Boost your email open rates in 2 simple steps

Hi, there!
I’m Amanda – designer, dreamer, and online marketer.

Zag is the Anchor ‹A› blog dedicated to helping you reach your biggest business goals.

I made a really big discovery recently.

But first a couple of questions:

1) Do you do email marketing?

If you don’t, I still encourage you to keep reading and keep these notes in mind for the future if you do start sending email newsletters at some point.

If you do, DEFINITELY keep reading.

2) Okay, second question, how are your email open rates? Did they suddenly drop off? Wish they were higher?

P.S. The average email open rate across all industries is 18%. That’s a good benchmark to keep in mind. (Source: Campaign Monitor)

I’ve got 2 simple steps here to help you get higher email open rates:

1. Verify your domain

This was the huge discovery I made last week.

Typically, my email open rates are between 22-25%. Suddenly, at the start of summer, they dropped off dramatically to like 12-15%. This was a significant change for me, but I chalked it up to summertime and changed schedules.

Fast forward to the end of summer, and the open rates hadn’t improved any. What the heck was going on?

I didn’t feel I’d changed anything about my subject line approach.

So I reached out to Mailerlite, my email marketing platform, to see if something might be going on on the backend.

They told me, “Your domain isn’t verified. That could be the issue.”

Was it verified at one point and then suddenly became disconnected? I’ll never know.

Basically, my emails weren’t even being delivered to a lot of people on my list. During that timeframe, I sent out 8 emails, and most people probably never even saw it in their inbox. Sigh. 😩

Verifying your domain is simple to do and ensures your emails are actually getting delivered. Your low open rates might not be a subject line issue, it might be a deliverability issue.

Each email marketing platform will have a little bit different process.

Here are a few quick links:

Mailerlite: How to verify your domain

ActiveCampaign: How to verify your domain

MailChimp: How to verify your domain

Flodesk: How to verify your domain

ConvertKit: How to verify your domain

AWeber: How to verify your domain

So what happened after I verified my domain?

My next email had a 23.1% open rate? That’s more like it.

2. Test your subject lines

I never send out an email without testing the subject line. It’s the absolute easiest way to boost open rates.

Some email marketing platforms let you test 2, others 4, etc.

For me, I typically test to about 25% of my list, and then after an hour, the winning subject line is used for the remaining emails.

Over time, you’ll learn what your audience responds best to. For me, I find that straightforward, results-based subject lines are most successful. For others, subject lines that are more shocking, mysterious, or intriguing work better.

Everyone’s audience is different, so one size does not fit all. Also, don’t use an approach that doesn’t feel in alignment with YOU, otherwise, you won’t even want to hit send on that email.

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