Low Email Open Rates? What’s The Deal?

By Yvette Hastings in Marketing
·3 min read

Every marketer has, at some point, faced the problem of low email open rates. Falling below industry average is alarming, but is usually caused by common, fixable issues like poor list segmentation and uninspiring subject lines. Here are four less well-known mistakes you might be making and how to fix them.

1. You’re Not Automating Enough

Automation can give your email open rates a tremendous lift. In fact, according to Epsilon Email Institute, automated emails have a 70.5% higher open rate and 152% higher click-through rate than regular marketing emails. You might feel wary of too much automation because it risks generalizing your messaging to the point of it becoming irrelevant, ultimately leading to unsubscribes. However, well-researched customer demographics and cleverly-worded content reduces this risk. As a rule, automated emails should feature heavily in your overall marketing strategy, catching customers as they abandon carts, make a first purchase, go dormant or join an online community.

2. Too Much Selling, Not Enough Nurturing

While the core aim of any business is to sell a product or service, too much selling via email (or any marketing tool) can be off-putting. In the same way being followed around a department store by an over-zealous salesperson is (at the very least) irritating—a barrage of sales emails will surely turn off even your hottest prospects. Combine a thoughtful balance of sales and nurture within your email strategy to maximize open rates. Subject lines that reflect recent events your customer might be interested in can show you have customized an email just for them. And don’t forget, even when selling, try to add as much value to the content as possible, boosting the incentive to open and click. A free piece of downloadable content within a sales email can make a world of difference, increasing open, click-through and conversion rates.

To remain cautious, try not to use too many ‘spam’ trigger words such as FREE or ATTENTION because these can be filtered into spam folders. Did you know, Kentico can be used alongside third-party email deliverability services, such as SendGrid and SendInBlue?

3. You Have Uninterested Customers

Often it is the case that customers haven’t realized they’ve joined a mailing list, causing their total lack of engagement with the content you’re sending them. It doesn’t matter how catchy your subject lines are—if they don’t want to hear from you, they won’t open your email. A double opt-in can help to produce a cleaner list because it gives the customer an opportunity to confirm their interest. While this may result in a smaller list, its quality will be far greater. The consequence? Higher email open rates and better conversion. Another option is to give your customers access to a preference centre where they can select the information they want to receive. This way, you maximize engagement while also gaining valuable data on your customers’ interests.

Don’t forget, automated emails can be sent to chronically disengaged customers checking their preferences for future contact. If they still don’t engage, they should be removed from your contact list to help bring up your email open rate average. Kentico’s email marketing features can help you achieve all these targets.

4. You Aren’t A/B Testing

A/B testing is nothing new. But are you using it enough? It can be all-too-easy to get complacent about your email marketing strategy, thoughtlessly regurgitating the same tired templates, tone and CTAs. If you’re experiencing persistently low email open rates, it could be that you need to rethink the look and feel of your communication. A/B testing can give you the data to make this happen. Compare and contrast the timing of your emails, their look and feel as well as the type of CTA you use and go with the strategy that produces the best open and click-through rates. The success of A/B testing speaks for itself – according to one well-known email marketing platform, e-commerce businesses typically earn 20% more from their emails once they’ve been A/B tested. With Kentico, your entire customer journey can be A/B tested—not just the emails you send but your landing pages, lead magnets, checkout processes, and more.

Bottom Line

A fully optimized lead conversion process makes the world of difference to your company’s bottom line. Email marketing continues to be the go-to method to nurture a prospect until they’re ready to make a purchase. At Kentico, we offer a digital experience platform that streamlines this process so that you gain the best results. Want to find out more? You can book a FREE demo with one of our experts and discover how Kentico can help your email marketing processes (and much more).

By Yvette Hastings in Marketing
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