget to make use on any spam tools built into your autoresponder. I use Aweber and they offer a tool that ‘rates’ my e-mail on a spam scale. This allows me to make alterations to both the title and the text ensuring that the e-mail reaches the recipient’s inbox in the first place. If it goes straight to the junk folder then my efforts have simply been wasted.

I have been asked on a number of occasions, “Is there an ideal time of day to send an e-mail?” There are any number of opinions on this but I am firmly in the it does not matter at all camp. My reasoning is as follows. Internet marketing is a global industry, meaning that my customers are located all over the world. So the ‘ideal’ time in New York is the middle of the night here in New Zealand. I check my e-mail at the same time each day and all those e-mails that have arrived overnight (because it is the middle of the night here when they were sent) are ready and waiting for me… at my convenience. I assume it works the same way for you as well?

As for the question that often follows, “What about which day of the week is the best” I am equally unconvinced. There is an argument that says an e-mail sent on the weekend is likely to arrive at a time when the recipient has more time to read and digest it but my own testing does not bear this out. If you have experience to the contrary I would love to hear about it but my practice is to send my e-mails when it is convenient to me.

Many of the things I have suggested here are simply, even obvious, but there are many who simply don’t heed them. The result is that their success online is limited at best and non-existent and worst. It is a simple matter of doing what has been proven to work. If that means doing the same as everybody else is doing then so be it… nobody ever got too far by swimming against the stream.

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