Understand the open rate of your emails

Email marketing is considered a science in its own right given the different experiences and formulas that result.

Web marketers have nowadays at their disposal many tools that allow them to refine their strategy and reach the customers. Among those tools, we find the open rate, a logical continuation of the rate of deliverability. We have already mentioned the subject in the previous article.

What is the opening rate ?

The opening rate, as its name suggests, is the percentage of emails opened by recipients. This is the result of the ratio between the number of open mails on the number of mails delivered.

The calculation of this rate is automatically delivered by the autoresponder software such as GetResponse or Aweber for instance.

When you launch your email campaign, your software inserts an invisible 1-pixel image into the email in question. When the mail has been opened on the recipient’s computer, the image has been downloaded and sent back to the router. Even if the process does not indicate that the email was actually read, it already allows to appreciate the number of people who were interested in the purpose of the campaign. In each campaign, you can evaluate your effectiveness and improve your approaches.

Techniques to increase your open rate

In the first place, we must not neglect the phase of segmentation of these contacts. From this point, you have the first opportunity to customize the content of your emails.

Indeed, an email will not be perceived in the same way according to the age, the sex, or the socio-professional category of your list of contacts. Take the time to group contacts according to their affinities as they will be more sensitive to a message that seems to be personally addressed to them.

Then, it is verified that the emails are open if the mentioned object is interesting. Forget the usual object line. If there is one stage where you have to spend time, it is on the subject line of the email.

According to one study, an email with an interesting object line has an additional 26% chance of being opened. In addition, a personalized message has a 10% chance of becoming a conversion.

Feel free to send personalized emails via your autoresponder on the occasion of birthdays for example. This method can be as old as the world, but still remains effective.

Learn to put yourself in the customer’s shoes

The success of an email with a good open rate also depends on the time of sending. Timing is everything as one says. This is also true for emails.

Is your contact better able to open the morning, or late afternoon emails? Have you taken into account the time differences between you and your many customers? Once again, you should not neglect the segmentation of your emails. Even for this little detail.

If despite these tips, you are not satisfied with the open rate, don’t give up. The only risk is that your emails will be sent in the spam folder. As long as you are not in this situation, keep trying and keep track of your statistics. Make reminders. Test. Sometimes, by simply changing the subject of your email, you can gain new openings. In the process, you can also change the timing. A/B tests are also very useful to discover what works best.

Be careful not to drown your recipient under a stack of emails since you don’t want your contacts to unsubscribe.

Understanding the open rate of your emails is important because with a few small settings in your autoresponder, you can refine your emails and make them more and more attractive. As a result, your subscribers will be more and more likely to open your emails. As a result, they will be exposed to your offers and will more likely buy the products or services you offer them.

What is an autoresponder?

Everyone is familiar with the use of an answering machine for their landline phone, even if in recent years it has been replaced by the operators’ messaging services. you are called, you are not there, but the caller can leave you a message that you will see later.
 An autoresponder actually … has nothing to do with the systems to leave you a message in your absence! But then nothing at all …

An autoresponder is actually a system that allows you to send emails automatically to people who have voluntarily registered their email address on your list. These people subscribe voluntarily in order to agree to receive your messages on their e-mail.

In clear, an autoresponder does not allow you to receive messages but to send them.

How does an Autoresponder work ?

The great utility of such a system is its automatic process. Indeed, once a person subscribes to your list he will receive your emails the way you have pre-defined them. Obviously this requires work before hand.

Let’s take an example:

Imagine that you write about 50 emails (like a mini-course online) on a subject that you are passionate about.
 It is essential for any new subscriber to receive your emails in a specific order and according to the interval you have chosen (not all courses on the same day, but rather spread over 50 or 100 days (one email every second day, for instance)).
 To do so, you will have pre-defined in your autoresponder the message to send at a specific time following the registration of any new subscriber. For example, Eric who subscribes to your Chef’s Tips course will begin receiving your first lesson on the day of his subscription, and the second lesson two days later, the third lesson four days later, and so on. The following week, Julia subscribes to your Chef’s Tips course as well.
 She too will begin receiving her first lesson on the day of her subscription, then the second lesson two days later, the third lesson four days later, and so on … Julia will receive the same emails as Eric, but offbeat of a week. And this automatically.

Such a system makes sense when you start having more subscribers. Because the more subscribers you get, the more it becomes unmanageable manually. In addition, an autoresponder allows you to work only once, and putting everything in place as you wish. Then the machine will run indefinitely. Of course, you can always, at any time, modify, delete or move your messages, filter your subscribers, etc. You will literally be in control of the machine.

As we have seen, an autoresponder is a powerful tool for anyone wishing to communicate information to those interested in what you have to offer. Thanks to this system, you can federate a community, stay in contact with your prospects, contact your subscribers on an regular basis, …

It goes without saying that a thoughtful and organized communication will allow you to promote your products or services, or even recommend products or services that are likely to interest your subscribers (and on which you can earn commissions for instance). The chances that your subscribers will buy and test what you will offer them are immeasurably greater when they know you and have already received valuable information and values from the messages you have sent them.

The different ways to communicate via an answering machine

Sequence of emails

As we have seen above, thanks to your autoresponder, you can send emails in a pre-programmed way. This system is ideal when your messages have a timeless character, and are therefore not linked to a news event. This is perfectly the case with the cooking lessons that Julia and Eric are receiving. But now imagine that you want to invite your subscribers to meet you for a drink to discuss your passion in an informal way. How are you going to do it ? Or imagine again that you want to warn your subscribers that a hyper-interesting promotion for a cookbook from a renowned chef is available until the end of the month only? There too, how are you going to do it?


Broadcasting is the ideal and practical way to alert everyone of a temporary event, regardless of the emails they are receiving via your autoresponder.

Indeed, via Broadcasting, you can at any time send an email regardless of your sequence to all of your subscribers, new or old. Thus, you retain the option of bringing valuable information in addition to the lessons you are giving. This delivery system allows you to send a unique message to your subscribers at a specific time in the calendar.

Such a system is ideal for make a one-off promotion for a new product, for example. This is also how many web-marketers use their autoresponders and sometimes manage to make very big profits.

Is an autoresponder necessary ?

Now that we have discovered what an autoresponder is, it is legitimate to ask the question if it is really necessary to use this kind of  service. The answer is clearly: YES!

Why ?

Just because an autoresponder will automate all the tasks related to the communication you will have with all the people who register on your list(s).

Indeed, it would be unimaginable to personally and manually handle the mailing of several tens, even hundreds or thousands of emails. This may still be possible if you send only an identical newsletter to all your subscribers, regardless of their registration date. But that would be quite impossible if, as in the example we saw earlier, you had to send a well-defined email according to the subscription date of your subscriber. The autoresponder is, by definition, the tool tailored to accomplish this task.

If you get involved in a business on the Internet, then keeping in touch with your prospects and customers is essential. The autoresponder is therefore an essential professional tool that allow you to see your Internet activity grow, while keeping control of the tasks you must perform.