Articles on: Deliverability

How to Increase Workflow Open Rates


Open rates measure customer engagement and monitor your performance and deliverability. That said, open rates will vary between workflows and campaigns, due to the fundamental differences between campaigns (one-time sends) and workflows (automated sends triggered by customer actions).

In this guide, you will learn best practices around improving open rates for workflows to help your business grow. Please note that this guide specifically focuses on workflow emails only, as open rates are not available for SMS in AVADA.

What is an open rate?

Your open rates measure how often recipients open your workflow emails. Below is the calculation for open rate in AVADA:

Open rate = The number of individuals opening your email / The number of recipients

Many people look at their email open rates to determine how successful their email marketing strategy is. While an open rate is important, no one metric should determine your strategy. Instead, you should consider multiple metrics and think about the goals you have for your email marketing as a tactic.

Why do open rates matter a lot?

Open rate is a key deliverability metric. If your open rates suffer over time, your sender reputation will also diminish and inbox providers (i.e., Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail) will begin sending your emails to spam. As a result, fewer people will see and open your emails, thus lowering your open rates and revenue from email.

Meanwhile, good sending habits and high open rates equate to a better sender reputation. Opened emails signify customer interest and engagement in your products. When people open your emails and engage with your marketing content, they are more likely to purchase.

Workflows generally have a higher open rate than campaigns, with welcome series, abandoned cart, product browse abandonment, and post-purchase workflows seeing around 46% open rates. However, this will vary, depending on each workflow. For instance, a win-back workflow that has the purpose of re-engaging audiences will likely not see as high of open rates.

How to increase workflow open rates

We have outlined several key strategies to increase your workflow open rates:

- Target your workflow message

- Optimize your subject lines

- Choose the best sending time, delays, and message frequency

Target your workflow message

It is essential to target your workflow emails to the most relevant audience. You can do so via workflow filters as well as Yes/No Splits and Multiple Splits. Workflow filters are evaluated alongside the workflow trigger itself to only let certain people into a workflow. You can use filters to target a specific behavior or group of people, and they will ensure that only people who qualify will move through your workflow.

A Yes/No Split creates two paths in a workflow so that you can curate what messages your audiences will receive, tailoring your content to align with characteristics about your recipients (i.e., their location, purchase history, interests, etc.).

You can also add Multiple Splits to your workflow. This split will create different workflow paths based on the characteristics of the workflow metric. For example, we created an abandoned cart workflow with multiple splits as below:

Optimize your subject lines

Always aim to send content that your audience wants to receive and use subject lines that entice them to open. As a general rule, be clear, concise, and compelling.

To optimize subject lines, you should:

- Include a clear call-to-action (CTA). Every email subject line should include a clear CTA informing the recipient of an action they need to take. Furthermore, since workflows are triggered by a customer action and often expected, your subject lines should be informative and align with your customer's expectations. For instance, when crafting a subject line for an abandoned cart workflow, your CTA should remind customers of the item left behind and motivate a purchase. Consider offering a discount or a sense of urgency to capture their attention (i.e., "Finish checking out before a 30% discount ends.")

- Be personal. Personalization can lead to an increase in open rates 60% of the time. In your welcome series emails, you can add a sense of familiarity and community by including the recipient's name as you welcome them to your brand (i.e., "Thanks for joining, John" or "Welcome to the community, Alex").

- Include a sense of urgency (if applicable). Consider communicating urgency with a time limit (i.e., "Your shopping cart is about to expire"). That said, only add urgent if applicable to the message, such as for an expiring shopping cart, browse abandonment deal, or a VIP rewards program invitation reminder.

For more subject line strategies, head to any of the following blog posts:

- How to Write The Best Subject Lines for Open Rates?

- The Guide for Email Subject Line Testing

- 99+ Best Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines

Choose the best sending time, delays, and message frequency

Keep in mind that your recipients likely live in different regions and will thus be in different timezones. So, it is best practice to 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 email may be ignored.

You can A/B test workflow branches to gauge what time your recipient is most likely to open your emails. You can test the time of the time that they receive your messages (i.e., 9 a.m vs. 4 p.m), the delay (i.e., 1 day vs. 2 days after a previous send), and the frequency of messages they receive (i.e, two emails per week vs. three emails per week). Use the results of your A/B testing to adjust your workflows and align with what variations prove most effective.

Monitoring your workflow open rates

It is crucial to consistently monitor the performance of your workflows, keeping track of not only open rates, but also all deliverability metrics that impact your sender reputation. You can do so in the associated workflow analytics overview report for each of your workflows. If you see a dip in your open rates, re-adjust your sending strategy to avoid damaging your sender reputation and promote business growth.

For more information on reports, please head to our article on How to Use AVADA's Reports.

Updated on: 30/08/2021

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