Email Open Rates And How To Improve Them

Unless your recipient knows you or recognises your name or brand, your email open rates all come down to your subject line.

And even if your intended email recipient does know you, but doesn’t yet entirely trust you, then the subject line still rules.

(please bear with me – I realise you probably already ‘get’ this, but there’s more to it…)

So knowing that, most marketers spend a lot of time (which is a good thing) figuring out the best, most alluring, curious, conscience pricking or plain outrageous subject lines to grab the attention of their audience.

We also know that the subject line must connect with the content of the email in some way. If it doesn’t, then your integrity and reputation will evaporate faster than the virtual ink used on your email.

And finally, we know that certain words trigger VERY bad open rate responses…

Or do we?

I’ve just come across this brilliant (and free) online tool from Adestra you can use to check the keywords in your email’s subject line.

It compares your words to over 90,000 email campaigns in their database and lets you know if the keyword improved or decreased the open rates from those campaigns.

Each campaign had a minimum recipient list of 5,000 and involved more than  2 billion sent emails.

The downside is it can only check a single word at a time, but that’s not a problem. You can punch in each keyword and take a note of the results until you have covered your whole subject line.

If you find a low performing keyword, use a thesaurus to come up with an alternative and test that (making sure you don’t lose the punchiness of your subject line of course!).

Adestra point out that this method ignores context, so the only real way to test is to send out your emails, but even so, I think this is a brilliantly simple tool to avoid the worst offending words.

Here’s the link:


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