1.     Use a person’s name in the from line as opposed to a companies

By using a person’s name instead of a company’s name or generic name like “sales” in the from line you should expect 25%-35% better results. People want to deal with people so it makes sense that email recipients will be more likely to open an email from a person instead of one that is not coming (or at least appear to be coming) from a real person. By including a person’s name in the from line you there is also a chance that the recipient may confuse the name shown, for someone else they know, increasing your open rate. There will also be a small portion of people that will open the email simply because they are curious to find out who the person is that just emailed them. Once you get the recipient to open the email anything can happen.

2.     Use a subject line that is shorter rather than longer

Using a subject line that is 35 characters or less will greatly increase your open rates. People sending real emails rarely write really long subject lines, so having a really long subject line will often trigger thoughts of spam for the recipient. As with all aspects of email marketing it is a good idea to test multiple subject lines to see which ones get the best results. If you are continually testing new subject lines you will develop a wealth of knowledge of what words and phrases generate good open rates for your email list.

3.     Place your greatest hook within the top 3 lines

A large portion of people today utilize some form of a preview pane. As a result, if your email does not capture their attention within the first few lines, your email will be deleted instead of read. To combat this it is critical to include the information, that is most likely going to get the recipient to open your email, within the top 3 lines of your email. This will ensure it is visible in the preview pane. If you do this, you will see higher open rate results.

4.     Send early in the morning

Various studies indicate that the best time to send email marketing messages is sometime between 5:00 am and 8:45 am. My own testing also validates that sending emails early in the morning is the best time to send to get the best results. In my testing the optimal time is between 8:15 and 8:45 but this may be a result of the composition of the recipients on my email lists. All of the email marketing I do is for business to business purposes. Business to consumer email marketing may follow a different pattern. Different markets within the business to business realm may also have different optimal send times. The best thing to do is to test different send times to see what results in the best performance for your particular list.

5.     Find your optimal day to send

Finding the day of send that will result in the best results for your particular mailing list usually results in a 25%-100% increase in results. That means if you are currently making $2,000 in sales from every marketing email you send out, finding the optimal day to send would increase your revenues by $2,000 to $4,000 per email. That could accumulate to a very large number if you send out a lot of emails every year. Lets say you send out only 12 emails a year, that could be $24,000 in sales you are missing out on. If you send out weekly emails that would be $104,000 in annual revenue. You get the idea. To find your optimal day simply send an email that is exactly the same (same from title, subject line content, etc) at the exact the same time on two different days. Take a look at the results and see which day performed better, then take the best day of the two and test that day versus another day of the week.

6.     Have a marketing plan

Probably the biggest single factor to getting good open rates is to be sending your marketing emails to the right people that will be interested in what you are providing. Without a marketing plan that outlines what your positioning is, what your points of difference are versus your competition and who you will target to sell to, it will be very hard to determine the right people to get onto your email list. If you do not have a marketing plan this is where you should start before doing any email marketing as you will be spending time in a manner that is not very productive. If you don’t know how to create a marketing plan do not worry as there are many great free marketing plan templates available on the internet. Here is a link to a great free marketing plan template.

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