Beating email fatigue: 4 ways to increase opens and clicks


How many marketing emails do you receive daily? And how many of those do you open? And then how many of those do you click on? It’s probably not many.

According to Smart Insights, the average open rate for email campaigns is 24.7% and the average click through rate 4.19%. 

Email marketing is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies, which means people are likely to receive hundreds of email promotions each week. This contributes to a hell of a lot of fatigue. And this fatigue makes it harder and harder to capture people’s attention among a sea of subject lines. 

How can you beat this? We’ve picked out four activities you can try now to push those open rates higher, increase click-through rates and make more sales! 

1.    Take a look at yourself

Let’s do an activity! Go to your inbox and look at 5 email promotions you opened in the past week. Write down what made you open them – was it a sale or a discount, maybe an interesting way to improve your work or a new product launch?

Apply these insights to your next email marketing (and content creation) campaign. This simple activity can be a really effective way of taking you out of the mind of an email marketer and into the mind of a consumer.

For example, I opened this email from a jewellery supplier because it offered me a way to improve my skills. They’re promoting their stamping kits and also giving me free tips on how to neatly stamp on both sides of a pendant.

Bonus tip! Sign up for your own newsletter. When you receive it, try to look at it from your customer’s viewpoint. Do you think it comes across well?

2.     Keep your promises

A healthy email marketing list starts with the subscriber sign up. Have a look at what you’re offering to your subscribers. When they sign up do you promise exclusive access to new products or subscriber-only content? Are you offering that in your emails?

Sometimes you can start out with good intentions but things change and your emails might not be offering what people expect. Revisit and rewrite your subscriber pages to make sure you’re keeping your promises.

In our newsletter we promise a monthly email (no more, not less) of tips and tricks to help you create great content. As you can see from our June newsletter we shared ways to create great animated content as well as ways to improve your strategy. Promises kept!

3.   Play with your subject lines

There are so many bland, cookie-cutter subject lines in use that you almost can’t resist opening an email which offers something interesting. We’re always testing subject lines with our clients – by looking at what was successful, at competitors and by A/B testing.

If you’re struggling with a plummeting open rate it pays to brainstorm subject lines with your team to come up with new ideas. Then pick the best two and A/B test them next time you send a campaign. Look at the results and use those to inform your next campaign.

Copyblogger has some excellent tips for writing subject lines – they value a succinct subject line, one with a sense of urgency and that arouses curiosity. You also need to convey a strong benefit to your readers (why is it interesting to them?). And of course the content must match the subject line, otherwise, you can say goodbye to those click throughs.

At Sookio we like to spend time writing subject lines, as one that contains the juiciest nuggets from your newsletter is a sure fire way to pique the interest of a regular subscriber. We then use tips like those from Copyblogger, to add urgency, a sense of curiosity or a strong benefit to the copy that makes the email a ‘must open.’

4.   Don’t be afraid of change

Routine is the enemy of your email marketing. Have you been sending out the same email campaigns for the last year and now they’re not working? You should really be changing how you do this at least every six months, if not more often.

One of the major causes of email fatigue is routine if a subscriber opens a newsletter and it’s the same every month they are more likely to scroll up and down and then close or delete the email. If you spark their interest with something new each month, even if it is just a slightly different layout, you’re more likely to promote action.

Play with layouts, subject lines, copy and imagery. Use more content or just one piece of content. Use short content or long form content.

If your subject line matches what’s in the email and the content they come to on the site is worthwhile reading, you’ll make your subscribers much happier.

Let’s get going…

Email is still one of the most effective marketing mediums, mainly because so many people use it - 92% of ‘online adults’ use email, with 61% checking it daily. Campaign Monitor estimate that you are 6 times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than from a tweet.

Why? Subscribers are far more invested in your brand than a social media follower. They physically need to sign up to your list, or they may be an existing customer.

This means they are more likely to engage with your content, but you need to give them a reason to keep doing that. Create useful, interesting and valuable content for your subscribers and then share it in an interesting, timely way on your email campaigns.

Use the tips above to tweak and play with your email marketing, it’s all about understanding what works and what does, and when it’s time to change things. Once you’ve done that, change it again! This will keep your open rates and click-through rates healthy, as well as to stave off unsubscribes.

Need to liven up your email campaigns? Hire us for a fresh look at your email strategy.

Deepa MistryComment