Email campaigns can be a great way to generate home improvement leads, but people have to actually open your emails for you to get any benefit from them. Customers get flooded with countless emails everyday, and you’ve got to do a lot to stand out from the crowd.
Open rates vary from industry to industry. For home improvement, I’d argue that any rate below 15% is terrible, while 33% or higher is outstanding. 25% would be an excellent mid-range target to shoot for. One company’s statistics found that 25.38% of construction industry emails get opened, while only 3.94% get clicked on. That sounds grim.
But because email is such a low cost medium, it doesn’t take many responses to make it profitable.
So, how do you improve your open rate? For starters, make sure you track it. If you just fire off your email campaign and forget about it you’re not going to have any idea how effective it is. Some email marketing services will email you the statistics. Or almost all will have a dashboard that you can log-in to in order to check open rates.
The single biggest factor to Open Rate success is your email’s subject line. People are inundated with emails everyday, and those people have to make real choices when they get to their email inbox. So you’re subject line needs to capture the recipient’s attention before it gets trashed or deleted.
Keep your subject lines short and to the point. The more relevant you can make the subject line to your audience, the higher your open rate. If you want to take it to the next level, divide your email list in two, and send emails out using two different subject lines. Compare the open rates after the fact. You’ll be shocked at how different the results will be.
Don’t try to communicate too many messages in your subject line. If you’re having trouble “getting everything in there” that may be a sign that your email is trying to do too much. Have a look at your email inbox to see if you can spot any trends in the subject lines. Don’t be afraid to steal good ideas. No one has a monopoly on good subject lines.
Have a peak in your spam folder as well, for a valuable lesson on what not to do.
Another good way to experiment with your open rate is to send emails at different times of the day and compare results. You should avoid Monday mornings like the plague, but consider whether a Tuesday afternoon fares better than a Wednesday afternoon. How about a Sunday morning? If one time is giving you 22% and the other is giving you 27% it may not seem like a huge difference, but that 5% can be all that’s keeping you from a couple of big leads.
Tracking your open rates gives you freedom to experiment (within reason) so follow closely and shoot for the 25-33% range. A little bit of work can certainly pay off.