Email Marketing: Unhappy With Your Open Rate?

Have you felt the disappointment (sting) of sending out a broadcast to your list and having only a handful of subscribers … or maybe even no one … open your email?

Ouch.

If you’re anything like me, you go back to your contact management system and re-read your message about a hundred times, hoping to figure out what went wrong.

You may have sent out a very special announcement, a super duper freebie offer, a biz tips video, an invitation to a teleclass, a survey, or an inspirational story – or something else you felt your list would find valuable.

And yet they’re not responsive.

Hardly anyone opens your emails and you’re left, puzzled, as to what you should do to improve your open rate.

Setting up a series of effective, action-oriented autoresponder messages isn’t as easy as people may lead you to believe.  It’s a skill you must learn, like any other business-building activity, and there’s a blueprint you need to follow.

A willy-nilly approach just won’t cut the mustard.

If you’re experiencing a dismal open rate, you’re basically talking to brick walls and marketing to thin air.  An autoresponder blueprint will help you learn “how-to”:

1.)         Develop a vibrant relationship with your subscribers

2.)         Write effective emails

3.)         Monetize your messages

4.)         Find interesting topics that target your audience

5.)         Craft compelling subject lines

I recently discovered a dynamic course (and one that’s priced to fit my slim budget!) called AR Blueprint.  Since I know, like, and trust one of the developers, I figured it was a risk-free slam dunk.

Check it out if you’d like to see big improvements in your open rate and reap more financial rewards by effectively marketing to your list.

  • You’ve taken my stand on this issue, Michelle, and so eloquently put it into words. Thank you. BTW – I don’t need any additional stress in my inbox either!

    Don’t know why Shakespeare just popped into my head, but …

    “To subscribe or unsubscribe. THAT is the question.”

    And that’s the same question our target market is asking themselves, too. 🙂

  • LOL @ your comment about Mercury, Melanie. Ain’t that the truth!

    Open rates can be a tricky stat to get a handle on, for sure. I watch mine for overall trends and anytime I send out a promo (vs. my regular newsletter) just to see what’s happening.

    I’m with the previous commenters. I hate those deceptive subject lines (they’re illegal according to CAN-SPAM if they’re truly deceitful and not just sneaky but still related to the content in the email). I also really don’t like subject lines that aim to shock me into opening them and that’s a sure way to get me to unsubscribe. I don’t need additional stress in my inbox.

    The good thing about email marketing though is that when we keep it all permission based (opt-in) and respect our readers enough to deliver helpful content and not insult their intelligence, it’s one of the best ways to stay in touch and market. And there are so many honest and legit ways we can learn to improve it by writing better headlines, building qualified lists, being consistent, etc.

  • Hi Paul — so glad you made my blog one of your holiday destinations. It’s wonderful to see you here!

    Industry standards are around 12%. Ideally (you know, if Mercury were NOT in Retrograde and we lived in a perfect world), through email marketing campaigns, online marketers and small business owners are shooting for a 50% open rate.

    You’re in a unique (emailing) situation. Daily tips, giveaways, inspirational or motivational messages, etc., are in a category all their own. I would guess your open rate, on any given day, might be a hefty 60-75%.

    Un-subscribe rates are ‘sketchy’ at best. I don’t have any statistics to share with you because there’s too many doggone variables and a whole lot of unknowns. Some people have experienced zero unsubscribes for several months running and then one certain type of promo sent out will cause a boatload of subscribers to suddenly jump ship. It happens. And like my dad used to like to say … shit happens. 🙂

    I experience sporadic unsubscribes and, so far, I haven’t really had a reason to worry. A few here and a few there is typical. And most of these folks just want to grab my freebie and run. And that’s perfectly okay with me. I figure they’re people who probably wouldn’t haven’t purchased anything from me, anyway, and aren’t interested in building a long term relationship.

    Wishing you jingle bells and joy this holiday season!

