How To Increase Email Open Rates & Click Through Rates
(6 mins to read)
"The tastiest and most mouth watering burger description on the menu will standout and get ordered"
An email subject line is very much like a food menu. Let's take for example a burger restaurant: each burger on the list has the same foundation; they are all made from beef, they are all the same shape and they all have the same consistency. However, what makes them different is the enticing elements that accompany them, whether that's the juicy gherkins, a slab of cheese, some diced onion or a delicious jalapeno salsa. The tastiest and most mouth watering burger description on the menu will standout and get ordered.
Email subject lines function in the exact same way. Email inboxes are full of really tasty and much less appetising offerings. They're full of the 'Mundane No-Filling Hamburger' subject lines, which are the 'Shop our coffee now', 'These houses are on the market' and 'It's cold outside, buy these' subject lines businesses churn out time and time again, boring the consumer senseless. And then there's the 'Deliciously Spicy Jalapeno Salsa With Extra Cheese Burger' subject lines, the ones which stand out from the crowd and set consumers' intrigue alight, such as 'And THIS is why our insurance policy is famous', 'The IT dress everyone will be wearing', and 'You've spoken, we've listened - come and see what you've changed'.
If, like us, you're looking to serve up the 'Deliciously Spicy Jalapeno Salsa Extra Cheese Burger' (with extra dip), read our 4 top tips on increasing open rates, click through rates and interaction with your brand.
1. Focus on a key product
Write your subject line so it includes a product that will feature in the email and hone in on the detail, instead of just mentioning the entire collection. For example, if you're promoting a new-in range of watches, rather than using the vague subject line 'New-in watches for the season', which is pretty run of the mill, it's far more intriguing to focus on just one feature, 'This new-in watch with gold detail is selling fast'. With so many emails clogging up our inbox, make sure yours is as unique and detailed as possible. People love to know there is a human behind your subject lines and not a subject line generating machine.
2. Be creative & cause intrigue
Don't be afraid to push the boat out a mile or two when it comes to subject lines. Anything is worth a try to increase those open rates in such a saturated market. Ask questions: this makes the email feel more personal and actually makes the reader think about an answer. Have fun: the brand Madewell are brilliant at this, they manage to inject personality into every subject line. They use conversational wording such as 'hey', 'it's heeeeere' and 'epic jeans we're obsessed with', it feels like it's your best friend emailing you rather than another retailer. Don't give the whole game away: let the reader think there's something so intriguing about your subject line that they can't live without knowing what lays within, for example 'The 2 colours to be wearing now', 'No wonder it took 10 years to invent this' and 'You'll never guess what Kate Moss wore last night'. These sorts of newsletter subject lines are guaranteed to get a reaction because FOMO is oh so real.
Split testing emails is such an underrated weapon. How can we know what makes our customers tick if we haven't tested it? Once you know what makes them open and click through to an email, you can then use these findings and results to influence and dictate the rest of your marketing strategy and tone of voice. To get you started we'd recommend these quick tests; A question vs no question, vague vs to the point, wit vs no wit and an offer vs no offer. With all of these tests, it's important to retain a control group, this is a split percentage of the test database that will receive the same subject line you have always sent. This will allow you to see any increase in opens in comparison to your usual sends, and will give you some serious quick wins.
4. Quality of email
No matter how great your subject line and open rates are, if the content of your email isn't up to scratch then your sends are pointless. With email sends on the rise each year, content of many are either rushed, failing to support the subject line, not thoroughly proofed or have disappointing content and as a result, no matter how good your copywriter is, the click through rates will remain low. Customers are smart and will start to see a pattern in the lack of creativity and thought that has gone into your emails, and they will end up ignoring your emails or worse still - unsubscribe (!!), even if the subject line is spot-on. Our top tip to solve this issue? Copywriters and designers need to work closely together, they need to interlink their ideas and tell the story through imagery, layout and wording. If you do this then you'll end up with strong, interesting and omniscient emails which consumers can't wait to interact with. Always remember the potential power of a single email send and utilise this to your advantage, think quality over quantity or if you can do both, then you're onto a winner.
Need some subject line inspiration? Looking for some refreshing email copy and content ideas? At Words Do The Talking, we'll help you get your email database waiting in anticipation for your next send, and ultimately turn you into the 'Deliciously Spicy Jalapeno Salsa Extra Cheese Burger' with extra dip...
Words Do The Talking
We are copywriters. (Pssst... we've written for brands like Sweaty Betty, Next, Nike, Adidas, Joules, Whistles and Cassell).