Show Notes

Today we are covering emailing open rates. More specifically how to improve them:

  • First things first. Ask questions in the subject line.
  • Use "re:" and then a subject, this looks like the email was a response.
  • Use stats or numbers, keep it short though. 
  • Write to one person. A lot of people say “everyone” and when it goes to the masses it isn’t personal.
  • Segment, segment, segment. Enough said. 
  • If they haven’t opened your emails in months, send an email saying final reminder to be off the list, if they don’t respond, kick them off the list.

If you need help with your email marketing efforts make sure to reach out to us.


Christian: [00:00:14] Hey. What's going on? Today we're going to talk about how a travel business or agency can improve e-mail open rates. Some of the things that we're going to touch are subject lines, segmentation and people who don't open your e-mails.


Aaron: [00:00:31] All right. And a good example for this first one anyway is to ask those questions to your audience. So if you're traveling somewhere and you know you're going to the Grand Canyon, a great question to ask them is hey, have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? Or the Grand Canyon's great, right? So just asking those questions make people automatically respond. You may have been listening this and thought the exact same thing. Yeah, I would like to go to the Grand Canyon, or I have been to the Grand Canyon. That's fun. So asking those questions make people respond, and it also makes them want to open it because there may be more information about the answer that they responded to.


Christian: [00:01:11] Yeah. And you can use negatives as well. So you can do something like top three places not to travel in 2018. So when you ask questions, a lot of times you want to entice curiosity and see what's going to make people curious and click on that link. So a lot of these questions have to kind of be obscure sometimes too. Works pretty well.


Aaron: [00:01:38] Right. Something like for the Grand Canyon again, going with that example, it'd be like have you ever rode a donkey for six hours?


Christian: [00:01:44] Right.


Aaron: [00:01:45] I mean I would want to know. Like no, I've never rode a donkey for six hours, but you definitely can if you go to the Grand Canyon.


Christian: [00:01:53] Yep. The second thing that we have here on this list is- Sorry about that, guys. The second thing that we have here on this list is to use RE: in the subject line so that it looks like it's a response to a previous e-mail which it's really not.


Aaron: [00:02:15] Right. And the reason that someone would use that is because you already think that you've had that conversation with them. It's just something to test for you. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not. It's something new that I've actually noticed in my own personal e-mail from other businesses where they've done that, and I was like oh, I don't remember responding to this. Then I open it up and it's a conversational piece that's personal to me, and I actually respond back to them. So I'm using these tricks or tactics to give to you guys that I've fallen for myself.


Christian: [00:02:48] Right. Yeah. I mean, it's- I haven't seen it myself, but I'm guessing it does work because you automatically think that it's a conversation or email thread that you've already had with that person which you really haven't. All you're doing is adding the RE in the subject line which is kind of smart.


Aaron: [00:03:05] All right. And this next one is my favorite. I always open up these, and that is to use stats and numbers but keep it short. And again you want to be, like Christian said, a little obscure or something that's going to really spark an interest. So for example, did you know 44 million people love this fruit, and so you're kind of throwing the numbers and the question. Kind of doing a combination of the two of them, but it's, you know, just throwing out obscure numbers like that. Really even if it's not relevant, it would be nice to have it relevant, but even if it's just an obscure number and it means nothing about what you're doing, those numbers can improve open rates.


Christian: [00:03:48] Yeah. And obviously, if you have any discounts or anything to offer like that, those are always great to put definitely right there on the subject line. If it's a 20 percent off that you're offering, just explicitly put it out there in the subject line. It will make people open those a lot more than if you have something different.


Aaron: [00:04:07] And I know somebody who does this a lot. One thing you want to do is not use the same things over and over again because then you get like banner blindness to it, but Dick's Sporting Goods sends me an e-mail like two or three times a day. I've now unsubscribed because they send so many e-mails, but their subject lines were always 50 percent off, 30 percent off, 25 percent off, our huge sale 25 percent off. So that works sometimes, but when you do it so much, it just becomes annoying especially if you do it two to three times per day. So I just unsubscribed at that point.


Christian: [00:04:40] Yeah, that's true. You want to make sure that your discounts are significant or that you do them not so often so that there are significant discounts. I think one of the places that we like to go to, it's El Pollo Loco located in Allen, Texas, and they send out occasional discounts via e-mail. And we use them because we do remember they send them occasionally, and you have to use them, you know, at a certain time.


Aaron: [00:05:08] Right. So using the numbers would be really cool especially for a travel agency. I think one cool subject line would be like the amount of trips that you went on. So like 4000 plus trips. Are you coming with us on the next one? Something like that would be pretty useful.


Christian: [00:05:25] Yeah, or using the number of miles that you've travel or something like that. Yeah, just be paying attention to those stats or numbers related to the travel business and using them in there. Whoa. What is going on? Aaron, do you want to tell them what's going on here?


Aaron: [00:05:45] All right. So we have started in this- from the past episode. This is episode number two where we are breaking this up in the middle of the episode so we can tell you guys a little bit more about BitBranding. We are a marketing agency in Allen, Texas, and we focus exclusively on helping business owners get a foothold in their marketing, figure out how to navigate the ever-changing marketplace. And we do that with website design and social media advertising. So if you are a business owner listening to this right now and you're saying to yourself wow, my website is either one, non-existent or two, people have to pinch and zoom to find me because I don't have a mobile-friendly website, definitely hit us up. And another one is if you are looking to sell a product or service or tell more people about you through awareness, a social media campaign is a really good way to do that whether on Facebook or Instagram, Google Pay-Per-Click we can help with those as well. A really good way to get a hold of us is hello, yes, literally, or you can find us on any social network /bitbranding.


