Why am I asking you to unsubscribe?

In truth, if you are reading this post, I’d really rather keep you on my list. The fact that you are reading it means you are engaged and opened my email. but here’s the thing: email “subscribers” who do not open your emails are actually a negative. The size of your email list is NOT a vanity metric. Unlike the number of followers you have on social media or the number of subscribers you have on YouTube, no one other than you knows the size of your email list. So growing your list just to get more numbers really serves no purpose.

Instead, you want active, engaged readers who open your emails and click on the links. People on your email list who have not opened an email from you in over 3 months count against you and your deliverability rates. If you have poor open rates, your emails are start to be seen as spam by the email service providers, meaning that your deliverability rates go down, even for the people who DO want to hear from you. Thus, you are actually better off not having someone on your list if they are interested in what you are sending them.

So if that is you, and you really don’t want to hear from me, click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this post. I”m trying to clean up my list so the people who actually care about what I have to say and enjoy the quality of content I provide for free each week will continue to get this newsletter delivered to their inbox.

Here’s what you want instead…

So instead of importing email addresses from various sources into your subscriber list or getting business cards and entering them into your email list just to have thousands of people on your list, you really just want someone who is actually going to open your emails, engage with them, and even respond back by sending a return email. Someone with an email list of 200 people who has a 30% open rate is better off than someone who has a list of 2,000 emails who gets a 3% open rate. In both cases, you got 60 people to read the email, but the higher open rate of the smaller list improves your reputation score, while the lower open rate hurts your reputation score.

If you just look at metrics across the board, you can get a good idea of how your emails should be performing:

  • Your average email open rate should be between 15-25%.
  • Your average click-through rate should be about 2.5%.

Now that you understand the average click and read rates for email campaigns, you will have a better idea of how your emails are performing. But now what? How do you improve on this? Here are a few tips:

Subject Line

47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line and 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Your subject line is critical.

  • Keep your email subjects simple. The less complex and more direct, the better.
  • Don’t use CAPITAL LETTERS and/or lots of punctuation!! It’s too much, right? Who wants to open an email with this subject line?
  • Be transparent. Tell your users what your email is about. Don’t be sneaky.
  • Be personal. Including the recipient’s name in the subject line may increase the likelihood of the email being opened by 22%.
  • Don’t use buzzwords. Including certain overused buzzwords like “free”, “help”, “reminder”, etc. is likely to decrease your open rates.
  • Offer relevant incentives. Offer freebies, discounts or other incentives to give users a reason to read the email.
  • Don’t forget to A/B test. Look at open rates for different subject lines and compare results.
  • Be mobile-friendly. Ensure your subject lines can be read on any device. Make them short and to the point (under 30 characters).

Avoid ending up in the SPAM folder

Only about 79% of permission-based emails sent by legitimate email marketers reach the inbox. The criteria for spam is set by a variety of rules – such as suspicious formatting, image-to-text ratio, missing information (address and unsubscribe options), incorrect code, etc. – the evaluation of which results in overall spam score. If your email score is higher than the acceptable score, then it will be flagged as spam.

Spam filters are more likely to let your emails through if you appear to have a personal connection with the recipient. Use merge tags to include the recipient’s name in the subject line, and don’t forget to ask readers to add your email to their address book.

Segment your list and keep it fresh

It’s pretty simple: not everyone on your list wants all your emails, especially if there are specific offers that don’t apply to them. Send emails only to the people that it makes sense to send them to. For example, we often exhibit at tradeshows in Dallas, but if you live somewhere other than Dallas, we don’t send pre-show mailing to you.

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Keeping your list fresh is really what we started out talking about in this post, and it is important if you want to get higher deliverability rates. Remove subscribers who have not engaged with any of your emails for at least 6 months (Yes, even if you don’t unsubscribe, by simply not opening our emails, you may get deleted).

Resend your emails

Sometimes people don’t open their email because they get busy and your message gets overlooked. Frequently I delete hundred of emails at a time and yours might be one of them, just because I didn’t see it. If your email didn’t get opened the first time, segment your list and try re-sending it to just those who didn’t open it the first time.

Hopefully, you found some value in today’s post. If not, go ahead an unsubscribe. I’ll be sad and miss you, but my deliverability rates will improve.

 

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