When you create and send an email campaign, you can expect to see an average open rate of 20-40% depending on your industry (source: Epsilon Email Benchmark Report). That’s nice, but averages are, well, average. If you’re reading this, you’re already self-identifying as awesome. Maybe you’re so awesome you’ve even asked, how do bionic email marketers get a 30% lift to their open rate? Lean in, I’ll tell you. The secret is they do something most people are terrible at doing. They follow up. That’s right. Their superpower is simply the ability to follow up with those who didn’t open their initial email.

Now that I’ve bestowed this wisdom upon you, I’ll show you how you too can possess this supernatural strength without trading in your identity for a mask and unflattering spandex. You need not be Captain Marvel to incorporate this tactic into your email campaigns. The power is at your fingertips and only requires a few clicks.

As you know, it’s important that you keep your subscriber list cleancraft a professional email, and give your message a clear call-to-action. We provide a plethora of guides and useful tips in each of these areas. It’s also just as essential to consider the group of subscribers who won’t open your email. They might miss it, forget about it, the subject line won’t grab their attention or any number of other reasons. We call this segment of your list “non-responders”.

Let’s walk through an example. You send an email to your list of 100 subscribers. Of that 100, you get 35 people to open your email over a few days. That’s a 35% open rate. Nice work!

Your next mission is to get a portion of those 65 non-responders to open your email by sending them a follow-up. You send that follow-up email three days after the original and over the next few days, you get 11 more people to open. You just brought your total number of opens to 46 out of 100.  Your total open rate is now 46%.

To calculate the lift, you take the Total Open Rate minus the Original Open Rate and then divide by the Original Open Rate. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage. Using the example above it would be (.46 – .35) / .35 = .31 (or 31%).

Based on the lift we’ve seen from our small business customers who practice sending follow-up emails and our internal metrics from the emails we send to our lists, you can expect a lift close to 30%.

Most email service providers allow you to separate out non-responders so you can send them a follow-up email. But many people don’t take that next step and, as a result, they miss out on that increase to their open rate. Except for you of course. Because you’re wise to the fact that a portion of those who receive the second email will open it. So why not do it? Pressed for time? I hear you.

VerticalResponse has automated this process for paid accounts to save you time and maximize the results of your email campaign. In other words, get the 30% lift without the heavy lifting. Feeling heroic? I thought so.

Once your original email is in the queue and ready to be sent, the app will prompt you to take the next recommended step of sending a follow-up email to your non-responders. You can choose when to send it, modify the subject line, and click Schedule. See? No cape required.

The campaign results for both the original email and the follow-up email will be visible in reporting so you can easily see the additional lift.

Whether you use the automated feature in VerticalResponse or an alternative, be sure to incorporate follow-up emails into your campaigns. I commend you for joining the league of Email Marketing Superheroes. Use your superpower for good and enjoy the extra boost to your email opens.

© 2015, Linzi Breckenridge. All rights reserved.

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