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How to Stand Out In an Inbox

In 7 Easy Steps

Relationships are tough, and we don’t mean search-for-your-soulmate-type relationships. Unfortunately, a dating app isn’t the only place you can get ghosted: we’re talking about getting left on read or even never read in the first place by clients and prospects. Remember that email campaign you agonized over, thoughtfully curating content and putting together the perfect mailing list? Sadly, there’s a good chance your email is languishing in the dark of someone’s inbox, much like the spring mix you swore you’d actually eat before shoving it into the back of your fridge 3 weeks ago. Take a minute to think about how full your own inbox is. The average person gets 100-200 emails per day. Oof. No wonder open rates in the financial industry average around 27%. So how do you stand out in the crowd and get more email opens?

The average person gets 100-200 emails per day. No wonder open rates in the financial industry average around 27%.

First things First

Before we dive in, let’s get familiar with the lingo and how to read data. Your open rate isn’t how many people opened your email– it’s the percentage of total emails sent that were opened (how many recipients opened your email divided by how many total emails you sent out). Click-through rate is the percentage of those recipients who clicked on a link within your email. Say you send out 100 emails. 5 get sucked into the black hole of spam folders, 21 get opened, and 2 of the people who opened your email click a link directing them to your website. Your open rate is 22% (21 opened from the 95 delivered), and your click-through rate is 10% (2 clicked links out of 21 who opened the email). 

ZZZZ… is this going anywhere?

Look, we’re data enthusiasts for a good reason (also, so you don’t have to be one!). Open and click-through rates indicate how successful your marketing efforts are. They also offer valuable feedback on your audience's interests and priorities. Taken together, the data can help you know how and when to adjust your email marketing and whether you’re reaching your ideal clients or not. You can run a number of programs to track email opens and click-through rates, like Mailtrack for Gmail, the Streak Chrome extension, or ContactMonkey, to name a few. Depending on your company's email platform, we can even help you with the data. The point is, you shouldn’t go without. Marketing without data feedback is a shot in the dark. Running an email campaign without data feedback is like tying your party invitation to a rabid pigeon’s leg and counting on an RSVP.

The Nitty Gritty

Okay, so now that we know how to measure the success rate of your email campaign, let’s get into what you can do to get more opens.

  • Narrow the pool. With contact lists, more is just more, not better. Consider a double opt-in to make sure your emails go to people more likely to open them. This means as soon as a client or prospect signs up to receive emails from you, they get an email with a link to click and confirm their subscription.
  • Don’t waste your breath. Spend your effort on your ideal clients, and don’t be afraid to make cuts to your email list. Keeping disinterested prospects on your mailing list will make it difficult to get an accurate read on your email campaign results and adjust accordingly. On top of that, some platforms automatically mark a sender as spam if more than 3 of their emails in a row go unopened. If a prospect is no longer a good fit for what you offer, it’s okay to part ways.
  • Make it easy. If your emails aren’t optimized for mobile reading, you’re much less likely to get a swipe right. As of 2020, 81% of emails are read on a mobile device. You can create an email that’s easy on the eyes from any device by avoiding over-crowding the text and images.
  • Timing is everything. 23% of emails are opened within an hour of being received, and after 24 hours, the chances of an email being opened are less than 1%. Know your audience, and leverage that knowledge to put the odds in favor of an email open. Are they retirees? Consider scheduling your email for the morning. 
  • Be a familiar face. Consistent communication is a key factor in relationships, business growth, and getting a higher open rate. In fact, one of our clients met his company’s NNA goal despite a market downturn. The secret? Communicate often (hear all about it here).
  • Dress to impress. Don’t slack off on your subject line, opening sentence, or getting to the point. This is a relationship, remember?! Don’t show up for date night in your sweats. DO wow your contact list with savvy content that feels authentic. Check out our archives for a closer look at how to make your email memorable.
  • Connect. Alright, here’s the big one. Building intentional relationships with your target audience doesn’t happen without effort. Your marketing– including email campaigns– should build those relationships through trust, expertise, and emotional connection. Personalize your emails to the recipient. Send emails about things your target audience cares about, is afraid of, or wants to learn more about. Share personal updates from your team. You’re not a robo advisor; your email communication should reflect that human, relational touch.

Ready to win yourself that final rose? While you probably won’t land at a 100% open rate, there’s a lot you can do to make sure more of your emails get opened by clients and prospects. The spring mix might be a goner, but with a few tips, tricks, and trade secrets, your email campaign can help you and your ideal clients get to happily ever after.

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