Chances are that your dealership utilizes email campaigns. Why wouldn’t you? It’s a viable option for many businesses. Some might even measure the success by knowing how many people open your emails and ones that actually click on links within your emails. Measuring the number of people who open your email is referred to as email open rate while measuring those that click on a link is called click-through rate.
It’s quite common for businesses to only measure their email campaign’s click-through rates. However, click-through rates are entirely dependent on the open rate of your emails. So, how can you get more consumers to open your email?
What is Email Open Rate?
Before we can get into anything further, it’s important to clarify what exactly email open rate is. Most individuals consider the open rate to just be the number of people who open your email, which is quite logical, but there are a few other factors that play into effect. In order for an email to be counted as ‘opened’ is if the user enables images within the email to be displayed and if they click a link in the email.
Email Service Providers (ESPs) then calculate the open rate by taking the number of those that opened the email to the number of emails that did not bounce. So, for example, if you send a hundred emails and ten of them bounced, this leaves you with ninety emails that were delivered. Out of those ninety emails, if ten of them are opened, it translates to your open rate being 11% (10 divided by 90 – answer multiplied by 100).
Aside from a drop between 2013 to 2014 and a jump in 2017, the average email open rate has continued to be around 22% to 25%. This just means that email marketing is still a powerful channel that is great for communicating with customers and/or prospects. Different sources claim different figures, such as GetReponse’s Email Marketing Benchmark claims that the average open rate in North America is 21.97%. They place automotive email open rate at 23.60%.
As of April 2018, the all industries overall average total open rate is around 18.16%. However, the number can be different based on whether the user reads an email on their desktop or mobile device. If they read the email on both devices, the percentage for both will increase, but the total percentage will only count one.
For Automotive Service, the total open rate is 14.49%, the mobile open rate is 63.89%, the tablet open rate is 12.95%, and the desktop open rate is 47.33%. Additional data for the automotive industry include the click-through rate (8.83%), bounce rate (8.48%), and the unsubscribe rate (0.03%).
The best takeaway from this is that your open rate average should be above 20% for it to be a successful campaign. So, you should for an average open rate of 20% to 30%.
10 Best Ways To Get A Better Open Rate For Your Email Campaigns
1. Keep It Fresh
Do your subscribers still want to hear from your dealership? It is important for your subscribers to hear from you on a consistent basis to avoid your list going stale. But, even with your constant communication, some subscribers can still go stale. It can be anything from users changing email accounts to just not being interested in the email anymore.
Keeping your list fresh and filled with engaged subscribers can ensure that you get rid of any inactive subscribers. For reference, inactive subscribers could be anyone who has not engaged with your emails or brand in the past six months or more.
If you’re trying to revive a cold list, then maybe you can offer some sort of incentive, like a $5 gift card, in exchange of answering questions. This enables you to kill two birds with one stone.
2. Segment Your List
One of the best ways to increase the relevancy of your emails is to segment your email list. Studies have shown that marketers who segmented their email lists received higher open rates, lower unsubscribe rates, better deliverability, and greater revenue. The lists can be segmented by anything from purchase behavior to demographics.
3. Perfect Your Timing
Timing can be a huge factor on whether subscribers open your emails, so you should carefully think about when you send your emails out. By performing some A/B tests to identify which timeframes perform the best. When you know that, you can explore those time frames in future campaigns. Specific types of content also do better at certain times of the day. By knowing that information, you can send out your email campaigns when they are the most likely to be opened and read – therefore boosting your open rate.
4. Avoid Spam Filters
As technology has advanced, so have spam filters. They have gotten more and more sophisticated. If you want to maximize your email campaigns reach, you need to do everything possible to avoid it being flagged.
Here are some tips to ensure that your email stays out of the spam folder:
- Ensure that all recipients are actually opted in to receive your emails
- Send through verified domains
- Send from a good IP address
- Personalize the ‘to:’ field by using merge tags
- Keep the code clean
- Avoid excessive use of ‘sales-y’ language
- Ask subscribers to add you to their address book and show them how to whitelist your emails
- Include your location
- Don’t bait and switch
- Include an easy and visible way for subscribers to unsubscribe from your emails
5. Write To One Person
As you draft the message content and subject line, it is natural to think about the thousands of subscribers who will receive it. However, it is much more effective if you write as if you are speaking with one person. In order for this to be efficient, you need to know your buyer persona, by understanding their dislikes, their likes, their values, their desires, and their problems.
6. Make The Subject Line Stand Out
Subject lines are everything when it comes to email open rates. You need to ensure that your email subject lines stand out. As email marketing has been used for years, using common subject lines is likely to get your email filtered out as white noise. Instead, you should be more creative with your subject lines.
Some tips include:
- Insert Numbers
- Speak in the style and language of your subscribers
- Use joking, conversational, or fun tones
- Entice curiosity without being too clever
7. Continuously Write Amazing Content
When your subscribers open your email, you have won one battle, right? So, why is the content important then? The content is actually really important for your open rates. If your subscribers are happy with the content, then they will be more likely to open your emails more frequently.
8. Write Like A Friends
When you write your emails, you need to write like a friend. For example, instead of writing a corporate phrase like “we’re offering savings to our consumers”, which sounds stuffy and distant, you could try for a friendlier tone, such as “you gotta check out this deal…”. It gives the email a more personal touch, which makes it less likely that they will just delete the email.
9. Don’t Forget Your Mobile Users
It’s essential that you don’t forget your mobile users as they account for 15-70% of all email opens. According to BlueHornet, around 67.2% of consumers use smartphones to check their emails. This means that you have to ensure that your email is mobile friendly, which includes loadable media and responsive formatting.
Some tips to follow include:
- Avoid placing two web links next to each other
- Use a large call to action buttons
- Use smaller pictures (reduces the loading time)
- Don’t just assume that images will be displayed
- Use larger fonts (smaller fonts and more difficult to read on mobile)
- Keep the formatting simple (under 600px wide)
10. Inject Some Humor
Humor has the ability to make a strong and instant connection with people. It helps your content to stick out in subscribers minds while being entertaining and personal. Even if you aren’t a naturally funny person, you just need to understand your recipients to be able to pull off a joke.
These tips are sure to help your dealership get better open rates. If you don’t see a turnaround straight away, don’t be discouraged. Email marketing is a science and an art, so you need to give yourself and your campaigns more wiggle room to experiment and find what works best for your subscribers and dealership.