Overview

Open rates let you measure customer engagement and monitor your deliverability and performance. In this guide, you will learn best practices around improving low campaign open rates so that you can grow as a brand without harming your sender reputation. Let's explore!

What is a campaign open rate?

Your campaign open rate measures how often recipients open your campaigns. The formula for campaign open rate is as follows:

Campaign open rate = The number of individuals opening your campaign / The number or recipients

In AVADA, you can find the campaign open rate in:

- The Overall Analytics section from the dashboard

- The Reports section from the dashboard >> Campaigns

- Each report in each live campaign

For more information, read our guide on How to Use AVADA's Reports.

Why does a campaign open rate matter?

If you keep emailing unengaged subscribers, your sender reputation will diminish and inbox providers (i.e., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) will send more of your emails to spam. As a result, fewer people will see and open your campaigns, thus lowering your open rates and revenue from email. When people stop opening your campaigns, it is an implicit sign that they are no longer interested in receiving your brand content, and you should refrain from sending to these profiles.

Good sending habits along with high open rates equate to a better sender reputation. Opened campaigns signify customer engagement and interest in your products. When people open your campaigns, they are engaging with your marketing content and are more likely to purchase. Plus, the better your open rate, the less likely you are to end up in the spam folder.

How to increase campaign open rates

There are several best practices to boost your campaign open rates:

- Create engaged segments

- Craft targeted subject lines

- Choose the right sending time

- Clean your lists regularly 

- Monitor your performance

1. Create engaged segments

Engaged segments are key to successful email marketing. They inform you of whom you should communicate with and update automatically with subscribers who meet the conditions you set according to the recency and frequency of their engagement. As you add conditions to make segments more specific, you will also gain insight into how to target them with relevant content that will receive higher open rates.

Let's go through three steps to creating engaged segments that can increase your campaign open rate.

Firstly, create your segment, adding criteria around how recently someone engaged with your brand. Your segment criteria should include: those either opened or clicked recently, or subscribed to your list recently. We suggest adding conditions to include anyone who opened or clicked your emails within the last 30 days, as well as people who subscribed to your list in the last 15 days as a starting point.



Next, evaluate the performance of your segment and adjust the time range to either widen your audience or shrink it to a more engaged group. If your open rates are well above 20%, expand this segment to include those who have engaged with your emails in the last 60 days rather than 30 days. But if your open rates fall below 20%, tighten the timeframe (i.e., to 14 days) until you identify your core engaged audience. Also, your segment criteria should align well with your brand's typical sending schedule; if you are a daily sender, then your segment will look different from someone who sends once a week. For further instruction, read our guide on How to Warm up Your Sending.

Lastly, take segmentation to the next level by adding more specific criteria to your segment. This enables you to send personalized content that is relevant to someone's specific location, purchase history, interests, email habits, etc. The more personalized your campaigns are, the more likely recipients are to open them. Head to our guides on Segments for inspiration.

2. Craft targeted subject lines

Once you have an engaged segment, craft relevant campaigns for this audience. Refrain from overloading subscribers with unnecessary content. Instead, send content that your audience wants to receive and use subject lines that entice them to open without sounding spammy.

As a general rule, be clear, concise, and compelling. To optimize your subject lines, you should:

- Include a clear call-to-action (CTA). For instance, if your CTA pertains to a flash sale, make that obvious to engaged customers within your subject line and add a sense of urgency to the deal. Meanwhile, if your CTA informs recipients of a recent change to your company that requires them to click into a link for more information or to update their account, be honest and informative, and cut out any unnecessary verbiage.

- Be personal. Add a recipient's first name to your subject lines. This personalization leads to a boost in open rates 60% of the time. Also, you can align your content with specific information you have collected about subscribers (e.g., interests, local events, interests, etc.) or common hopes and pain points that resonate well with your audience.

- Include a sense of urgency (if applicable). Consider adding urgency with a time limit to a campaign offer within the subject line (i.e., "You have a X% discount that expires in 3 days" or "Our sale ends in 24 hours"). That being said, only add this urgency when applicable to the message, such as a flash sale or for a VIP rewards program reminder.

3. Choose the right sending time

Keep in mind that your recipients likely live in different regions and will thus be in different timezones. For both workflows and campaigns in AVADA, you can send messages at a specific time within your recipient's local timezone. If you don't, you risk sending too early or late at night, and your emails may be ignored. Read our article on How to Schedule to Send a Campaign for detailed instructions.

4. Clean your lists regularly

It is essential to clean your list regularly to remove any unengaged, fake, misspelled, or spam email addresses that you may collect over time. Removing these unengaged and fake contacts will increase your open rates as you weed out any contacts who should no longer receive your messaging and who are having a negative impact on your deliverability. As such, this action can also boost your sender reputation in the eyes of inbox providers, such as Gmail or Yahoo.

For more information on how to clean your lists, head to our Guide to List Cleaning.

5. Monitor your performance

It is necessary to consistently monitor the performance of your campaigns, keeping track of not only open rates, but the other deliverability metrics that affect your sender reputation as well.

If you see a dip in campaign open rates, then something is likely wrong with your email sends. You may need to readjust your messaging to resonate with your audience or update the conditions of your engaged segment. In either case, monitoring campaign outcomes allows you to avoid seriously damaging your sender reputation.
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