8 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Newsletter Opening Rate
As you may know, email marketing is one of the most efficient marketing strategies nowadays. It’s a great way to share your content with your loyal customer base, build communities and promote your business ideas. To do these effortlessly, you can opt for an affordable marketing email software that makes these procedures easier, such as Mailerlite, Mailchimp, or Active Campaign. However, in spite of using any of these tools, you may still find yourself experiencing a low newsletter opening rate.
Let’s presuppose that you have a business with a loyal client base and you want to send them a newsletter to advertise your newest product. If the quality of your content is high, but the newsletter does not compel opens, you might want to boost your marketing strategy. In this article, we have gathered the best techniques that can get your subscribers engaged.
So if you are ready to learn how to improve your newsletter opening rate, let’s take a closer look at each of our 8 tips we’ve got to share with you!
#1 Use only a domain email address
It cannot be emphasized enough, but please don’t use your personal Gmail to send newsletters. It not only looks really unprofessional but has many technical downsides as well. In comparison to your personal email, a domain email address offers a handful of useful features if you want to boost your newsletter opening rate: versatility, improved security, control over email deliverability, just to mention some. Moreover, if you don’t use a domain address, it is more likely that the receiver’s email account will link your newsletter as a spam activity or flag it as a phish. If you already have a website it only takes two clicks to set up your own domain.
#2 Make sure your DNS records are set up properly in your e-mail system
After checking off the domain email address, you should make sure that DNS records are set up properly in your email system. This is especially important since email authentication is responsible for blocking suspicious or harmful emails such as phishing or spam.
If you do not want your email to end up in the spam folder, you need to make sure that you have the DKIM and SPF codes properly implemented. You can verify their existence in the email DNS editor, called cPanel. They can be easily recognized if you search for “domainkey” in the DKIM file. In the case of SPF, the record should start with “v=spf1”. There is one more really important record that you should set up that is called DMARC. Since it is not generated, you will have to add it manually to the DNS editor considering the following example.
Name: _dmarc.domained.com (you should use your own domain name)
Record: v=DMARC1; p=none; [email protected] (here you should use your own email address).
After these authentication methods are implemented you can be sure that your newsletters will be successfully delivered into your client’s inboxes.
#3 Add your newsletter software to your DNS records
This step is the continuation of the previous one, so make sure that you got through the previous line. In this phase, we will help you add your newsletter software to your DNS records. Roundcube is deemed as one of the best webmail software that you can use to create newsletters in a simple face. Google Workspace is also a renowned newsletter software that aims to offer you great benefits and services for effective communication.
Every email software has an authentication setting, where you can find your DNS records. Once you find this setting, the software guides you through step-by-step instructions on how to set up the DKIM and SPF properly. Congratulations, you have finished the technical part and learned how to boost your newsletter opening rate. In the following section, we will focus on the composition and content of your newsletters.
#4 Avoid using too much HTML code in your newsletter
You should be careful not to add too much HTML code to your newsletter. Malicious emails and spam are filled with these and there is a high chance that your email will end up filtered out by the system. You can avoid this issue by using a newsletter software provided template instead of setting up your own. The drag and drop editors can also be of great assistance but always double-check your HTML code before sending out a newsletter.
#5 Create a plain text version, too
A plain text version of an email is the equivalent of a simple letter written on a typewriter; they don’t include stylized fonts, colors, images, or hyperlinks. A plain text version can be opened by people who can’t view HTML format or want to open them by non-traditional inboxes.
As opposed to the HTML code over-usage in your emails, a plain text alternative will pass through the spam filter. Furthermore, some users prefer plain text over an HTML template with large images that take up storage. An intense debate is going on about the preferences of plain texts over HTML email and there is no good answer to that. Yet we advise you to always add the plain text format to your newsletter regardless of the HTML content.
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#6 Don’t forget about ALT tags
ALT tags are used for displaying a text message when the image is blocked, too heavy to load, or not available for other reasons. Let’s say you have a social media icon at the bottom of your newsletter that is not visible on the receiving end. A simple word or description in this case can visually depict the content of that icon.
You should always keep in mind that an ALT tag should be simple, concise, and descriptive since the text will be limited to the size of the image container. If you need longer descriptions, you can always add that to the body of your mail. With an extra step, you can modify the font, color, size, or background color of your text; with just a few adjustments you can easily create a more positive user experience.
#7 Careful with abbreviated links
We advise you to avoid using abbreviated links in your emails. We all love short and easily accessible hyperlinks, they are aesthetically appealing and tend to be useful when the character count matters. However, spammers and hackers use generic short links to direct people to malware and viruses or to steal their personal information. You can’t tell apart an email with good intentions from a malicious virus just by hovering over the hyperlink. For security reasons every suspicious email that contains an abbreviated link gets filtered, so it can affect your deliverability.
If you are curious whether there is a workaround for this problem, we have some good news for you. There are some alternatives so that you can enjoy the styles that an abbreviated link provides. Instead of using a public URL shortener program, like Bitly, you can use your own. For an easier solution, you can simply turn a text or picture into a link with HTML. You only need to tag the text in your message that you wish to navigate to your website.
#8 Test your newsletter before sending it out
Finally, you should never send out your newsletters without testing them first. First, ensure that from a technical side everything works as intended so that your email will get a high opening rate with a low chance of ending up in the spam folder. One of the best methods to test deliverability is mail-tester.com. You can send them your email and this website will let you know if everything is in order and what can be improved.
The opening rates functioning principle can be tricky to grasp, but once you follow these 8 points and learn some useful tricks, it will most definitely increase your newsletter opening rates. Making these changes will come naturally to you once you get used to making them. Learn new tricks, experiment with your content, and check your customers’ responses. If you get stuck anytime feel free to revisit our blog and get in touch with us!
Book a meeting so we can analyze your newsletter opening rate!