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As the quarter begins, with fresh quotas to achieve, you find yourself actively chasing new prospects. Launching cold email campaigns. Carefully lacing words to impress the prospect. Yet as the days pass, the email open rates are disappointingly low. Why? Because an average prospect’s inbox is constantly flooded with tons of unsolicited/ cold emails. And more often than not, your emails either end up in the spam or trash folders.

The solution then? Stop focusing all your attention on crafting the best email. Instead, balance it with equal focus on other key elements that affect an email open rate. Read on to find what those elements are and some tips to leverage them to your advantage.

1. Subject line: Keep it short but concise

First impressions matter! And you can create the best one with an engaging subject line. According to OptinMonster, 47 percent of recipients make their decision to open the email based on the subject line. The subject line contains the most important few words of your email. It instantly determines if your prospect turns into a customer or disengages completely.

Hence keep it short, clear, and address the recipient by their first name. Also, choose words that tap into innate human emotions. Use clever wordplay for instance that either cracks them up, piques their curiosity, or has them saying ‘Tell me more’.

“Before your next pipeline review”, for example, is a great way to get your prospect interested. “Two more days” on the other hand invokes urgency and guarantees an immediate opening. ‍

2. Sender’s name: Use your name not the company’s

The sender’s name is yet another aspect that draws your prospect’s attention when they receive an email. And since there is no dearth of spammers in today’s world, receiving it from a real person highly increases the chances of opening the email. So, next time you send an email rather than using a generic name such as ‘Sales Team’, personalize it with a name and use it in the email id too.

Why, you ask? Simply because people respond to people. Moreover, it builds trust. The same trust that boosts sales and leads to business growth. It also creates an impression on them that they are working with you - an individual to whom the customers matter.‍

3. Preview text: Make it compelling

The preview text gives a sneak peek into the email content. And the more compelling you make it, the more email open rates you get. Email applications such as Outlook and Gmail display a few words of the email next to the subject line.

This is your chance to include a crisp synopsis and grab the reader’s attention. Mind you, it shouldn’t be more than 50 characters. This is an excellent chance to influence the prospect’s decision to click open and must not be missed.

4. Day and time: Pick the right ones

All your efforts to get more email opens can go into vain if it is not sent on the right day and time. The rule of thumb, therefore, is to know your target audiences well and send them emails when they are most likely to check their inboxes. Prospects that work a 9 to 5 job are more likely to open emails when sent during their work hours as opposed to before or after.

Targeting prospects’ lunchtimes and evening breaks could also be a great way to get their attention. GetResponse, an email marketing software in its analyses, found that the average email open rates were highest on Fridays while weekends saw a drop in email open rates.

However keep in mind, not all prospects are the same and the same rules may not apply to everyone. Hence testing and tweaking the approach can go a long way in increasing email open rates.


5. A/B testing: Do not neglect it

Contrary to popular belief, A/B testing is not limited only to landing pages! It works equally well for email marketing too. The two versions (A and B) aid in measuring how impactful your effort to engage users is. You should thus test all the above email elements such as the subject line, sender field, preview text, and appropriate send timings to increase your email open rates.

This is a popular marketing experiment. You will not only know your audience better but will also target them in the most effective manner. Take the subject line for instance. Testing it will answer many questions. Is it interesting or vague? Is it too long or too short? Or is it even the right approach for all customer segments?

Now, you have a better understanding of the elements that influence an email open, don’t you? So, use these and see your email open rates go sky-high.