Christian: [00:06:53] Very nice. All right. So let's get back into this. We're talking about how a travel business can improve e-mail open rates. We talked about subject lines. We talked about numbers and the response, putting response in the subject line. Another big thing is, and you can do this in the subject line and definitely in the body of the text of this e-mail, is to write to one person. Don't write to a lot of people. Like don't refer to whoever you're writing the email like y'all or you guys or everyone. Make sure that you're writing first person to that one person so that it makes it more personal. You make a better connection with people who open the e-mails.


Aaron: [00:07:42] Right. If you use the word you, people automatically think okay, it's more personalized. It's more about me. So like you are making the best decision ever when you travel. You know, well then it's more personalized, and everyone who travels is happier. Well, that's kind of inclusive, but it also doesn't speak to that person directly. So it's going to increase your open rates if you use personalization with it.


Christian: [00:08:05] Yep. Exactly.


Aaron: [00:08:07] All right. And the next one is not to subject line. I know you guys were thinking that this is only going to be a subject line episode, but this is probably the most important tip after they open up your- or they see your subject line is the segmentation. So segmentation or segmenting your audience means that you separate audiences by- the people who are on your list by the categories that they're interested in. For example, if you have a bunch of people who are interested in traveling for sports, say for marathons or for running, you want them to be separate from those who are traveling for leisure, who want to go and relax and do fun things, not that running or anything else isn't fun, but want to go scuba diving or they want to do things that are more touristy. And they're not going to go travel for a marathon like go to the Chicago Marathon or New York Marathon. Those people should be on two different lists because they have two different characteristics and two different needs for what kind of e-mails you'd be sending out. If you're going to the Grand Canyon and you know that your leisure people, the people who are on a different list than the marathoners, are interested in traveling to cool and unique places, this is one of the seven most- What is it? In the world. What is it? The seven-


Christian: [00:09:21] Wonders.


Aaron: [00:09:22] Yes. That's- Couldn't I think of that. So going to the Grand Canyon would be great for those people. You'd want to send that e-mail to them specifically and separate it from the people who are doing marathons. So that will increase your open rate, and if you se- I would still encourage you to send it to people who are interested in marathons, but you would have them in two different e-mail. So you just duplicate it and send it to them separately instead of just all one mass e-mail.


Christian: [00:09:47] Yeah, I think that's one of the things that a lot of business owners don't do because it takes time, and some- If you don't do it from the very beginning, it's kind of cumbersome to look at your whole list and try to segment those people into individual lists based on interests, but it's something very, very important that will greatly improve your open rates.


Aaron: [00:10:12] Yes, and an easier, definitely easier, not the easy, way to do that is to send out surveys and questionnaires and ask your audience what they're going to be interested in receiving. So if they're not interested in receiving any trips about going to Mexico or to the Grand Canyon, then they don't need to receive that, and they'll have a better user experience. They're going to stay on your list longer, and more than likely they're going to go on the trips that they said they're interested in.


Christian: [00:10:38] Yeah. So, and you can do that both ways. You can do that before you- Or like when you're gathering the e-mails. So let's say you have a pop up e-mail on your website. You can ask them right there and then what are they interested in? So you can automatically segment them into those lists, or you can do it afterwards. You can sort of dump them into a pre-list that needs to be an e-mail sent out automatically that figures out what list they're going to be put into.


Aaron: [00:11:07] All right, and the last thing we have here is probably something you haven't heard of, and that is to get rid of e-mails. This will improve your open rate because if people haven't opened up your e-mails in months, you don't want them on your list. For example, if you use MailChimp or Constant Contact you're getting a rating from them and potentially could be restricted on the amount of people that you can send to because you have a bad experience. So there's a hard bounce and a soft bounce. So if it's a hard bounce, it means that there's a problem that's gone on with their e-mail address. Maybe their server is messed up or something to that effect. That's not going to hurt you that much, but if you have a lot of- Or if you have really bad open rates and people are just not opening your e-mails, they're going to a spam box, then continuously more e-mails are going to go to spam, and you don't want people to not read your e-mails. So one thing to do is to send out an e-mail and kind of a reminder like hey, I haven't heard from you for awhile. Just want to know if you're still interested. If not here's a button to unsubscribe so I stop, you know, sending you e-mails, and when you knock people off, you kind of weed out the people who aren't making any sense for you to be there. And you have more of a focused audience so that you can grow and you know that you have an email list that's actually worth something instead of just a large number.


Christian: [00:12:28] Yep. Exactly. That's very good and something that I haven't really heard of or thought about. So there you have it. The total of six things that you can do to improve e-mail open rates. We talked about asking questions in the subject line. We talked about stats and numbers. We're talking about writing to one person, segmenting, and getting rid of people who are not opening your e-mails, and again thank you for listening to our podcast. We really do appreciate it, and if you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends on social media. We'll greatly appreciate that, and also leave us a review if you can and able, either on the podcast app on your iPhone or favorite mobile device. I think that's the easiest way to do it. Yeah, let us know how we're doing.


Aaron: [00:13:18] Yes, and just so you guys know our next episode - we'll start giving you a little prelude so you can make sure to keep an eye on the next episode - is all about Facebook groups. So if you've been wondering how a Facebook group can help your business, we are talking about that next week. So we'll talk to you guys next week.


Christian: [00:13:37] See you.

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