What is a “good” email open rate? Our recorded average open rate for sell side communications was 19.46% last quarter, reflecting increased workloads and digital media inundation. It’s hard to make people stop and pay attention when their inboxes are spilling over. Luckily, there are measures you can take to maximize your open rate and build your personal email brand.
At Street Contxt, we’ve analyzed engagement insights from the nearly 20 million sell side emails that flow through our Edge platform every quarter. Thanks to this scale we’ve noticed several commonalities amongst senders who receive consistently high open rates. We’ve also drawn statistical patterns based on email format, subject lines, timing and segmentation. If you’re looking to get maximum efficacy from each email you send, these tips will help you out in a big way.
1) Subject lines
Subject lines are important! They’re the first part of your email a recipient sees. A good subject line will entice the reader to click on your email, whereas a too-long or confusing subject line will lead people to pass it over.
- Keep it short. Subject lines with fewer than 5 words collectively saw a 22.95% OR with Edge, vs a 17.91% OR for 6-10 word subject lines.
- Make a statement! Declarative subject lines saw better ORs than subject lines that asked a question.
- Add the contact’s name to the subject line, albeit in a natural way. We’ll expand more on personalization further on in this text.
- Avoid emojis or excessive punctuation marks. These make an email look spammy.
- Include relevant tickers. Emails that contain five or more tickers see the highest open rate, so indicate your ticker diversity in the subject line.
Just like there’s a rush hour for traffic, there are periods of the day when email engagement is at it’s highest. This makes sense; most people send out their morning note between 8:00-9:15 AM, which prompts a flurry of reading on the buy side.
Content engagement spikes early in the day between 8-9am and again at approximately 2pm.
Knowing this, you can make a couple strategic decisions. You could try and get your morning note out right at 8 so it’s delivered right at the start of the bustle, leaving you with more time to communicate with your clients over other channels. Sending out your email so it’s seen right at the 8-9 AM time frame is ideal if the content contains immediate trading information. On the flip side, if your email contains research, event details, or targeted follow-up communications then it may be better to send outside of the busiest hours. That way, your email won’t be buried under incoming content from other firms. These are suggestions; your email cadence will be highly determined by your particular work situation, requirements, and successful patterns you’ve developed.
Top-tier distribution takes into account who the recipient is, what they’re being sent and why. With Edge it’s easy to create as many lists as desired, each with an unlimited number of contacts. Highly segmented lists ensure you’re on top of your customers wants and needs, and that every email you send has particular value to them.
Segmentation categories can include:
- Sector or industry
- Client tier
Contacts who receive content that isn’t relevant to them will eventually tune out all of your emails. Delivering content that is useful and targeted to your clients will establish you as a go-to person, and keep people clicking on your emails for more of the value you bring.
Now that we’ve established subject lines, time of day to send and contact segmentation, let’s add the cherry on top: content personalization. With Edge’s new Mail Merge feature it’s easy to insert contact names and customized greetings into either the subject line or the body of your email.
Subject lines that contain the email recipient’s name are proven to instigate more opens. Just make sure that your tagging maintains a natural flow.
Seeing their name in an endless sea of subject lines will draw the recipients eye, and in turn lead them to remember you as well. Now you’re really building your email brand!
Know exactly who is opening your emails, clicking links and forwarding your content in real-time by leveraging Edge engagement insights. With in-depth understanding of how your content is being consumed, you can cater to your readers even better as time goes on.
After sending out content, open up Edge to see high-level stats for all recent emails on the main dashboard. Click on any of those emails to see granular listings of which contacts have previewed, read, clicked links or forwarded, and who is trending upwards or downwards in terms of engagement.
It’s easy to see which contacts have performed certain actions that are powerful indicators of successfully captured attention, such as link clicks. By segmenting these engaged readers, you can send targeted follow-up emails with further information, event details, or invitations to connect.
Maximizing your open rate isn’t just about gaming a statistic. It’s about intelligent distribution, providing value, personalizing the experience and capitalizing on prime opportunities. If you’d like more information on how to up your distribution game, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice from the capital markets email experts.