Email Stock Photo.

If you own a small business that you’re hoping to scale quickly, you can’t afford to neglect any single area of marketing. This is especially true for email marketing which is cheap to start, easy to maintain and often offers an excellent return on investment (ROI). Your brand’s ROI, of course, depends on how expensive your product or service is as well as how big your email list is. However, your work is far from over by just sending out monthly or weekly emails to your contact list. How do you get the people on your contact list to open the email? How do you prompt them to visit your website after opening the email? This is where an effective email marketing strategy comes into play.

Open rate is the percentage of people that opened your brand's email. A good open rate will vary by industry. Typically, an open rate above 20% is considered to have met expectations. Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people that clicked a link in an email's body accounting for only the readers that opened the email. A good click-through rate for most industries would exceed 10%. A good click-through rate is more difficult to obtain than a good open rate.

Here are some of the best ways to improve your email marketing campaign’s open rate.

  • Send your emails during the most ideal distribution times. The most ideal days to send out your email blasts are Tuesdays through Thursdays with Tuesday being the most ideal day. If you send an email on Monday, your recipients are checking the millions of emails sent to them over the weekend. If you send an email on Friday, the recipients are checking out for the weekend and could care less about your email. As far as time of day goes, studies show that 10 AM is the best time to send your email out

  • Pay close attention to your subject lines. Like you, your customers are busy and their time is limited. There are also a slew of other businesses out there sending your customers similar content and offers. How can you stand out from the pack? It's best to use a casual subject line with your email blasts. If it's too formal or sounds like all of the other emails in your customer's inbox, they will kindly place your email in the trash. Also, expect even fewer open rates when you use subjects like "Happy Holidays from [insert business name]". Every other business is sending those same emails out. Newsworthy subject lines seem to work really well. Has your brand published a press release in the last week or two? You could try leading with that as your subject line.

  • Keep your contact list updated. Every other week, make a point to clean out your email database of the email addresses that bounced from the previous emails that were sent. Also pay attention to your email campaign's unsubscribers as well as which individuals are opening your emails. 

  • Send text-based emails instead of using traditional templates. The majority of brands are utilizing either Constant Contact or MailChimp for their email marketing campaigns. That means a lot of brands are using some of the exact same templates. From time to time, you may go old school and send a short text-based email that includes with a clear call to action that directs the reader to your website. Text-based emails will cut down on the scrolling involved and will definitely generate a solid click-through rate for the email blast.

  • Warm up the email service providers. This rule of thumb will apply to the brands that have large email databases. Do you have a database of 50K or 100K contacts? Don't send out your email blast to all of these contacts at the same time. Email service providers like Gmail and Yahoo are very sophisticated and can send your emails straight to your contact's spam box if triggered. Your brand's marketing team members will know the best way to divide up your contacts before sending out the email.


Here are some of the best ways to improve your email marketing campaign’s click-thru rate.

  • Include multiple links to your website in the body of the email. Look for as many opportunities to create links to your website as possible. Make sure your links are clearly distinct from the rest of the text (bold, italics or underlined). 

  • Use strategy with your anchor text. Anchor text is the wording of a hyperlink. Your anchor text should include a clear call to action such as "click here to learn more" or "follow these 5 steps". Links using generic keywords can still generate clicks to your website but won't be nearly as effective as strategic anchor text. 

  • Prioritize your content sections. Not all of the content you include in your email blasts will be equally interesting to readers. Place the sections with the most interesting content and the clearest call to action at the top of the email. Less newsworthy content or content without a call to action should be placed near the bottom of the email.

  • Limit the number of content sections in the email body. Unfortunately, people's attention spans just aren't what they used to be. All emails you send out should be of medium length. Not short but also not too long. Four or five content sections will do in most cases and won't overwhelm your readers.

Contact John Mann SEO Consulting

Are you a small business owner that needs help growing your email list or increasing conversions via your email marketing campaign? John Mann SEO Consulting is one of the Nashville's leading SEO companies and also offer services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing and content marketing. To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at 615-491-9819 or complete our contact form. We are passionate about helping Nashville's small businesses achieve quick growth via a stronger digital presence.