Home :: Blog :: Email Marketing: Get More Opens!

One of the core services we offer clients is email marketing – and one that we have a lot of success at! Out of all your digital marketing efforts email can really deliver results. Where social media can be a bit of a scattergun approach, hoping that your updates and tweets reach the right audience at the right time, email marketing is like being a sniper – sending your message direct to those you want to reach.

Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Census highlights that almost three-quarters of companies rate email marketing as “excellent‟ or “good‟ in terms of return on investment. It works because it:-

  • Raises Brand Awareness: Repetition builds reputation,
  • It’s Measurable: It’s easy to score how successful your campaigns are, get precise and valuable metrics into customer behaviour, and tweak your campaigns accordingly,
  • Cost Effective: 60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI*,
  • Easily Shared: With the simple click of a button your offer, insights, or core message can be shared with numerous recipients,
  • Targeted: You can ensure that only people who fulfil specific criteria receive your email. For example, those who have bought from you before or those who have expressed an interest in your services.

That said, it can be nerve-wracking. You press ‘send’ and then cross your fingers; will they open it, will they read it, will they click on your links and act on your CTA, or will it go straight to spam…? The good news is that if you target the right people with the right content you can dramatically increase your open rates and see positive ROI.


For the benefit of those of you who are not (yet!) Stop & Stare clients, here are my tips for getting your targets to read their mail:

Segment Your Lists!

The first step is to ensure that your email lists are segmented so that you can deliver really relevant and targeted content to specific groups of people. Typically you might segment your lists into clients and prospects, but within each of these groups there might be further opportunities to deliver even more relevant information. Perhaps this would involve segmenting your customer list into those that have purchased products from a certain category such as ‘womenswear’, or your prospects into industry sectors.

Understand Your Targets

It’s important to really understand your audience so you can target them in the most effective way.

Why don’t people read emails?

  • Could be that they don’t think they’re relevant to them, or that their buying habits do not fit the email campaign they’ve been targeted with.
  • Perhaps the email appears to be generic and not personalised – how many of us open direct mail addressed to the ‘homeowner’? It’s the same thing.
  • Or that they are receiving too frequent emails, which could result in them unsubscribing and a missed opportunity to target the customer with more personalised emails on a less frequent basis.

The great thing about email marketing is that you can refine your campaigns based on results, for example if you see that certain recipients never open their emails, move them into another segment, look at their behaviour and any data you have on them, and try creating specific content for that particular group.

Email Marketing open rate

Personalise Your Emails

From the senders name to your subject line and the message preview, you only have a limited opportunity to compel your targets to open the email. Therefore it should be personalised as much as possible. An email from a real person, for example ‘Emma-Louise Smith, Stop and Stare Marketing’ will result in better opens than just a company name or email address.

Similarly your subject line should also be personalised. You could add the recipient’s name here, although be careful not to overdo it as it can come across as spammy or a bit big brother. Even better is to ensure that the subject line is relevant to your target audience; perhaps it addresses a challenge they have or explains succinctly what they stand to gain by opening the email.

Finally the message preview must be written with the goal of eliciting an open from the recipient. Give them a compelling reason to want to read the email, a taster of what’s in store.

Have Clear Objectives

Successful email campaigns have clear objectives that result in actions. Whatever you want your audience to do, your email needs to be aligned with this core objective. With this key aim, a good understanding of your targets, and any data gathered from other email campaigns, you have everything you need to create an effective email. Make sure you do some A/B testing too, so you can really refine your campaigns. We recommend trying different images, subject lines, and calls to action (CTA) to test what works best for that particular segment of your list.

Finally, measure everything you do! Email platforms like Dotmailer, MailChimp and AWebber give you excellent metrics that you can learn from. Take a hands on approach so that you always deliver the most appropriate emails to your customers and prospects, moving recipients into different segments as they fulfil certain criteria so you can continue to target them with relevant content.

If you would like to discuss your next email campaign with me, please get in touch.