  • Hi Melanie –
    My list gets an email from me everyday – they expect it and look forward to it! I am told that they open my email first thing in the morning! Now, when they sign up for my list, the know they are getting a Gratitude Burst everyday.

    What is considered a good open rate? And, is there an expected/acceptable un-subsribe rate that one can expect?

    Thanks!
    Be Well.
    Paul.
    http://AllAboutGratitude.com

  • Good point, Hans!

    Adding “value” to your subscribers’ lives and businesses is the foundation for good email marketing campaigns. It’s okay to let your list know about a special sale or something helpful that you’re recommending — the KEY is to create a healthy “balance” of messages.

    If you’re sending out too many promos, people will simply remove themselves from your list — and you don’t want that to happen!

  • I think the most important is to only write email that will help your readers. Some marketing crap like “GET 50% DISCOUNT ON…” often leads to my spam bin instantly (and all following emails). My advice is to make sure your readers will benefit from your emails.

  • Kudos to you, Lynn! To be honest, with the number of years I’ve been online, I’m really surprised we’re still seeing this kind of garbage in action.

    I thought, for sure, these kinds of less-than-stellar tactics would have disappeared (or should I say, “been obliterated!) by now. But nope. Still coming across them almost daily. 🙁

  • I agree Sheila and Melanie. And I have sat through webinars listening to these techniques thinking, come on, we are educated entrepreneurs, why would I want to write a ‘tricky’ subject line – I would never want to ‘trick’ my clients into doing or wanting anything!

  • I’ll second that motion, Sheila!

    Sometimes I think it’s just sheer ignorance and other times … arrogance. At this point, those “tricky” subject lines just insult my intelligence.

    A part of me believes someone is teaching these poor folks to write subject lines like that, leading them to believe it’s acceptable practice. WRONG.

  • Melanie,

    Just like a good headline a good subject line for your emails make all the difference.

    I dislike those tricky email subject lines so bad that I gone just as soon as I get them….you know the ones, “Your affiliate commission”

    I am so surprised at how many big time marketers end up in my spam box because they write spammy subject lines.

  • Hey Tristan! It’s always a pleasure to have you stop by and grace my blog. Thanks. 🙂

    You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head. Above and beyond anything else … once you’ve mastered getting someone to subscribe to your list, that’s when the real work begins. You can’t expect your list to just sit there like bumps on a log. If you’re not mindful of how to keep the relationship moving in a positive and enriching direction …

    Those logs will start rolling away!

  • Great post, Melanie. I think those 5 things you mentioned are essential, yet a lot of people get so caught up in trying to build their list they forget how to make the most of it!

    Thanks!

  • Thanks for taking a stroll on over to my blog, Lynn – nice to see you here!

    “Communication” is everything in life and for small business owners and online marketers, the money is is the list. So we really need to hone our email-marketing communication skills! And that always begins by knowing how to craft a series of compelling autoresponder messages.

    Building a long term relationship with your email subscribers really is do-able with some A,B,C, and 1,2,3 blueprint guidelines. 🙂

  • Great tips Melanie. I agree with your importance to a ‘blueprint’. Planning and then executing are steps to success when emailing, posting and communicating with your visitors. I enjoy your blog very much.

  • I’ll back you up on that one, Kathy, 110%!

    I’ve been on lists where I’ve been emailed at least 3 to 4 times a week. Unbelievable (and pesky). I don’t know how those folks manage to keep their subscribers. I get off those lists as fast as I get on them.

    Melanie
    P.S. Loved your guest post from Gary — outstanding!

  • There is no doubt that e-mail marketing is the backbone of financial success. I agree, I think one of the biggest challenges is “Open Rate.” Having a command of the points you mentioned in this post is certainly the key to increasing your open rate.

    I would like to add one more point. Finding a balance of how often you should e-mail your list.

    I for one… un-subscribe to “pests” no matter how great their subject line is or content is.