The ultimate goal of email marketing efforts is to invite readers to both engage and to react to the content inside. But one of the most common missteps committed in this space isn’t just crafting interesting and useful content inside the email, but failing to offer enough interest or intrigue to get customers to open it. Another challenge is sending the emails at times consumers are less likely to engage.Email Open Rates

With either challenge, the problem is quite similar–you’ve dedicated valuable time to efforts that will most often go unrewarded. Why, you ask? Because even the best content and most appealing graphics are completely useless if the customer doesn’t click through. Here are some tips on ways to improve your email open rates and get your audience to engage with you.

Subject Lines

The most recent Email Statistics Report, published by The Radicati Group, a technology marketing research firm, reveals that worldwide email traffic estimates for 2014 is expected to top 191 billion emails per day. Those numbers imply that the competition for attention amongst all those emails sent is fierce. Therefore, as a marketer, you’ll want to adhere to the following subject line suggestions to improve your chances for getting your email opened.

First, using a short, targeted subject line is best. As readers scan through their email inboxes, it’s the short-but-sweet approach that draws a customer in, sets the expectation and invites them to learn more. Also, keep them fresh; even if you’re delivering eNewsletters, find a way to make each one feel like a new “present” your reader can’t wait to open. A word of caution–email subject lines are not the place for sales pitches; in fact, spam filters will help your readers by redirecting your “free” offers and “% off” discount messages straight to File 13.

Best Times To Send Emails

Some wise motivational speaker may have inspired you with verbiage like, “It doesn’t matter when you send the email as long as you send it.” While this message has its merits, this October 2013 Infographic from GetResponse.com reveals that when it comes to email marketing, this simply isn’t true–timing does matter. Research analysts studied more than 21 million emails sent in the first quarter of 2012; their research revealed the following:

  • 9 AM appears to be the best time to send newsletter content;
  • The best hours for successful email click-throughs are 8 AM – 9 AM and 3 PM to 4 PM;
  • Nearly one-fourth of all emails opened are opened within the first hour of delivery; and
  • By the fourth hour after delivery, the chances the email is opened drop to less than five percent.

Finally, email marketing is all about relationship marketing. Therefore, your communications should center on interesting and useful information–from one person to another–rather than stuffy, self-centered offers from large and impersonal organizations. The better you’re able to achieve that, the better your chances achieving your all-important engagement goals.