I saw the good, the bad, the ugly. And I’m sharing my learnings with you to help you improve your open rates, click rates and drive more sales from your email.
1. Send your emails from a real person
Always send from a real person with a real "from email" and "reply-to" email address. This will increase your open rates. If you must include your brand try “Mike at Ortto” instead of just “Ortto”. Your subscribers don’t want to read email from a brand, they want to read an email from you - a real person.
There is no magical rule with subject lines. But there are several tips that can help improve your open rate. Using ALL CAPS, exclamation marks !!! and a high density of words like SALE, NOW or BUY are likely to lead to lower open rates and land you in spam filters. No one likes being screamed at and more of the same is going to be ignored.
Take the countless Black Friday emails you receive as an example. “Our BLACK FRIDAY sale!” isn’t very compelling amongst the 300 other emails received saying the exact same thing. The all caps and exclamation marks are lessons in what not to do. Here are some alternatives based on some of the most effective subject lines:
“Our only sale all year is ON”
“Private access to our sale”
“Let’s play a game”
Notice how none of them have anything to do with Black Friday?
If you'd like to predict how your subject line is likely to perform, you can use Ortto's free AI subject line tester.
Top performing subject lines:
get to the point;
avoid ALL CAPS and unnecessary use of exclamation!!!;
avoid overuse of spam triggers like “SALE, NOW, BUY!”;
entice subscribers to open the email with a clear benefit; and
are personalized or feel personal e.g. "Private access".
Here is another example using these techniques to improve a subject line:
BANISTERS HOTEL - EXCITING LAUNCH OF BRAND NEW VENUE! | NYE AT BANISTERS
Kelly at Banisters - Michael, you and a partner are invited to our exclusive NYE party.
Plus, personalizing subject lines can have a real impact on subject lines. In fact, research has shown that emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher click-through rates than emails that did not."
3. Stop writing like a marketer
An unusual human behavior seems to happen when we sit down and start typing on our keyboards. We start writing how we think we should speak instead of how we actually speak. It’s safe to assume that, as a rule, no one likes marketing emails.
Here's what a poor-performing email looks like:
You are among the first 100k people to have the opportunity to experience our free widget at Widget Software. All you have to do is copy the special URL below and paste it into a browser and you will be taken to our onboarding program. Your information will be automatically pre-populated so you can input your details faster. Once you register your experience will begin and you can use the free widget immediately.
Here is what a top-performing email looks like:
Hey Mike, I wanted to personally reach out and invite you to try Widget. We’re inviting a small group to get feedback and input before we launch. All you need to do is accept the invite.
Top-performing emails all had similar traits from my observations:
Where there is a call-to-action the content was short and to the point;
The content was personal and appealed for help;
The value and benefit was clear and obvious;
Long paragraphs were avoided; and
Dot points were used to help make key points (like this).
4. Have a single call-to-action
To improve click through rates focus on a single call-to-action in your email and eliminate other noise. If the goal of your email is for the customer to take advantage of a coupon, sale or take a specific action narrow their focus by having a single button. Avoid including social media links or alternative unrelated links when it has no relation to your goal. You're risking that they will click away and get distracted by all your fantastic Instagram photos.
5. Write compelling preview text
Preview text is a snippet of text that appears after the email subject line in most email clients. It’s shown in red below:
Adding preview text can help improve your open rate by making your email look better in a subscriber's inbox. Just like subject lines avoid things like ALL CAPS and spammy keywords.
Tips for your preview text:
Keep it short so the entire message can be seen in the email client.
Get to the point early and sum up the content inside.
Try including a sense of urgency or a teaser to entice the subscriber to open the email.
Benchmarks for open and click rates
At a minimum, you should expect open rates between 15%-25%. Your average email click-through rate should be 2.5% where there is a primary call-to-action. If you’re not seeing results like this try and implement some of the tips above and you should see a dramatic improvement in your results. In fact, if you do this and it works I'd love to hear from you.
Cadence is the heartbeat of your growth. It’s an organizational mindset and framework that is the secret to superior results.
“We were looking for a solution that was really easy to use, didn’t require a tech team, and would have a robust integration with Salesforce so we could trigger sales communications in a smarter way. Nobody else out there has what Ortto has.”