What to Do If You Have a Low Email Open Rate
  • 10 Nov 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
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What to Do If You Have a Low Email Open Rate

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Article Summary

Send most of your regular campaigns to your active customer segment

When you make a list of recipients, select different time intervals in which your customers took specific actions. These intervals may depend on how often you email them.

  • If you send emails every day, segment the customers into those who have opened your emails or clicked links in them within the last 90 days and new customers who have joined less than 45 days ago.
  • If you send emails once a week or less, include the customers who have taken actions over a longer period, such as 180 days.
  • Set a target open rate based on the Email Health report’s threshold values.
  • Send regular campaigns to the selected segment and evaluate the recipient engagement.

If the open rate drops below the target value, refine the conditions; for example, include the opens and clicks from the last 60 days.

If the open rate is higher than expected, expand the criteria for the customers you classify as active. For instance, pick the customers who have opened or clicked links in your emails within the last 120 days.

If the open rate remains high, consider including customers who have opened the campaigns at least once in the last 180 days.

Reduce the frequency of bulk campaigns sent to inactive customers

Include customers who have not opened any emails within the last 90 days in only the most important and useful campaigns, no more than once a week.

Clean up your email list by:

  • Unsubscribing long-term customers who neither opened your emails nor clicked links in them. See an example of a segment like this in this article;
  • Attempting to re-engage customers who have opened your emails before. Some of these customers may start opening campaigns again and become a part of the segment of active customers that receives emails frequently.

If a customer is inactive after reactivation, wait one month and then remove them from your email list.

For examples of reactivation segments, please refer to this article.

Set up automatic reactivation of customers based on emails

Enable automatic reactivation to detect and re-engage inactive customers through email-based reactivation algorithms. These algorithms maintain your database order and remove dormant customers before their inactivity affects email deliverability.

Reactivation is the last communication before an inactive customer is removed. We recommend including a button in a farewell email that a customer can click to automatically rejoin the database.

Read more about reactivation in this article.

Send a campaign when a customer is most likely to open it

If your subscribers are located in different time zones, set up your campaigns to send based on the recipient’s time zone in Flows and Bulk Campaigns to specify the time when your customers are available and can engage with your emails.

Your email campaign may require other specific features depending on your customers and the nature of your business. Some customers, for example, are more likely to open emails during lunch or on their way home from work.

To personalize the sending time, use the Best Sending Time algorithm.

Experiment with email subject lines

  1. Personalize your email subject line. Include a customer’s name if you know it, or a product’s title if the email is related to the customer’s recent actions or order.
  2. Keep the subject line short. We recommend limiting it to 7 words including emojis or 36 characters maximum. By keeping the subject line short, you can also avoid character loss when your email is opened on a mobile phone.
  3. Put the most important words at the beginning or capitalize them. Use this method to announce a discount, for example, or to immediately draw your customers’ attention to some specific information in your email.
  4. Intrigue your recipient. Truncate the subject line at the most interesting point so that the customer would want to learn more and open the campaign. It is highly important that the abbreviated subject line matches the email content, otherwise your customers may unsubscribe or mark your letter as spam.
  5. Ask a question in the subject line and answer it in the campaign.
  6. Experiment with unusual word combinations in the subject line to evoke emotions.
  7. Announce something your customer has been waiting for — e.g., "A popular item is back in stock".
  8. Try different emojis but do not overdo them. Well-chosen emojis can increase your open rate, but too many can backfire.

Refer to this article for more sophisticated ways to increase your open rate.