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How to make people read your emails

The most brilliant newsletter content is worthless if the mailing is not opened. The battle for attention in the inbox is fierce.
Michael Kornfeld | 10.04.2023
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The most brilliant newsletter content is worthless if the mailing is not opened. The battle for attention in the inbox has become fierce. Because each of your recipients is more likely to receive too many newsletters than too few.

That's why we've put together 5 concrete measures (and a bonus) that are guaranteed to improve your open rate!

Tip 1: Optimise the time of sending.

In our opening report, we analysed over 2 million emails to determine the optimal time to send them. In the process, we gained two important insights:

    The time of sending can have a very (!) big influence on the opening rate!
    The optimal time to send is different for each customer / target group.

Therefore, you should definitely test different mailing times (yes, depending on the target group also early in the morning, late in the evening, during the lunch break or even at the weekend).

Only those who test regularly can find the ideal time and thus sustainably improve the opening rate.

Note for dialogue-Mail customers: With the Analyses "Opening Analysis command, you can find out the ideal time with just a few clicks! dialog-Mail analyses your previous mailings and compares the different sending times with the respective opening rates.
Tip 2: Do an A/B test with a winning mailing.

You can only get better if you test regularly. That is, if you send different variants (sending times, subject lines, senders, etc.) in an A/B test and learn which ones work best with your own target group.

There are an incredible number of elements that can be tested (and thus optimised!). If you need a little help and inspiration here: We have written the blog article "150 ideas for newsletter A/B test elements".

Tip: Most professional tools offer such A/B tests. However, make sure they have a "winner send" option: Here, the different variants are first tested with a smaller group; as soon as one variant performs statistically significantly better than the others, the best variant is automatically (!) sent to the remaining recipients. In this way, the majority of recipients are guaranteed to receive the best variant in almost all cases!

So make A/B tests a habit!

Note for dialog-Mail customers: You can find this function (incl. sending winners) under "E-mailings "A/B tests. Creating such a test is completely free and takes less than 1-2 minutes!
Tip 3: Stand out with the subject line.

The subject line is of course one of the most important factors influencing the open rate. Therefore, special attention should be paid to it.

The most important thing here is to briefly and concisely communicate a concrete benefit for the reader. You must therefore provide a clear reason why people should definitely open your newsletter (without exaggerating, of course)!

A little creativity is also required here. Because the subject line is in direct competition with several (many?) other mailings in the recipient's inbox. Mailings with boring or not very meaningful subject lines are therefore much more likely to be deleted unread.

Reading tip: You can download our free white paper "18 recommendations for successful subject lines", which is well worth reading!
Tip 4: Pay attention to the preview window.

In many mail programmes - such as Outlook - the upper part of your mailing is displayed in a small window (the preview window) if it has not yet been opened in its own window.

This should definitely be taken into account in the design! The preview window should therefore contain content that already makes the reader curious and interested - and thus encourages him to open the mailing.

Under no circumstances should you include a large header graphic at the very top of your mailing. Because if the images are blocked, in the worst case the recipient will see nothing at all in the preview window.
Tip 5: Don't forget a good preheader text.

Many mail programmes display another text next to the subject line, the so-called preheader. This should complement the subject line and encourage you to open it!

In most professional newsletter tools, this preheader text can also be defined. You should definitely make use of this!

Tip for dialogue mail customers: You can specify the preheader text in the "Meta data" tab below the subject line when creating the mailing!
Bonus: Personalise the sender!

A particularly effective measure is to personalise the sender for each recipient. This means that each recipient receives the mail from a person in the company whom they also know!

This could be the name of the key account manager, the responsible consultant or the field sales representative. Of course, this does not make sense for all companies and the necessary data (of the responsible consultant) must be stored with the recipients. But if this is the case, it can significantly improve the opening rate!

Tip for dialog-Mail customers: When creating the mailing, you can specify the sender in the "Meta data" tab. There you can also personalise the sender by simply clicking on the "Personalisation" button! You can find further help on this in the manual or on the corresponding help page!

Conclusion: All these recommendations have one thing in common: they are quite easy (and usually free of charge) to implement.

It may take a few minutes of extra effort - but in our experience, these simple measures can really increase the open rate in the long term. Guaranteed! :-)