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Toolkit Tuesday: 5 MailChimp Tips to Increase Email Open Rates

Having a well-designed enewsletter filled with useful content is a key element of any good integrated marketing strategy, and MailChimp is a great tool to achieve this. This free, user-friendly service makes it easy for just about anyone to create and send eye-catching email campaigns. But what good are pretty images and clever content if no one bothers to open your email?  With overloaded inboxes and marketing messages coming at them from from all sides, the competition for your potential customers’ attention is fierce. Stand out from the noise and better your chances of your emails being seen by following

BelleCommunications_MailChimpTips1

BelleCommunications_MailChimpTips1Having a well-designed enewsletter filled with useful content is a key element of any good integrated marketing strategy, and MailChimp is a great tool to achieve this. This free, user-friendly service makes it easy for just about anyone to create and send eye-catching email campaigns. But what good are pretty images and clever content if no one bothers to open your email?  With overloaded inboxes and marketing messages coming at them from from all sides, the competition for your potential customers’ attention is fierce. Stand out from the noise and better your chances of your emails being seen by following these five MailChimp tips.

Five MailChimp Tips to Increase Email Open Rates

1. Use A/B Testing

What if there was a way to know which subject line would result in the most opens, or whether it’s better to send your enewsletter on Tuesday or Wednesday? Well, MailChimp’s A/B Testing Tool can help. It allows you to divide a segment of your recipient list into two groups and adjust one element of your campaign to see which version results in higher open rates. You can use this to try out two different subject lines, experiment with the most effective date and time for delivery , or test out different options for the “from” field.

2. Don’t Use Language That Sounds Spammy

Be sure to avoid phrases that are common in spam emails, such as “FREE!” or “BUY NOW!” These sorts of phrases are likely to get your email flagged by spam filters, and even worse, annoy your recipients. In fact, a general best practice is to keep all-caps and exclamation points to a minimum. MailChimp also offers a handy tool called “Inbox Inspector” to scan your email for anything that looks spammy.

3. Integrate Your Campaigns with Social Media

The fans who already love your brand are the ones who will be the most interested in the news and updates you share in your enewsletter (and the ones most likely to purchase your products or services). Make sure these brand ambassadors are on your email list by regularly sharing your enewsletter sign-up link on social media. And while we’re on the topic of social media, this sharing can work both ways – you should also add social sharing buttons and merge tags within your email campaigns to help recipients share and like your email content on social media.

4. Use a Short, Compelling Subject Line

The goal is to be concise and to-the-point, while at the same time giving your recipients enough information about what is inside the email to make them want to open and read it. MailChimp analyzed thousands of email campaigns and found that subject lines of 50 characters or less generally performed better. Check out their subject line best practices for more tips to improve open rates.

5. Send a Test Email (and check how it looks on a phone)

In addition to obvious things like proofreading your content and using the MailChimp Preview option to make sure things look the way they should, it’s also a good idea to send a test email before sending your campaign out to your list. MailChimp suggests creating a test list that includes a Gmail, Yahoo!, and Hotmail address, so that you can be sure your email displays properly in the major email services. Since 65% of marketing emails are now opened on a mobile device, one of the most important things you can do before sending your campaign is to check to see how your email is displaying on an iPhone, iPad, and Android device. If your emails are too difficult for your recipients to view and navigate on their phone, you’re losing over half of your audience right out of the gate.

Next time you send a MailChimp email campaign, try following these five rules and see what difference it makes in your open rates. You might be surprised at the results!

What other steps do you take to make sure your emails capture the attention of your recipients? Share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments! Oh, and sign up for our own e-newsletter for even more great marketing and PR tips.

Heather Allen

Belle's first employee. Lover of great food, good books and spreadsheets. Mom of three. Native Floridian and city girl residing in the cornfields of central Illinois.