- What does "opened" mean in email tracking?
The system for tracking opens is called "pixel tracking" - where a tiny 1x1 pixel blank image must appear on the reader;s screen in order for the "open" to be recoreded. So, what this means is that if viewers are receiving and opening their email in a no-image context, either on their phone or in their inbox with the images turned off, we will not be recording that as opened. More and more email clients read emails without pictures turned on, so unless the images are truly key to the message, they may never be viewed. Email open rates are best used as a measure over time, compare rates of fall emails vs spring emails, etc.
- What do industry experts suggest for a better tracking system?
Methods to get more "opens" actually recorded include: 1) Add motivators for viewers to open their images; 2) Add must-click links within the email, because a clicked link also triggers an "open" to be recorded; 3) Put of-interest data in a picture format within the email; include a "More Details Click Here >>" link to a flier or registration form.
- What if our list of subscribers has too many uninterested people?
Email marketing is a trial-and-error system and over time, our list of active and interested subscribers will organically shrink due to bounced and unaccessed email addresses and unsubscribes. So as the list of active/interested subscribers shrinks in total number, the percentage of opens will go up.
- What can we do to make our emails more relevant and enticing so people will open and read them?
THIS is the most written-about topic in the discipline of email marketing! Some factors to consider include: 1) The FROM line - this is the #1 factor determining if a reader will open an email. So do your subscribers know who firstname.lastname@example.org is? Do they trust this email? 2) The SUBJECT line - this is the #2 factor. So what is it about the subject line that could be more preventing people from opening the email? Maybe it needs to be more specific, more tied to the timing of the email or specific to an issue. 3) Is email the right way to reach your target audience? Ultimately, a good effort of 6 email attempts, measured over time to compare the open rates, will tell you if you are on the right track. Ask around, send an email asking for feedback or actually ask,"Click if you read this and want to continue receiving our emails."