Increasing Email Opens and Reducing Email Deletes (Part 2)

Email Marketing can be very powerful, provided you avoid some of the most common email marketing mistakes. In Part 1 of this series on email marketing we covered some of the common miscues like:

  • Sending the same message to everyone
  • Using unappealing subject lines
  • Sending an email for the sake of sending something
  • Personalizing proves that you know your audience

The following tips will help you increase the email open rates and reduce the email deletes.

Having too many messages

It’s tempting to cram email marketing messages with a lot of information, but people can only handle so much. Be succinct and to the point with your messages. Emails that wander, that have many messages, or many calls to action are confusing. You need to answer the question “What message is important and what action do I want people to take?”.

Messages and calls to action that are focused increase your email marketing results, improve your campaign awareness, and prevent people from getting confused. So make a conscious effort to develop clear messages and offers each time. The better job you do at segmenting your email list the easier it will be to refine your messages and offers.

Confusing email layouts

Emails with lots of text or too many colors can be confusing and difficult to follow. Be careful when you create an email to make sure it isn’t too wordy. People tend to skim an email first, before they read it. Expecting people to read a lot of text isn’t going to happen.  You need to answer the question “How can I make this easy to skim and read?”.

Large blocks of text are difficult to read. So break the text up into small blocks of text. Also using subheadings, bullets and numbers makes it easy for people to scan and read your email. You can also use pleasing (not distracting) colors to break up the text.

Forgetting a clear call to action

All your emails should have a clear call to action – “What do you want someone to do once they read your email”.  It might be click on a link to a sign up for a webinar, download a new catalog or call to register for an event. Whatever your call to action is it should be obvious, it should be clearly stated and it should be consistent with your email message.

If you want your call to action to be obvious in your email make it a button. Research shows people are more likely to click on buttons or images versus text.

Thinking about mobile

Today over 50% of the phones sold are smartphones. Ignoring the fact that more and more people are reading emails on mobile devices (phones and tablets) is a mistake. Avoid designing elaborate or complicated email that may not display properly on mobile devices.

You need to answer the question “How does this email render on a mobile device?”.  Many people are moving to a single column email format to ensure nice mobile viewing. Test your emails on a mobile device before you send it. 

Missing contact details

Emails sent without contact details create issues of trust and suspicion. Without knowing who the email is from people will delete the email and not open it.  If the email is from a trusted source then it stands a higher chance of getting opened. 

 Trusting that the email is coming from someone you know and is not spam or contains a virus is a big deal. You need to answer the question “Who is this email from and how can I reach them?”. We advise people where possible to have the email come from a person within the company or a known email address.  Always include your contact information email address and phone number.

Open or delete

The decision to open or delete an email is made in a few seconds. You can increase your email open rates by avoiding some of common email mistakes that have been highlighted in this two part series.  For more information on email marketing go to

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