How is the open rate on your emails? The click-throughs? Improve your email marketing open rate with a different approach.

Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.

The Cat in the Hat

When done correctly, eBlasts help organizations communicate with both new and prospective audiences. They can supplement the sales cycle and support your content strategy. After building up a solid email list, you don’t want to destroy it with unwanted, worthless messages. Try thinking about The Cat in the Hat to improve your email marketing open rates and click-throughs.

Emails from businesses or organizations can seem like unwanted guests. They burst into your inbox and make a mess. Even if your target audience opted in, you must leave a positive impression. So, if you’re going to pop in unannounced, make them glad you did.

When the Fish Says You Shouldn’t Be Here

Taking a Cat in the Hat approach to eBlasts allows you to turn a challenge into an opportunity. In the beloved story, the titular cat arrives on a rainy day to a quiet, tidy house. During his stay, he attempts to entertain the children and their pet fish. At first, they are skeptical because their mother is not home.

His antics escalate as he brings out playmates Thing One and Thing Two. Together, they all create a huge mess of the house and enjoy themselves. Ending the day of play, the cat cleans everything up with a magical machine, leaving the mother none the wiser.

Similarly, email marketers need to make their unexpected appearance a welcome surprise.

You’re Unwelcome

If you are going to burst into someone’s inbox, you must give them a reason to let you stay. Otherwise, that “delete,” “spam,” or “unsubscribe” button annihilates your message.

Building great emails…

  • Starts with an updated, edited distribution list
  • Includes a worthwhile offer
  • Capitalizes on the first click immediately
  • Prepares for data collection to inform future communication

Consider every marketing email a chance to break up a “rainy day.”  You need to know your list well enough to bring them exactly what they want, even if they don’t know what they want.

The Fishbowl

During the cat’s antics, the pet fish provides a voice of caution. He keeps trying to remind the children that their mother is going to return. Similarly, your audience have put up filters to block your messages. Some are technical, like blocking unknown senders. Others are psychological, such as a wariness of spammy design and suspicious links.

My Sample eBlasts for a recent SAAS feature rollout. (Above)

According to MailChimp, the average email open rate is between 18% to 26%.

  • Agriculture and Food Services 24.71%
  • Architecture and Construction 24.78%
  • Arts and Artists 27.23%
  • Beauty and Personal Care 18.48%
  • Business and Finance 20.97%
  • Computers and Electronics 20.87%
  • Construction 22.10%
  • Consulting 19.54%
  • Creative Services/Agency 22.41%
  • Daily Deals/E-Coupons 15.22%
  • E-commerce 16.75%
  • Education and Training 22.00%
  • Entertainment and Events 21.21%
  • Gambling 18.75%
  • Games 20.82%
  • Government 26.33%
  • Health and Fitness 21.93%
  • Hobbies 28.46%
  • Home and Garden 23.82%
  • Insurance 21.56%
  • Legal 22.49%
  • Manufacturing 21.74%
  • Marketing and Advertising 17.81%
  • Media and Publishing 22.14%
  • Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 22.43%
  • Mobile 19.43%
  • Music and Musicians 22.86%
  • Non-Profit 24.98%
  • Other 23.06%
  • Pharmaceuticals 20.02%
  • Photo and Video 25.36%
  • Politics 22.23%
  • Professional Services 20.89%
  • Public Relations 20.12%
  • Real Estate 20.84%
  • Recruitment and Staffing 20.73%
  • Religion 26.46%
  • Restaurant 21.17%
  • Restaurant and Venue 21.71%
  • Retail 20.96%
  • Social Networks and Online Communities 21.71%
  • Software and Web App 20.95%
  • Sports 25.41%
  • Telecommunications 21.57%
  • Travel and Transportation 20.69%
  • Vitamin Supplements 17.26%

How do you compare?

Your emails need to make it past that fish in his fishbowl, assuring your contact even as you grab their attention. Then you can improve your email marketing open rates and click throughs over time.

Do They Open Your Emails?

Currently, I’m enjoying a process where I am helping one of my clients build up their email list. We have a 60% open rate because I have been careful to only include contacts that have opted into the offers. Additionally, the emails are infrequent and valuable. This leads to more opens and clicks because the list only includes engaged contacts.

If your open rate and click-through rate fall short of your expectations, consider an overhaul of your content. You need more than just a single, catchy subject line. You need to build a reputation for sending emails that are worth reading.

Additional Resources

  • How To Build An Email Marketing List That Actually Works, from Business Insider
  • How Email Marketing Supports Your Content Marketing And SEO Campaigns, from Forbes
  • More Emails, More Sales? The Surprising Argument For Aggressive Email Marketing, from Entrepreneur
  • The No. 1 Secret of Email Marketing, from Inc.