Do you know how high the opening rates of your marketing and service emails are? If not, you should find out quickly. After all, the opening rate is one of the most important parameters for optimizing your email marketing. The more customers open your emails and the higher the opening rate, the more customers are likely to click/convert/etc. The most important factors that your customers use to decide whether to open your emails or not are the subject line, the pre-header and the sending time. We show you how to successfully improve your opening rate by testing these three factors.

The average net opening rate in D/A/CH countries is 32.1 percent. If your opening rate is significantly lower, there is an acute need for action. But even if you are among the top performers, every improvement counts and can have a significant impact on your key KPIs (e.g. sales).

Testing the subject line

According to a recent Gartner study, 64 percent of users open an email based on the subject line. The subject line is thus (after successful delivery) the door opener in email marketing. The more appealing your customers find the subject lines of your e-mails, the more likely you are to open them.

Subject lines can consist of different elements. In the example there is a highlighting by an emoji, the personal addressing of the customer, a reference to his current context (building a house), an eye-catching keyword (free of charge) as well as the actual argument (interest check for construction financing). Test different variations for each element of a subject line. Even small changes can have a big impact. Also test different sequences of the elements.

Subject line elements

Testing the pre-header

The pre-header is the topmost and therefore first element of every email. Nevertheless, it is often underestimated and little attention is paid to it in the design. The pre-header may be just a narrow line, which seems inconspicuous compared to the rest of the email. But it is usually the first thing your customer sees when he opens one of your emails. This is especially true for customers whose clients suppress (header) images. Some clients even display the pre-header in the inbox. So it acts like a “second subject line” and therefore has an influence on the probability of opening.

In most companies, the pre-header only contains a link to the online version of the email. You can use the pre-header to convey additional information about the email content or to “expand” the subject line.

Therefore, similar to the subject line, test different formulations and different sequences of the elements used.

Inbox with Pre-Headers

Optimizing the send time

The right timing also has an influence on the opening rate in email marketing. On which day and at which time is the probability that your customers open your newsletter the highest? The initially sobering answer is: there is no such thing as the one optimal time. Therefore, test different sending days and times and compare the opening rates.

Additional tip: With the marketing automation technology ELAINE from artegic you can determine an individual send time for each of your customers.

Send time optimization with ELAINE