How to make your emails more effective

You can have a huge database of email addresses, but if no-one is reading or opening your emails, you are wasting your time.

With email, the most important stat is your open rate (i.e. the percentage of people who open your emails).

Open rates vary across various industries, but for marketing emails, you should expect an open rate of about 20 per cent.

There are a number of ways in which you can improve your open rates, and it’s a question of experimenting with a number of things.

The most important things to consider are as follows:


Subject lines

An effective subject line will tell people what's inside their email, not sell whats inside it. It needs to be concise and informative.

Steer away from a standard or repetitive subject lines, and try to include information about the content of your email, so that people who are interested will be keen to read more.

Subject lines that make recipients chuckle or are just plain bizarre might pique interest, but it still needs to be extremely clear what’s on offer to those who open the email - no-one likes ‘clickbait’, or being sold a pup.

Actionable language works well, as it lets readers know exactly how the email relates to them e.g. 'Treat Mum to lunch this Mother’s Day', 'Don’t miss the Quiz this Thursday'.

Using verbs like: book, reserve, take and ask can also be effective as shorthand for people skimming through email subject lines.



People are not longer impressed when they receive an email with their name at the top, so your personalisation needs to go further than that.

This is why your data collection is so important and valuable.

Blanket emails to everyone on your database will quickly have people looking for the unsubscribe link. Using the information that you know about your audience will help you target your emails to the people the content is most relevant to.

This could include anything from whether they are regulars at your Quiz night, often come in with their family in tow or like to watch a specific football team on the big screen.

The more you know about your customers, the more relevant the emails that you send out can be. What’s more, you can segment who you send different marketing messages out to so you don’t annoy people with irrelevant content.

For added personalisation, it’s a good idea to establish how you know each other. This comes down how your got their email address. Was it through an online booking for dinner, a prize draw for business cards in a jar at the bar, did they sign up to receive them online?

Again, the more you know about your customer, the more relevant your content can be.


When to send

If you are finding that your open rates are low, perhaps think about sending your marketing messages at different times of day, or days of the week?

Research from email marketing platform MailChimp found that email opens increased after 12pm, with the most active period being between 2pm and 5pm.

Tuesday and Thursday are the busiest days in terms of email volume, so it might be worth testing other days to help your messages stand out from the crowd.

There is a noticeable drop off in the email open rate on weekends, so it’s probably best to avoid sending important messages on Saturday or Sunday.

Research from GetResponse, another email marketing platform, found that nearly a quarter of email opens occur within the first hour of delivery, so you want to make sure that you send your emails during working hours, when recipients are most likely to see the notification pop up.

As with everything to do with marketing your pub, the day and time you choose to send will come down to what works best for your customers, so experiment a little to see what works best.


Emojis :-)

There is recent anecdotal evidence that using emojis in subject lines increases open rates, and they do make your email stand out, but we’d urge caution here.

How an emoji will display depends on the email browser your subscriber if viewing the email on.

The best way to find out if this works for your audience is to give it a try and see what effect it has on open rates.

As with all tricks, overuse it and it will quickly lose impact, so make sure there’s a good reason to employ an emoji, and that it works well with the subject line.