9 tips to get couples to open your emails (you won’t believe number 7!)

Easy Weddings
Updated on: August 17, 2018

If you’re sending any form of marketing communication to couples via email, you would know that half of the battle is getting them to actually open the darn thing!

Whether it’s a weekly newsletter, request for reviews, or even a special promotion, there are many challenges that we come up against when it comes to email marketing. Thankfully though, there are a few sneaky tricks that we have up our sleeves to encourage more couples to open our emails and actually see our marketing message.

However, sometimes knowing what NOT to do can also be helpful, so here are some of our favourite tips.

increasing email open rates


Use responsive messaging

If you’re after a review from a couple or producing content that is specifically relevant to their wedding etc, then a response-style email headline can work very well.

Particularly if a couple has already booked or enquired with you initially and you’re looking to convert them for another goal (whether it’s finalising a booking or leaving a review) then a relevant RE: subject line will make them stop and pay attention.

Example of this could include:

  • Re: your enquiry – we’re still available for your big day
  • Re: your wedding day schedule
  • Re: getting all the details right on your big day

Just make sure if you are using a subject line like this you are putting in strong content for couples that is actually relevant to these responses.

increasing email open rates

Use giveaways or dollar figures

If you’re hosting a competition, giving away a discounted or even free service, or running a competition with a large dollar sum attached then making sure you include these details in the subject line is important.

Everyone loves a sale or a freebie, and you want to make sure that you’re showing how easy it is to get one, simply from engaging with your brand.

Trigger words such as WIN, GIVEAWAY or FREE are great ways to encourage more couples to open your emails, as long as they don’t sound too unbelievable.

For example, we’re running a $10,000 comp for couples booking suppliers through Easy Weddings. Subject lines for us could include:

  • Booked an Easy Weddings supplier? You could win $10,000!
  • Win $10,000 just for planning your wedding!
  • What would you do with $10,000?
Image by Samantha Heather Photography. See the real wedding.

Split test subject lines

A/B split testing can be a great way to see how your audience actually engages with your emails. Many email programs (such as Mailchimp) include split testing as an option when you’re sending out to a group of subscribed emails addresses, and this is particularly beneficial for larger groups.

For those unfamiliar with split testing, this allows you to test the open rates different subject lines for your email to see which one converts better.

For example, you could split test two different subject lines with 50% of your mailing list. The program will then automatically send the winning subject line to the remaining 50% of your list, giving you a higher chance of more couples opening that email.

We advise split testing for emails to groups of more than 500 email addresses.

increasing email open rates

Use numbers or listicle content

Buzzfeed might have a lot to answer for, but one thing they do exceptionally well is listicles. The beginning of this article headline is just that. Even if you’re not producing blog content, that doesn’t mean that you can’t send out shorter listicles in email form.

A wedding venue might do the following:

  • 5 things to ask your wedding venue before you book
  • 7 advantages of a wedding venue co-ordinator
  • 3 ways to use festoon lighting at your venue

If you are using subject lines like this, make sure that you’re not making them too click-baity (see below) and use your preview text to increase the relevance to your couples.

Multiples of 5 or odd numbers tend to work well when it comes to this sort of content.

increasing email open rates

Create a sense of urgency

A great way to encourage couples to open your emails is to make them feel like they’re going to miss out on something if they don’t. Whether it’s an exclusive deal that you’re offering or a time frame that you want them to finish their enquiry within, creating a sense of urgency can make your message stand out more and seem more important.

For example, if you were hosting an expo or an open day you wouldn’t use something like this:

  • Come and see the best wedding suppliers this weekend!

You’d create more of a demand or sense of urgency like this:

  • Don’t miss your chance to see some of the best wedding suppliers this weekend!

increasing email open rates

Use emojis

Most of the target market when it comes to weddings are millennial’s, and we are visual bunch who love our emojis. Adding emojis to your subject lines or even the text of your email can be a fun way to speak millennial while also making your emojis stand out in an email inbox.

Try sites such as Emojipedia to create lines like:

  • We ❤ the new range from this wedding dress designer
  • The countdown to your wedding is on! 💒
  • Ways to theme your winter wonderland wedding ❄

However, if using emojis be warned. Don’t go too over-the-top with your emoji use, make sure you check whether an emoji has a slang meaning, and make sure that you are using an emoji that will be visible in the market that you want it to be. No one wants a broken emoji in their inbox.

increasing email open rates


Use click-baity headlines

Hopefully you’ve spotted the irony of the headline for this article because click bait headlines and asides have had their day. Now they’re reserved for websites that are specifically set up for these types of click bait news and slideshow articles.

While asides such as YOU WON’T BELIEVE or THEY WILL SHOCK YOU may still bring some traffic into your site or opening your email, you’re more likely to get potential clientele offside if you’re using click bait.

If you do have a miraculous fact or unbelievable message to get across, stick to listicles and avoid the click bait aside.

increasing email open rates

Make your subject lines too long

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve nailed the perfect subject line and then having it cut off before you get to the punchline. Again, we’ve used this highly ironic headline as an example of what NOT to do!

We talk about ‘snackable’ content in marketing a lot, and this is exactly what you want to make your email subject lines. So many couples will be viewing your emails on a mobile device, so the snappier the line the better results you’ll have.

This is where your PREVIEW text can come in handy to help your messaging without making your subject line too wordy.

increasing email open rates

Confuse your call-to-action

Your first call-to-action of any email is to actually have the recipient open the email in the first place! So you want to try and avoid having another CTA in the subject line.

A subject line such as ‘Finish your booking with our wedding venue’ is easy to overlook in an email inbox, which doesn’t give you the chance to put forward your other messaging.

Using another email headline to draw couples in before adding your main CTA in the body of the email doesn’t just give couples more information about your brand after they’ve initially opened the email, but it gives you more of a chance to put your case forward.

Additionally, email call-to-actions such as ‘click here’ are simply a waste of room in your subject line. If a couple wants to open your email they’re going to ‘click here’ anyway!

increasing email open rates

Good luck! Read more marketing tips here.

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Categories: Marketing Tips