Sometimes I shake my head at the “experts” when they talk about their open rates on podcasts and in blog posts.
They always say things like “wow, you got a 22% open rate that is amazing” and “30% open rates, you are a rockstar!”
Or they brag about this one email, this one time that got… gasp …a 43% open rate!
Don’t get me wrong. Those are good open rates.
But we want GREAT open rates!
Also remember, those stats are usually coming from the “make money online” niche. “Industry standard” in your niche could be TOTALLY different.
If you have a VERY focused audience and a VERY narrow niche…than you should be getting MUCH higher than 30% open rates.
Jocelyn and I routinely get email open rates of 50%, 60%, even 75% (in very different niche markets). This doesn’t happen by accident.
We have a few principals we follow when we leverage our email lists to make sure our open rates (and sales) are as high as possible.
This helps us crush industry standards for email open rates.
Here are 3 tips to send your email open rates through the roof!
1) Don’t give up on the unopened emails
I get the impression that most Internet Marketers just accept that some people do not open their emails. Like that’s just the way it is supposed to be.
I’m a football coach by trade, it’s not in my nature to accept losing 75% of the time!
Instead of accepting low open rates, marketers should be asking WHY those subscribers did not open the message?
People do not open emails for a number of reasons:
- Maybe they just had an inbox zero moment and deleted their inbox because it was too full to deal with?
- Maybe they only check their email in the evening and you sent your message in the morning?
- Maybe they just needed to see a different headline?
There are a million reasons why your subscribers may not open an email, some of those reasons you can control!
Example 1: Maybe the headline of the email did not not grab the readers attention.
- SOLUTION: Try sending out the exact same email to the subscribers who did not open your first email with a different headline.
Example 2: Maybe it was the timing? Say you send an email at 9:00 am. Maybe your subscriber gets 100 emails every morning, and yours got lost in the mix!
- SOLUTION: Send the exact same email to your unopened subscribers (with a new headline) at a different time of day when their inbox is not as full.
We consistently up our email opens by 10-15%, just by recontacting the unopened subscribers. We don’t reinvent the wheel, we just send the same email with a tweak:
- New subject
- Different time of day
Bottom line, don’t assume your readers are not opening your messages because they do not want to hear what you have to say.
There may be other variables causing them to skip over your emails. Follow up!
Don’t give up on the unopened subscribers!
2) Send emails to subscribers to GIVE not GET (and then give them what THEY want!)
HOLY CRAP! 60% OPEN RATE ON OVER 1400 PEOPLE! WHAT A LUCKY EMAIL!
Nope. Luck had nothing to do with it. Here is how Jocelyn got such an awesome response from this message.
First, we try to follow a simple rule when emailing our subscribers: Give, don’t try to get!
You have to train your audience that your emails are beneficial, and that they will receive something cool if they open them; while simultaneously sending the message that you are NOT routinely asking for money.
Once your audience trusts you, and knows they will be given something awesome by opening your emails, they will look forward to them, and your open rates will improve!
Don’t constantly ask for money: give give give…and your audience will give back!
Second, prequalify your subscribers for specific email: Give them what they want to get!
If you have something you know will be a great gift for you audience, say a huge Black Friday coupon for a specific product, send an email out asking who wants it before actually sending the coupon.
Here’s how it works:
Lets take the email above. Jocelyn has way more subscribers on her email list than the 1,465 people she sent this email to (makes me so jealous…she dominates the opt-in wars in our house).
However, she only sent this specific email to subscibers labeled “Full Year Voters.”
In a previous email, Jocelyn sent a “survey” that had 3 options… she let her audience CHOOSE what they wanted the Black Friday discount on.
- Option 1: 1 Month of a specialty product
- Option 2: Her resource guide
- Option 3: A full year membership to her main offering
Whenever someone clicked on the option they wanted, their email got put on a separate list for that product.
So, when she sent the follow up email, she sent out 3 different messages to 3 different groups of people: one for each option!
She gave each group of people exactly what they asked for in the previous email!
Option 3 had 1,465 replies. Those people told Jocelyn that they wanted the full year…so she gave it to them!
The prior email also alerted the audience that the next email would have a special coupon just for them. This created anticipation, which leads to more even more opens!
Those people were used to getting something awesome from Jocelyn, and then when she offered exactly what they asked for, they couldn’t resist and opened the message!
So with email, be a giver. Give people what they want. Don’t ask for money in your emails until you have given a ton of value.
3) Segment, Segment, Segment (stop blasting your entire list!)
Seriously, if you are sending every email to every single person on your list; your open rates will plummet.
Segment your list as much as possible to make sure people are getting what they want to see! Then send targeted emails to those smaller segments.
For example, I market to football coaches. I sell drill videos, playbooks, practice scripts, and other resources that help coaches learn more about the game.
However, just because I have thousands of football coaches on my list, doesn’t mean they all want to read everything I send out.
- Some people in my audience only coach offense. It wouldn’t make sense to send them information about defense!
- Some people in my audience are assistant coaches. It wouldn’t make sense to send them information aimed at head coaches!
- Some people in my audience are youth coaches. It wouldn’t make sense to send them information about coaching high school players!
Collect as much data as possible about your audience, and then segment them into like-minded groups. Once you have your list segmented, you can send different offers to different groups based on the likelihood they will open and respond favorably to your product or service!
If you are sending messages to segments that are highly targeted based on data, each smaller list will have a higher percentage of opens than one large list. And overall, this leads to more total opens than just spamming everyone with the same email every week (and less unsubscribes/complaints as well)!
Don’t accept being average!
Industry averages are just that…averages. The good, the bad, and the ugly all rolled into one tidy little number.
Don’t be average! Be at the high end of the spectrum!
You do NOT have to accept 20% open rates just because some random guru podcaster told you that was OK.
Try the three tips above. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
If you do, I know you can get your open rates higher, get more clicks, and make more money online!
How do you improve open rates? Share a tip in the comments!