How to maximise your email open rates in tricky industries

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Date: 11 May 2022

People receiving email marketing messages on their smartphones

Email marketing campaigns can only be effective if they are opened in the first place!

Generally, the measure of success of an email marketing campaign is the number of people who open the mail (email open rate), as well as the number of people who click on a link (click-through rate).

The click-through rate is entirely dependent on the open rate, and this is often overlooked, because unless people open your email, there's no chance they can click on it! Therefore, in order to get a better click-through rate, you need people to open your email.

But there are some industries - like insurance, finance, casinos, or medicine - which often get flagged as spam before they are even opened, despite offering usually well-regulated and legitimate products. With this in mind, we look at some tips to maximise email open rates and campaign effectiveness.

How often are emails being opened?

  • A good email open rate should be between 17-28%, depending on the industry you're in.
  • A March 2021 study showed that the average email open rate was 16.97%, with a 10.29% clickthrough rate.
  • The highest open rates are found in government-related emails, with an open rate of 28.77%; emails sent by hobby-related businesses come in second, with a 27.74% open rate, and, with a 27.62% open rate, emails about religion came in third.

Top tips to maximise email open rates

1 Write effective subject lines.

Subject lines work much like your call-to-action (CTA) copy. If they're not compelling enough, users are unlikely to click on them.

You should always keep your subject lines short. The usual inbox shows around 60 characters, while mobile phones will only reveal 25 to 30 characters.

Your subject lines should focus on bringing out the value of your emails rather than promoting your products.

2 It's all about timing!

You'll want to send out emails when your audience is most likely to check their inboxes. Otherwise, your emails will get buried in their inboxes.

Therefore, before you start an email marketing campaign, you need to make sure you know your audience.

3 Keep a fresh email list.

Over time, email subscribers can go stale. Some people may have changed email accounts, or maybe they just aren't interested in your brand anymore.

To keep your list fresh and filled with engaged subscribers, it's a good idea to periodically remove inactive subscribers.

4 Personalise your emails.

Although you might send emails to thousands of subscribers, they still need to feel personal. Mentioning each subscriber's first name in the subject line is a start, but it will take more than that.

You need to find out the likes, dislikes, needs, and expectations of individual customers to know what kind of content will engage them.

5 Make sure you do test runs.

You should be running constant tests on such things as the word count of your subject line, the vocabulary you use, your timing and even how you segment your audience. These can all impact your open rate.

Maximise email open rates in FinTech

The average email open rate for the finance category is 23%, making it a tough-but-not-impossible industry in which to run an email marketing campaign.

"We've found that making small changes to our email content, such as avoiding mentioning tricky words like loans, loan amounts and apply, and running tests with small samples to compare spam rates have all significantly helped with our open rates," commented Ben Sweiry, co-founder of FinTech start up, Dime Alley.

"Using images instead of words is another way to increase open rates in our industry, as images tend to be more eye-catching and can help with click-throughs as well", he added.

Copyright 2022. Article made possible by Tudor Lodge Digital.

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