3 Tips to Increase Your Agency’s Email Open Rates

3 Minute Read... 

Emails are a tough subject because there’s no secret formula when it comes to crafting an email and subject line, what works for one agency and target audience may not work for another. That’s why it’s so important to split test, track open rates, click-throughs, opt-outs, etc. The only real trick to a successful email campaign is to try new techniques, monitor the results, and adjust accordingly. Eventually, you’ll get it dialed in but you’ll always have some rockstar emails and some total duds, it’s just the nature of the business.

One of the biggest influencing factors for email open rates is your target audience. You’ve got to have a clearly defined target audience and create content that appeals directly to them and their needs. A great topic and subject line won’t mean a thing if the recipient isn’t interested in the topic. I mean why would a donut shop send out an email on the benefits of eating lettuce? That’s not what their subscribers want to hear, and it’s certainly not why they opted in. You’ve got to develop a subject line that entices your target audience. It has to catch their eye and real them in, all in about 30 characters. That’s about how much space you have on a mobile device, and mobile email has increased 180% in the last 3 years (1).

A great topic and subject line won’t mean a thing if the recipient isn’t interested in the topic.

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Gone are the days of long wordy subject lines, you have 5-10 words to convey your message and get them to click. Here are the top 3 tips to make those characters count and increase open rates.

1. Emojis

Email marketing list building tricks

Which email in that list caught your eye? The one with the turkey leg right? Experian found that 56% of brands that used emojis in the subject line saw an increase in unique open rates. This is because of the pattern interrupt. When you’re scanning an inbox full of plain text your eye is drawn to that little colorful icon. They also have the ability to say a lot with just one character, a valuable resource when every word counts.

Now there are some pitfalls to emojis because they may not render correctly in every inbox, so make sure you test the emails before you send them out to your list. If the recipient can’t view it properly they’ll just get that grey box ▢  or even the word “emoji.” Lastly, you don’t want to overdo it. Use emojis wisely and only when they fit the context of the email, your audience will get burned out if you use them too much. 

Below you’ll see some of our favorite websites for copying and pasting emojis into subject lines.




2. Personalize

Personalized emails are 22.2% more likely to get opened (2). It makes the email seem like it was written specifically for the recipient, and there’s no word people like hearing more than their own name. This is relatively easy to do with most email programs, it tends to be as simple as clicking merge field. As always, test before you hit send. There’s nothing worse than getting an email that says Hey [Contact First Name].

email deliverability for digital agencies

It's true, there's nothing that gets your attention more than seeing or hearing your name. 

Treat your subject line like a call to action. A call to action is that popup on a website that says “Click here to download our free ebook” and what do you normally do when you see those? Click there and download the ebook! You can use an email subject line to do the same, tell your audience to do an action and they will be more likely to do it. Just like with CTAs tell them exactly what it is they’re getting. Try subject lines like “Click here to get your discount code”, “Access our entire resource library”, or “[New Post] 5 Software Systems You Can’t Live Without”

The newer generations are used to emails, they’ve seen all the tricks. Being upfront and honest about exactly what is inside the email can be a breath of fresh air and a tantalizing offer.

Alright, you’ve got my top three tips to increase your open rates now it’s up to you to go out there and implement them. Take your current email subject lines and add some emojis, personalize a few, and create some calls to action. Then as always, monitor the results and track how well they do. You may find that your target audience responds incredibly well to personalized subject lines but could care less about emojis. So adjust future campaigns accordingly, and of course don’t be afraid to try something new.

(NOTE: Automated email campaigns will make this entire process SO much easier. Learn more about the strategy and benefits in our online Marketing Automation Course)

  1. Emailmonday https://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics
  2. Adestra http://www.adestra.com/

Lee Goff

Hyper focused on serving digital agency owners grow, scale, and enjoy their digital marketing agencies. It is hard to grow a digital agency unless you have the right tools and guidance.

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