Email marketing is an extremely cost-effective way to engage existing customers and turn prospects into paying customers. But regardless of how relevant your content is to your target audience, there’s always a percentage of people who won’t open your e-blasts.

Follow these four easy tactics and strategies to increase the number of people who actually open your email marketing efforts, as well as increase the number of subscribers who click-through on embedded links to be redirected to your Web site.

Email marketing metrics: Open rates and click-through rates

Your customers’ inboxes are crowded with emails that likely have pressing concerns that need to be addressed. You have an extremely narrow window of customer attention for your newsletter to be opened, much less read. And if customers ever deem newsletters irrelevant, chances are all subsequent messages will be deleted without ever being opened – or worse, customers will unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Before we go any further, let’s clarify two terms, which are crucial metrics for email marketing:

Open rate – The number of people on your distribution list who actually open your newsletter.

Click-through rate (or CTR) – The ratio of people who were engaged enough to take action and click on an embedded link in your email.

Historically, both numbers are abysmally low. UK publishing and digital marketing firm Smart Insights reports open rates for newsletter content hovers around 23 percent, with click-through rates are a paltry 3.5 percent.

These four easy steps can increase open and click-through rates for your email campaigns.

  1. Re-send unopened emails. Automated email marketing tools such as MailChimp provide users with a wide range of analytics to help gauge how well messages are reaching customers. Parse out subscribers who didn’t open your newsletter, and resend with a new subject line. Research shows that resending unopened emails with a new subject line can increase open rates by nearly 50 percent.
  2. Perfect your timing. When you send out your newsletter is as important as the content you carefully put in it. Global daily email traffic is expected to top 235.6 billion in 2018, email research firm Radicati Group reports. Tuesday is the best workday to send email marketing, while global email traffic is slowest on Saturday and Sunday. However, look at past email campaigns and determine when your customers were most engaged – don’t overlook first-hand evidence of success to determine your send strategy.
  3. Use responsive design. Email automation tools such as MailChimp and Mailigen have extensive galleries of user-friendly customizable templates to help customers craft professional looking newsletters that are both web and mobile-friendly. Creating an optimal viewing experience across a range of platforms better engages your customers and captures their attention, leading to increased open and click-through rates. And remember, the majority of customers use their mobile devices to open your email. Optimizing newsletter content for mobile platforms is of utmost importance.
  4. Strengthen your call to action. Craft a call to action that’s bold, precise and confident – but stay within your brand’s tone. Your goal is to create a sense of urgency that motivates readers to click on an embedded link and drive to your site, ideally with the goal of making a purchase. Position is crucial too – the average reader’s sweet spot is high and centered, not at the bottom of the page. Tinkering with placement and looking back at analytics after campaigns are sent can determine what type of placement garners the best CTR.

These are but a few of the many strategies that can increase email open and click-through rates. Creating great content is as crucial as the factors mentioned above. When your newsletter offers real value to your subscribers, you’ll see open and click-through rates rise.