5 Best-Practices for Boosting your eCommerce Email Open Rates

Hitting that “inbox zero” is  a personal goal we can all relate to. But as an eCommerce marketer, it’s a real pain! You send 100,000 emails, and on average, only 16.7% of them get opened.

Forget email open rates; getting your audience to read your content, let alone to click through, and make a purchase, has proven to be more challenging than ever before. Email marketing is a complex process that requires a lot of A/B testing. It’s an art you have to master and perfect over time.

But before you jump three steps too far, let’s focus on getting your readers to open their email in the first place. So without further ado, here are 5 best-practices for writing your eCommerce email headlines and ultimately boosting your open-rates.

Be Relevant.

No  matter how affordable or compelling your products are,  you’ll never be able to convince someone to purchase an item they don’t want or need. What you CAN do, is tap into their existing buying motivations.

Most users report “scanning” a subject line and “opening” an email only when there’s something “good” in the title.  A great tool for keeping your eCommerce email subject lines  relevant is Google Trends. Google Trends allows you to  compare and visualize the seasonality of products as well as their general popularity according to search trends. It also lets you compare products to each other. For example, you can explore which is a more popular fruit in the UK (and in which season): Apples or Strawberries?

In this manner, you can decide which product name to put in your subject line and when.

However, note that with a static subject line you can never achieve 100% relevancy to all your customers, because you can’t achieve full customer segmentation. The closest you can get to 100% is by creating  tailor-made dynamic subject lines, specific to each one of your micro customer segments. These are  subject lines that differ from customer to customer, from micro segment to micro segment, within  the same campaign. Discover how Personalics can improve the relevancy of your subject lines to  boost email open rates by up to 30%.

Add Value.

There’s no real science behind  re-marketing – consumers are tired of seeing the same old deals targeting them in every email. In fact, showing the same product more than 3 times instills a sense of antagonism among  your audience, which ultimately increases their chances of unsubscribing.

To prevent this from happening, you need a more systematic approach for choosing the right deals to appear in subject lines. The key is to include deals that add value to your customer rather than disappoint them.  One approach is showing deals that have a proven history of high conversions. Another approach is sparking curiosity by offering inspiring ideas. Subject lines like “a few home design ideas” tend to be  effective  and are considered a good practice for improving email open rates. Just remember to follow up with relevant email content \ deals as not to disappoint your customers…!

Keep it Short.

There’s a reason why phone displays limit to the amount of characters your audiences sees – nobody has time to listen to self-promotional messages . Limit your subject lines  to about 40-50 characters so that your message is sharp and concise  (This is true across all marketing strategies).

Be Human.

Humanising your emails makes the audience feel that there’s a real person at the other end of the line and not a faceless company. One of the most effective ways to humanise your emails is by occasionally using first-person, emotive, and humorous  language. Some examples include: “Don’t touch! These deals are too hot”  and “Just for You”.  This practice may not apply to your  everyday “standard” newsletter, but it’s a great way to break your work routine and improve your email open rates.

At Personalics, our machine learning tools are here to augment your human capabilities, giving your emails  a competitive edge when communicating with customers.

A Few Don’ts:

When it comes to the subtle nuances of email subject lines, there’s a thin line between “attention grabbing” and “spamming”. So as a general rule: avoid overusing exclamation marks, question marks, emojis, currency symbols, and excessively long text. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to use an emoji or a question mark once in awhile,  but overtime this may affect your deliverability and reputation.

This post was written by Itai Eshkar, Marketing Campaign Manager at Personalics