How to increase open rates on emails by leveraging Psychology

Written by Helena_Andrade

On June 29, 2020

“Failing to grab attention is YOUR fault, not the users’ lack of interest.”(Peep Laja)

It’s 2020. Consumers receive tons of promotional emails every day. Their attention span is shortening. Last year, a study from Google showed 49% of customers from the US reported receiving irrelevant emails on a daily basis.

Even worse: 31.6% of them affirmed flagging irrelevant emails as spam frequently.

How to increase open rates on emails? If you want your emails to stand out, persuade people, and — ultimately — earn more customers, you need to master messaging. That’s where Psychology of Communication comes into the picture.

In this post, I’m going to share a three-step method for expertly executed messaging: timing, attention, and inciting to action. Before jumping into the method, it’s really helpful to understand how decision making operates in people, which is essentially what the entire field Behavioral Science explains.

Important: These three things have to happen at the same moment.

Now, let’s dive into the method to ensure your communication stands out.

Be Timely: When are people ready to receive your emails?

People get tons of emails and communications daily. What gets yours to stand out?

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If you are not sure about the answer, you might want to rethink your communication strategy. 23% of all email opens take place during the first hour after delivery. That means tailoring your timing to your customer’s pain points and objectives is a must when sending emails.

To help with that, start by planning your communication efforts based on these key questions:

When is your target audience’s motivation high?

  • When are they more interested in your information?
  • When is it their priority to complete the action?

When is their ability high?

  • When are they at the computer to read your email?
  • When is their focus high and distractions low?
  • When do they have the information they need?

We have to be aware of our goals & product characteristics. An email promoting a conference might require a different focus time that signing up for a financial product.

Does your email contain steps, instructions, or complex information?

Then you might benefit from knowing the time that works for your specific audience. Being aware of this time could have a huge impact on your campaign’s effectiveness. For instance, this study mapped the Very Best Time to Send Email Newsletters.

Use Specificity & Observe Your CTR Increase ? 

How to increase open rates on emails and get your CTR to increase? There are a few key elements of subject lines that get your email to stand out.

The first one: personalization

Personalization means including the person’s name, his job title, his company’s name. Below you can find well-known pieces of research that back up the importance of sending personalized emails:

  • 35% of emails are opened just based on the subject line alone | Convince&Convert
  • An increase in click-through-rate from 5.8% to 7% just by adding a person’s first name in the subject | Entrepreneur
  • Sending an email from an actual person (i.e. “Jessica from HubSpot” instead of just “HubSpot”) can increase CTR rates by 30% | Hubspot

The second: pay close attention to the user experience in mobile

Everything in our life has something to do with our mobile phones. However, even with users checking their mobile phone 150 times a day, conversion rates are still 270% higher on a desktop. The truth is: there is a huge gap in content optimization for mobile users (I wrote about it here).

Make sure your emails are aligned with an optimal mobile experience. Starting with your title. The value proposition must be clear in the first 30 characters limit of your email title. The reason? After the first 30 characters, your subject line gets cut off in the inbox.

Drive Action

Make The Action Easy.

One of the most common mistakes made by marketers: being unclear about what we want people to do. Don’t assume that your readers will get it. They won’t. It has to be clear.

That’s why it is important to make sure your calls to action are very clear and actionable. Do you want to see an example of real improvement in CTAs? The emails below:

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The first version has a CTA very similar to the text, that can easily go unnoticed. The second email, with a brighter CTA, gets an increase of 31,85% conversion. That is clarity leading customers to act.

People Skim Through Emails: Facilitate That ?

How to increase open rates on emails even if you have a longer email? Then you have to make it really easy to read. Use sub-headings and short paragraphs. You want to make it easy to skim through the headings and top lines. By doing so, they can figure out the big takeaway and the key information in your email.

 〰️ By using these simple but powerful hacks, you’ll be able to influence consumer engagement and see a great improvement in email metrics. Emotional marketing is key to convert. Don’t forget: never send anything without asking yourself: when would I most want to read and react to this?

I hope this post brings a lot of insights into your marketing strategies 🙂

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