You can have the biggest list in your market but if nobody is opening your emails, it’s worthless. You’re much better off having a small but responsive list that a big one that doesn’t pay any attention to you. Let’s look at a few things you can do to improve your open rate.
Probably the most important factor is to actually provide value so your subscribers want to read your emails. If you just hammer your list with one pitch after another, with a bunch of hype in every message, they’re going to tune you out.
Lots of people don’t bother to unsubscribe from email lists that they don’t read, but they just hit the delete button whenever they see something from those people. Deleting your emails but not unsubscribing has a serious effect because you’ll never really know how many of your subscribers are actually reading your messages.
Another critical issue about getting your subscribers to open and read your email is to avoid using tricks.
Chances are you’ve received emails with a subject line that sounds like you’ve made a sale but when you open it, it’s just yet another pitch.
These kinds of things might trick people into opening your email once or twice, but they’re quickly going to lose all respect for you and start ignoring your messages. You want to build a list that you can leverage for months or even years, not just a couple of messages after they opt in.
The subject line of your message will also affect how many people open and read it. Think of it as a headline for the rest of your email. Arouse your subscriber’s curiosity and make them want to open the email to find out what you’ve got to say. Just make sure it’s related to what they’re actually going to find when they read the email!
And finally, make sure that your messages are reaching your subscribers, not getting flagged as spam by the major email services. This is a bigger problem in some markets than others, since certain words will often trigger spam filters. But you should always test your emails with the major services like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.
Make sure you double-check the spam ratings in your email service as well. eg. Aweber and Imnica give you a spam rating for every email you write. If it’s under a certain number, it should be safe. When it does find problems, it tells you what they are so you can edit your message before sending it.