Open Rates on an Email Blast

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Feb 10, 2010

A lot of time is being spent on cre­at­ing and send­ing email blast to cus­tomers and prospects today main­ly because it is afford­able. A ser­vice com­pa­ny can cre­ate and send an email blast in as lit­tle as 2 – 3 hours the first time around and 45 – 60 min­utes for addi­tion­al emails, depend­ing on how much con­tent they have insert­ed. Some email blast com­pa­nies even offer free accounts, like MailChimp (a list under 500). So its cost effec­tive and sim­ple to use soft­ware, email­ing is a great way to reach cus­tomers. The one prob­lem that most com­pa­nies I’ve talked to have had is get­ting their cus­tomers to open and view their email. This is known as open rates.“The high­er your open rate, the more view­ers read or glanced at your email newslet­ter. If you cre­ate a beau­ti­ful and well thought-out email cam­paign only to get low open rate, it can be quite dis­cour­ag­ing. I wish I can share good news, but email mar­ket­ing typ­i­cal­ly does not pro­duce high open rates. Con­sumers are get­ting use to hit­ting the delete but­ton when they see a famil­iar email come into their inbox. I believe there can be a cou­ple of ways to increase your open­ing rate. The first way is sim­ple: 1) Have a good list with loy­al customers/​fans. Think about it, what emails do you open on a reg­u­lar basis? I tend to open emails from Ama​zon​.com, Apple and Peets Cof­fee. Why? Because I buy from them and they have good con­tent. I use to open emails from LL Bean until I start­ed receiv­ing an email a week. I thought it was get­ting out of hand and unsub­scribed. So, make sure you have the right peo­ple sub­scribed to your emails and make sure your con­tent is very use­ful and inter­est­ing to your audi­ence. The sec­ond way I believe you can increase your open rate is by hav­ing a good Title.” Most pro­fes­sion­al writ­ers and jour­nal­ist, I’ve heard, spend the same or more time think­ing of the title of their arti­cle as they do on the research and writ­ing of the arti­cle. It is the same for an email cam­paign. Think care­ful­ly about what will strike the inter­est of your read­ers. I recent­ly put togeth­er an email blast for an orga­ni­za­tion that had a paint­ing tip that men­tioned a bank and mar­ket­ing. So, because my read­ers were painters I titled the email blast, Talk to your bank about adver­tis­ing.” We got a 40% open rate. The indus­try stan­dard for a non-prof­it is about 19%. The next email blast, we got a 45% open rate due to anoth­er fun and cre­ative title. Am I hap­py with a 40% open rate? Absolute­ly! Some emails end up going into the spam box, and there is noth­ing you can do about it (with­out pay­ing extra!). Final­ly, is it pos­si­ble to get a very high open rate such as 75%? To be hon­est, I don’t know. I’ve nev­er seen an open rate above 65%. If you have a list of 20 peo­ple who are absolute rav­ing fans of your com­pa­ny, it might be pos­si­ble to get 75%…but real­is­ti­cal­ly, I’d say you have a very suc­cess­ful cam­paign if you are above 25%.Also, if you have a low open rate it means you are either send­ing too many emails to often, don’t have a good list or a clever title.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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