12.21.20166 min read

3 Easy Ways to Increase Email Open Rates Today

Have you crafted a beautifully written email that no one will ever read? You might have if you don’t follow these three easy ways to increase email open rates today!

When you send a marketing email to your contacts, there are typically three ideal outcomes.

  • First, you need your email opened
  • Second, you need it to be read
  • Third, you need your contacts to follow your call to action 

Each of these outcomes takes a very different approach. You can have an attractive email with pictures and meaningful content, and you can have an enticing call to action. However, if no one ever opens your email, it is all a waste.

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When your email appears in your contact’s inbox, you have three areas of influence to entice them to open it up. I will help you identify them and give you best practices in how to use them effectively. These three quick changes can have an impact on how many people will read your next attractive email and follow you enticing call to action.

The sender name 

This is the display of who the email is from. Typically you will see three things here: the first and last name of the sender, the name of the company they belong to, or just the email address it came from. To stand out and to add personality, there are some changes you can make.

The sender name should instantly be familiar to the recipient. Having your name might feel personable, but it may not if you’ve never met. If a contact books an appointment with your company online and you send them a confirmation email from yourself a pre-meeting questionnaire, they might not know who you are and keep scrolling through their inbox.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, merely sending from your company seems cold and robotic. That confirmation email will be seen simply as computer-generated response that isn’t worth their attention. 

Come up with a hybrid of both! The sender name might say, “Ron Swanson | Food and Stuff” or “Grady with Infusionsoft”. You want something that tells your recipients both that you are a human and that you represent a company. If your contacts recognize you based on this, their eyes will go to the next area of influence.

The subject Line

The subject line should be like the headline of your newspaper. It’s meant to grab attention and create intrigue. On average, email clients will show about 60 characters of a subject line. There can be a temptation to fit as much content in here as possible, but less is more with the subject line. 

I have found that 20 to 30 characters is the ideal. Here are some examples: “Shorts under $30,” “We miss you at the gym,” “Bacon Thieves are at Work,” or “I will be there tomorrow.” These shorter subject lines instantly cause readers to ask questions. This will also help you avoid embarrassing subject line cut off fails.

Take, for instance, the subject line: “Let’s meet together next Tuesday and I’ll check out your assessment of your home’s appraisal report.” If your recipient’s email client only shows the first 60 characters, things could get awkward.

The preheader

I like to call the preheader the secret subject line. Most email clients will offer preview text of the email contents. This can be the make or break whether your email is opened or passed over. When the preheader says things like “Trouble reaching this message? Click here!” everyone knows that it is an automated email. 

Like the subject line, the character count allowed in the preheader varies by email client and text display size. You typically want your dedicated preheader text to be 40 to 50 characters. Do not use this real estate to say “Hi [merge.first_name!]” No one is impressed with merged first names anymore. You also want to make sure you preheader is above any banners. Some email clients will show the image url as part of the preheader.

Now that you have more space, you can elaborate on your brief subject. Let your readers know what to expect in the email so they know they need it to read it!

“I need some information from you before we meet,” “These summer shorts usually sell for $100,” or “All the best places to hide your bacon around the office,” are good examples.

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When you optimize a sender name, subject line, and preheader; you can increase your open rates dramatically. The beauty is, these are all things you can start doing today! 

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Grady Kerr has been in training and development for nearly 10 years. Seven of that was spent managing his own small business. He currently uses that expertise in coaching new Infusionsoft clients on business strategies and getting started in the software. Unable to leave marketing alone, he also runs his own site, This Mormon Life. Here he writes, produces podcasts, and creates fun clothing.

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