Email marketing is an effective and cost-efficient way to market your product or service. But ROI for email marketing is pretty much dependent on your open rate.

Good email marketers always look for ways to make sure their emails are opened, and if possible, responded to. You definitely want your audience engaging with your messages. Not only does it mean they actually read your messages, but it also builds your email reputation which lessens the chances of your messages ending up in the spam folder.

email marketing

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Want to improve your open and response rates? Here are several tips to make sure your emails are read and replied to more often.

1. Write a strong subject line

The subject line is the first thing your reader is going to see when they go through their inbox. Therefore, it plays a vital role in whether or not your email gets opened. A strong subject line has at least one of the following characteristics: creates a sense of urgency, evokes curiosity, or at the very least – interesting.

Not putting enough effort into writing your subject line can cost you. Smartphones have made deleting emails as simple as swiping your finger to the screen. You wouldn’t want to be the sender to the emails that get swiped before it even gets opened.

2. Keep your writing concise and straight to the point

People are always in a rush and are always in between tasks. They try to consume emails quickly so they can move on to the next thing on their to-do list. If they spend a few seconds reading your email and they still have no idea what exactly it is that you want to say, they’ll leave it or delete it immediately.

If you really can’t squeeze in everything you have to say in a short message, at least allow the first few sentences of it let your reader know what to expect from the rest of the message. If they find it interesting enough, they’ll take the time to read the whole thing.

3. Compile some swap files

Have you ever received an email where you opened it immediately after reading the subject line, then you suddenly found yourself reading the whole thing from the beginning up to the end? Do you have some emails in mind? Great! Compile them and make your own swipe files!

Read and re-read these emails and analyze them. What made you open them? Why did you keep reading until the end? Did the subject line evoke curiosity? Was the body really that interesting that you had to keep reading? Take inspiration from these emails and keep practicing on your writing; and eventually, your readers will never hesitate to open an email from you ever again.

4. Categorize your list

Check the behavior of your subscribers and do some list segmentation from there. Categorizing your list will make sure you send better-targeted emails to each of your subscribers. For example, for those who haven’t opened the last 10 emails, you can curate messages to get them to engage again. You would have to come up with more creative subject lines to get them to feel a sense of urgency to open your emails.

You can be a bit more lenient with those who always open your emails and click on your links. You can send them messages meant to upsell or upgrade. These subscribers are bound to be more interested to learn more about your other offers since they’ve already read your basic or usual promotions.

5. Avoid getting caught in the spam

Getting your emails to be sent to subscribers’ spam folder is a real bummer. People rarely check their spam messages and your email will likely never be opened and automatically get deleted. One of the most important things you need to do to avoid the spam filter is by making sure you send emails only to those who gave consent.

These are the people who opted in and initiated giving you their details. Never buy a list and then randomly send messages to these people. They can manually tag you as spam and that’s not going to look good for your email reputation. Eventually, the system will automatically recognize you as spam even when the readers did not tag you themselves.

There are also trigger words that can get your email thrown in spam. Learn and avoid these words to decrease the chances of your email never being read. It’s also a good idea to test your emails to make sure they enter the right inbox category.

6. Clean up your list

Your emails are not going to get read if they were received by a dormant or inactive email address. It’s free and easy to create new emails and so people change emails all the time whenever they feel like it. They can easily abandon old emails they used to opt-in and the emails you sent will just add up to your unread email metrics.

You can avoid having a high percentage of unread emails if you clean your list regularly and make sure you are sending emails only to active addresses. There are tools such as Email List Verify to help you clean up your list and decrease the numbers of your unread emails as well as your bounce rates.

Open and response rates are the most important factors of a successful email campaign. You can only sell if your message resonates with your audience. But that’s not going to happen if they don’t even open the email in the first place.

Learn to write valuable and interesting emails to keep your subscribers engaged. Yes, the goal of email marketing is to sell, but if that’s all you do, don’t try and wonder why your audience doesn’t bother reading your message. Nobody likes a pushy salesman.

But if you regularly write nuggets of wisdom your audience can appreciate, you can be sure that your emails will be opened even if the only thing they see is your name on their inbox.

Do you have any other valuable tips to add to this list? Please mention in the comments below.