6 Simple Hacks To Increase Your Email Response Rate

October 16, 2023

“Focus on your email open and click through rates alone,” they said. You probably obliged and now you are wondering why you are not getting a lot of engagements and insights from your audience.

Increasing your open and click-through rates are very good practices, but they aren't enough. So the question is – do you get email replies? Why is it important you track the response rate in the first place? And how can you increase your response rates?

In this article, you'll get answers and hacks you can use to increase your email response rate if you are building a list or creating an email campaign.

Good Email Response Rate vs Bad Email Response Rate

According to Clearvoice, the email response rate is the number of valid replies received from a given campaign, typically expressed as a percentage.

For example, if you send an important email survey to 500 subscribers on your list if you get 250 responses, your email response rate will be calculated as 250 responses divided by 500 subscribers multiplied by 100%. You get the math here right? Well,  let's use an illustration to explain this. 

So, the email response rate for the example above is 50%. That's 5X above the average rate because according to Pointerpro, the average response rate should be 33%>, fair right?

Some schools of thought believe that it should be around 5% - 15% while others think it's within the 30% rate zone.

 Anders Rydholm, the Founder of PrimetimePokemon, shared his thoughts on how they've improved their email response rates from 3% to 19.4% over the years with a large database of subscribers.

It's right to say that the range of 15% and above is successful.

So, what is a bad email response rate? A bad email response rate is simply one below the average email response rate. This means if you are not getting above a 10% email response rate for a huge database of subscribers, you have to redefine your approach and strategy. 

Why is it Important to Track Email Response Rate

Most times, the reason why the conversions are not coming is because of the low email response rate. Some recipients would love to ask questions before buying a product or signing up for a course, and if your email doesn't trigger them to ask questions or reply to your emails, you would lose the sale most times.

Here are 3 reasons tracking email response rate is important:

  1. It helps you know how engaging and interactive your emails are.

One of the best benefits of tracking email response rate is for you to deeply understand whether your email content is engaging and interactive

Mariusz Michalowski, the Community Manager at Spacelift shared his thoughts as follows:

“Tracking email response rates can also help you identify which messages are most successful in generating engagement. This information can help improve your strategy and allow you to create more relevant, engaging content that will resonate with your target audience.”

Following the thoughts of Mariusz, there's no doubt that engagement and email interaction are key metrics to look out for when tracking your email response rate. What else?

  1. It empowers you with customers' buying insights.

Tracking your email response rates empowers you with real-time and no-fluff buying insights about your customers. It refines your research for better results because, with the results from your tracking, you'll understand the best way to segment your email list.

  1. It gives you an awareness of the performance of your email marketing strategy.

If you are not tracking your email response rates, you won't fully understand the performance of your email campaigns. You might get a sneak peek of your results with open rates and click-through rates but that's not enough.

How to Increase Email Response Rate.

“The first step for scaling email response rates is to make sure you're targeting the right audience," says Will Yang, the head of Growth at Instrumentl.

You must understand your audience and conduct proper research on their demographics and psychographics. Let's dive into the hacks –

  1. Use interactive email elements.

Do you know that 91% of consumers want interactive emails, but only 17% of marketers use them? That's stunning. No wonder why most marketers complain of low email marketing campaign conversions.

If you want to boost your email response rates, interactive email elements are the way to go. In our recent article on Interactive emails, Isioma Ogwuda stated that: “In interactive emails, readers can take desired actions within the email. There are functional elements to tap, swipe, click, or watch.” 

Some examples of interactive email elements are carousels, GIFs, Polls, Surveys, hover texts, videos e.t.c 

Interactive emails get a lot of responses compared to emails sent without these critical elements. Already, GIFs are becoming more maximized by email marketers. They add this intriguing feeling, humor, and emotion to your emails

Here's an example of emails from different personal and corporate brands with interactive elements:

  1. Use personalization tokens.

 If there's just one action you can take every day to increase your email response rate, it would be using personalization tokens.

It's highly exceptional the success you would get just by doing a small task like adding first names to your emails or using the pronoun - “you".

I interviewed Thomas Simon, the Marketing Manager from Monitask and this was what he had to say about personalization tokens:

”Personalization tokens allow you to insert information like a recipient's first name or city into your email. This helps create a more personalized and engaging experience for the reader. For example, you could start your email with "Hi, {First Name}!

Personalization works a lot, don't just limit it to adding first names, do more by tackling the key issues of your audience.

  1. Make your emails readable, relatable, and relevant (the tri-R model).

Remember, the first step a recipient takes to reply to your email is first, to read it. If they don't read it, they won't reply. You see, people spent on average 10 seconds reading a brand email according to a report by Statista in 2021.

If you want to grab their attention in seconds and prevent them from swiping with a flick in seconds, you must do these 3 three things:

Readability is only a piece of the pie. Create relatable stories to spark the emotions of your audience. Your subscriber wants to feel the special “aha moment", and use stories to drive your message or sell your product and service.

If readability and relatability are important, then relevance is “more important”. This means, sending the right email to the right target subscriber or customer. How do you do it? By segmenting your emails to fit the needs of subscribers or recipients in different buying levels.

  1. Embed questions in your email.

You won't receive many responses until you ask. Your readers are always willing to reply if you go the extra mile to inquire.

Ask questions between the last line and CTA, the goal is not just to merely ask but to get real-time insights. Overusing this hack will look boring, but as far as your email is relatable and conversational, you will get responses.

  1. Be consistent with timing and frequency.

“Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. Avoid sending emails during work hours or late at night. Instead, aim for mid-morning or early afternoon. Also, be sure to take into account time zones.” says Thomas Simon of Monitask.

Timing is indeed everything, unfortunately, it's underrated by many B2B, B2C, and DTC brands doing email marketing.

For example, if you send your emails every Monday and Friday respectively, you will build affinity with a host of subscribers because of the power of timing and frequency, which means they expect your emails at a given time. Timing is highly psychological in email marketing.

  1. Embrace the power of one call-to-action (CTA).

Simplicity and clarity are the secrets to a high email response rate. One idea, one solution, one question, and one CTA complete the winning formula of highly effective emails.

Here are the thoughts of Ruben Camerlynck, the founder of SaaSb2b. 

Complexity is the enemy of a conversion-led email campaign, keep your emails simple, one idea, one solution, and one question.

Wrapping up

Email response rate is a very important email marketing metric to track and you must be intentional and strategic about it. Create every email with readers' intent, high personalization, and quality email copy. With these, you will scale your email campaign conversions.

About the Author

Chinwoke Nnamani is a Freelance B2B content writer specializing in creating long form/short form content pieces for MarTech, SaaS and technology brands. 

He's enthusiastic about Medical Radiography, he's an avid reader and he loves watching soccer…

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