A recent blog on a fairly major site claimed that if you followed their email marketing tips you would be rewarded with a 98% open rate. Given that it’s rather doubtful the IRS could wrangle a 98% open rate if they sent out emails announcing their dissolution, this whopper of Brobdingnagian proportions should prove to be a knee-slapper to any professional email marketer who has been struggling to get their open rates above the high teens for decades. However, the most recent batch of statistics show that open rates have been creeping up in the past year, so it’s a good time to brush up on the basic tips that help boost open rates. And what better way than to do it musically?

  1. What’s it all about, Alfie. If your subject line is not absolutely crystal clear and portrays the content of your email accurately you will confuse your customer and a confused customer is a lost customer.
  2. Whoooooo are you, dup dup, dup dup. If you’re insisting on sending your emails from “Admin” you’re missing out on the chance to engage your customer on a personal level. They’d much rather receive the email from Sam or Sally at XYZ Corp… a real person with information just for them.
  3. The bigger they come the harder they fall. It may come as a surprise to some but there are mobile email platforms which don’t support subject lines over 50 characters, so if you’re not adept at writing subject lines that are about one third the length of a tweet, now’s the time to start practicing.
  4. No time left for me. An open ended invitation to do something, anything is not going to be anywhere near as effective as one that is time limited, so make sure that your swiftly approaching deadline is evident before they open the email.
  5. Too much, too little, too late. Getting your frequency right is one of the keys to higher open rates so just like too many sends per month can be detrimental, so can too few. Timing is extremely important as if you’re having a weeklong sale it’s not going to do you much good to send out the email three hours before it’s over.
  6. Simply the best. The best subject lines and preheaders are going to give you the best results, so adopt the 50/50 rule. Spend half of your time crafting your email content and the other half getting your subject lines and preheaders just perfect!
  7. The clean-up woman. If your list is dirtied up by a whole bunch of dormant or outright dead email addresses you can’t possibly hope to get your open rates up as they’re constantly being pulled down by the weight of all those zombies. Clean up your list to stop wasting electrons and bandwidth and you’ll see that your open rate automatically zooms.
  8. Lovely spam, wonderful spam, spaaaaaam. Only Monty Python (and most of the population of Hawaii) will think that spam is lovely or wonderful as for the rest of us it’s a major pain. So avoid looking like spam by never using ALL CAPS, multiple exclamation marks !!! or other spam-meister tactics in your subject lines.
  9. Only you and you alone. Exclusivity is a tactic that never gets old or worn out. Every single one of your customers want to feel special instead of just a line on a list that is being mercilessly pitched to for all eternity. Provide them with VIP offerings, specially personalized incentives, and other motivations that target them as individuals in your subject lines and preheaders for maximum effect.
  10. ABC easy as 123. Leave out the C and you have AB which is a rare blood type as well as a rare opportunity to improve your open rates. AB testing (formally known as A/B Split) is by far the best way to improve your open rates by being able to test various From lines, subject lines, and preheaders!

So now that you’re ready to sing along, here’s another song for you: “Money money money money, moooooooooooooooooney!”