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5 Things to Consider when Viewing Your Open Rates

Jun 07 2011, 01:22 PM by

Open rates reveal how well your emails are received and give an idea as to which periods in time evoke the most interest from your subscribers. When analyzing your open rates, it is important to remember that improving the rating does not necessarily mean getting the stats up. Improving open rates is really more about bettering your email marketing.

Here are 5 things to consider when viewing your open rates.
1. One Size Fits All?
There is no one size fits all open rate. Similar to how a local market can’t contend with the chain grocery store downtown in sheer sales numbers, open rates will drastically vary from business to business depending on various factors.

Rather than comparing your open rates with those of another business, rationalize the figures by considering the ratings in relation to the total number of emails that were sent out. Take it a step further by measuring how well received your emails are at various times of the day to give yourself an idea of the days and times your blasts are most successful.
2. Low Open Rates
Send out too many emails and people get overwhelmed or become uninterested. Send too little and, again, people lose interest. But low open rates can sometimes mean better business. If fewer people open more emails and make more purchases, a lower open rate is indicative of a higher click-through rate - a much more reliable metric. While this is ultimately good for your business, it can also be indicative of improper segmentation. When was the last time you cleaned your house list?

In the meantime, hone in on the frequency that works best for your specific market and segment in response to behavior. If it’s time to dump unresponsive addresses, do so. It will only increase your ability to target the subscribers who are receptive and engaged.
3. Find a Niche
It’s hard to sustain a consistent frequency when you’re distributing marketing emails every week to your subscribers. Rather than spending your energy on increasing the quantity of emails, try the other route and find the niche that most appeals to your market.

Your open rate may rise and fall depending on your specific niche. If you send out emails that really drill down on your market’s desired topic, your open rate should increase.
4. Changes
Open rates fluctuate due to several variables, but a constant is always seasonal impetus. Your rates will vary from season to season, month to month and even day to day. Monitor these changes and measure your rates in a way that will help you critique and improve your methods throughout the year.
5. Subject Lines
Your subject lines can dictate your open rates. This is often the point at which readers decide whether or not to open your email, so give your emails a chance by crafting seductive yet informative subject lines.

Relevancy, timeliness and clarity are the cardinal rules to abide by when crafting subject lines. Remember that more and more of your subscribers will receive your emails on their phones, which allow less space for grandiose greetings.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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