How To Write Emails Your Guests Will Open

Image courtesy of Master isolated images /
Posted on May 13th 2014

Nothing is more important to a successful email marketing campaign than a high open rate. After all, what good is crafting a powerful and personalised message you think your guests will really love, if it simply sits there, unopened once it drops into their inbox?

Now over 3 decades old, email marketing has taken a backseat to social media strategies in the last few years, but with 91% of consumers still checking their email every day, it’s far from dead.

In 2014, the biggest challenge facing email marketers is getting their content noticed in a time when almost 2 billion emails are being sent each day.

So what’s the secret to success?

These 5 tips will help you stand out in even the most cluttered inbox.

Build a reputation for great email content

Driving a high open rate starts with building your audience’s trust – trust that you have something valuable to say that they won’t be wasting their time by reading. Most marketers worry about irritating their audience with too many sales driven emails, so start by aiming to deliver helpful, relevant information that is of value to your guests. Whether it’s sharing the results of a recent guest survey, highlighting an exciting local event, or offering a sneak preview of a recent refurbishment project, you know more than anyone else what your guests want to hear, and sharing it with them will help you build a reputation for emails that are worth opening.

Keep your subject line clear and concise

Did you know that almost a third of internet users will make up their minds whether to open an email based on the subject line? That means that although a little creativity can sometimes work, this space is no place to experiment. Overly long, wordy subject lines risk confusing your audience, so aim to keep yours short, sweet and extremely clear about the purpose of the email.

Don’t waste your pre-header text

In most email applications, the first line of the email contents is displayed as a preview. This sometimes overlooked pre-header space is ultra valuable and shouldn’t be thrown away with a standard “Can’t see this email? View it online” text. You generally have around 50 characters to play with here so make sure you use them wisely to slip in yet one more reason why your guests should click open the email. If you can stir their curiosity, there’s a good chance you’ll secure that all-important open.

Optimise for mobile

More people are checking their emails via mobile devices than ever before, and if your guests have used theirs to open your content in the past and found it lacking, you can bet they won’t bother to try again. In 2014, you need to be delivering emails that look good and perform perfectly across all devices.

Test, Test, Test

Many marketers spend a lot of time perfecting the design of their email campaigns, and not enough time testing and optimising. While getting the look of your emails right is important, nobody will appreciate the visuals if they don’t actually open the content in the first place!

Experiment with sending emails at different times of the day to see how it impacts engagement rates. It’s thought that most Smartphone owners reach for their devices first thing in the morning – would this be a good time to get your audience opening your messages?

You should also conduct comprehensive A/B testing to identify the kinds of subject lines that work best for your audience.

With a little time, effort and testing, you can steadily improve your email marketing campaign’s open rates to engage more subscribers and generate more bookings.

Have you tried any other tactics for boosting open rates? Let us know in the comments below!


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