How to Get More Opens and Fewer Unsubscribes in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

According to statistics, the average employee receives 120 emails per day.

The typical unsubscribe rate for most email marketing campaigns is between 0.2% and 0.5%, but anything above 0.5% is considered far too high. Thus if you had an email list of 1 000 subscribers you could expect to lose between 2 and 5 subscribers for each email campaign.

Looking at open rates, digital marketers should be aiming for an open rate of between 15 and 25% for their emails. To take the example of the list which has 1 000 subscribers, a good open rate would be between 150 and 250 subscribers.

However, far too many digital marketers are increasing their unsubscribe rates and decreasing their open rates, all because of silly mistakes such as not listening to their subscribers.

In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the more common mistakes that digital marketers are making with email marketing, and the best way to fix them.

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Not Doing Proper Audience Research

Your audience members sign up to your email marketing list because they are interested in what your company has to offer, and they feel that your communications will add value to their lives. 

One of the worst possible things that marketers can do is to send their list promotions or thought-leadership pieces that have no relevance to them whatsoever.

This means that it’s absolutely critical for digital marketers to segment their databases well and to be very careful about the promotions that are sent to these various sections. If irrelevant material is constantly sent to your database, you’ll find that your unsubscribe rate will increase dramatically.

Sending Far Too Many Emails

When people are bombarded by emails from a particular company, they will switch off and will start to find these emails irrelevant to them even though they may be packed with extremely useful information.

There has been a lot of animated debate over the years about how frequently digital marketers should send emails, but unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule. The general rule of thumb is that you need to test various frequencies and see what people respond to better.

Pushy Sales Copy

As we said previously, people sign up to your email list because they feel that your emails will add value to their lives. Pushy sales copy – which focuses solely on trying to sell them something – does not add any value.

Yes, the purpose of your email list is ultimately to sell, but people do not respond well to someone constantly trying to sell them something. 

To get around this, you need to plan your email-sending schedule well. Send them helpful and useful information that they will be able to use in their daily lives and find ways of cleverly integrating your marketing messages into this.

Unfocused Copy

One of the golden rules that many marketers don’t obey when putting together emails is the Rule of One. What this means is that to deliver an impactful message, your email needs to deal with one subject. For example, if you’re selling a product, stick to talking about this one item. Don’t be tempted to sell other related products in your email.

If you stick to one subject in your email, the impact of the message will be greater than if you deal with a number of different topics. The result is that your message will be better received by your audience who will be more inclined to make a purchase.


Not Making Emails Skimmable

People receive countless emails per day. Rather than reading the whole email, they will often just skim the headline and possibly the first paragraph if the subject line takes their interest. This means that you need to put the reason – why they should read your email – at the top of the body of your text.

So many marketers make the mistake of hiding the value that the email will deliver right down at the bottom of the page. If the value is stuck here, not many people will see it. Showcase what you have up front so that you’ll increase the read rate of your emails.

Not Personalising Emails

People don’t respond well to generic emails. This is because they get the impression that you haven’t taken the time to get to know them and, ultimately, they will feel that you don’t care.

When you address your emails to your base, make sure that you adopt the appropriate register that is in keeping with your brand’s positioning. For example, if you have a formal brand, addressing your base with “Hi” is not appropriate. In the same vein, if your brand is informal “Dear” may not necessarily be in keeping with the image that you want to portray.

On this note, don’t put the sender as the company name. Rather put down a person’s name as the sender. For example, if it’s a marketing mailer put down the business development manager or marketing manager’s name. If it’s a thought-leadership piece, put the author of the thought leadership piece as the sender.

Every email subscriber base is diverse because it is made up of different people with different characteristics. This means that the best practices may not apply to each list in the same way. The take-home is that you need to constantly be testing your email marketing list to ensure that you know what practices work best for them. Keep a close eye on the stats of each of your email marketing campaigns so that you can see what worked, continue with it, see what didn’t work and make alterations.