Writing and sending emails may sound like an easy task. Think of all the great email marketers you know: whenever you read something they send, it feels like they wrote it so effortlessly, isn’t it? The truth is, great copy requires skill and labor. But if people don’t read your emails, that doesn’t mean you didn’t put in the work. A low open rate has other reasons, too, and we’re going to talk about them today.
So, you looked at your last 10 reports and studied your engagement rate. Open rate: depressing. Click-through rate: makes you want to cancel your email service plan and delete your email list. We know how frustrating it can be when you see that people don’t read the emails you’ve worked so hard for. But before you say that email marketing isn’t for you, read this article.
Photo credit: Campaign Creators
You write great emails, but your list is a mess. How to boost your open rate
Those great email marketers we were mentioning in the beginning – yes, they do write fantastic copy, but they make sure it reaches their subscribers.
Think about how many people you have on your list right now. There may be 5,000 or 45,000. Are they all valid, active and safe email addresses that belong to real people? If you’ve never cleaned your email list, they’re most likely not.
Even when you follow email marketing practices to the letter, your list will still get clogged by invalid, dormant and fake contacts. Within a year, about 30% of your database becomes inoperative, no matter how healthy it was at the beginning.
People change email addresses more often than you would imagine. They change jobs, or they become unhappy with their email service, and leave you with an abandoned email address. These accounts are like deserted houses; no one lives there anymore to open the door. So how can your open rates look good?
Then, there are bots that can sign up on your mailing list, even when you use the double opt-in method. Spam traps. Catch-all emails. Disposable, role-based, abuse emails. Not only are they worthless, but they hurt your sending score and email deliverability.
So, what do you do to protect yourself, keep your email list in shape and watch your open rates grow?
Try using an email verifier. It’s a smart, sophisticated system that removes all the unwanted email addresses we were talking about. The good news is that you don’t have to download and install any software on your computer. You only upload your messy email list on the email verification platform and get it back clean.
The benefits of letting an email verifier clean your list are undeniable. Once your email hygiene improves, your bounce rate is going to decrease and more of your subscribers are going to see your emails. Your sender score will be better, so your blasts are more likely to land into the inbox, not the Spam folder. Finally, as you’re going to reach the inbox, your open rate will be higher.
How about content engagement – more precisely, click-through rates? Let’s see what we can do about that.
Copywriting: it takes practice
We have to start by saying that copywriting is a profession. Just like you learn to become a doctor, a lawyer or a carpenter, the process involves a good amount of technical knowledge. Most of all, though, it requires practice.
If you don’t have a lot of copywriting experience, do your best to gain it. Read a lot. Books of all kind, magazines, newspapers. Remember marketing strategist David Meerman Scott, who was saying how important it is to think like a publisher? Or David Ogilvy, who used to recommend advertisers to copy journalism techniques? Journalists know how to tell a story, so implement their style in your emails and you’ll see a significant increase in your open rate.
Want to go even further? Take a copywriting class! Some of them are free and you can learn a great deal from them. Others come with a price tag, but the amount of knowledge you’ll gain is going to pay off. If you want a specific recommendation, our top pick is “The Copy Cure,” a copywriting course created by Marie Forleo and Laura Belgray. These two copywriting pros will teach you how to write emails people love to receive.
Also, write. As much as possible, even if some of that copy if going to end up in the trash. Take the best out of the resources you find and apply it in your email writing. In time, your subject lines will sound better, your open rate will improve, and you'll build a stronger connection with your subscribers.