Over the summer, you’ll probably notice your open rates drop. It’s not that your emails are less interesting.  It’s due to the fact your readers are busier. Summer gets everyone outdoors and less time is spent online. Vacations are scheduled during this time, and kids are out of school. It makes email marketing a little tougher, unless you know what to do.

Write an Amazing Subject Line

Nearly half of your readers open their emails based entirely on the subject line.  That means it has to be notable and something that gets them to click OPEN instead of DELETE. During the busier months of the year, more emails will be deleted than opened, so make sure your subject line gets their attention.  Subject lines that stir up a fear of missing out can be very effective, as can those that offer something in the email. Readers are more likely to open an email that says “urgent” or “alert,” so you can use these words to get your emails read.

Use a Person’s Name

Adding a person’s name to the subject line makes the email feel a bit more personalized. You should also use it in the email, to help them feel more comfortable. When someone looks at your emails and opens them just because of who you are, you’ve done your job well.

Keep the Frequency Down

When folks see 10 emails from one company in their inbox, chances are that they won’t be reading them all. If you’re sending out more than a couple emails a week (unless it’s for a daily course), don’t expect to see a high open rate, especially during the vacation months.  If you want people to read your emails, they need to be reasonably spaced to give readers time to check out what you’ve written. Consider how often you check your personal email while on vacation, then tailor your campaigns to fit those changes.

Offer Incentives

Sales, special offers, and free stuff tend to get more email opens and clicks than anything else, and that goes for during vacation periods, too. While you shouldn’t have constant freebies and sales since it can reduce the incentive to click, definitely test this method out on your audience this summer.  Keep in mind that your subject line should let people know what to expect inside the message. If they have no idea there is a coupon inside, they probably won’t bother clicking.

Respect Their Time

Your readers are busy people, just like you are. If they take the time to read your email, you need to be polite and keep it short and to the point. Rambling emails are a waste of their time, so keep it simple and write short paragraphs that are easy to read. Bullet points are even better.  You can also put as much information as possible in the email, while keeping it basic. If people have to click to three different websites to get the promised information, they won’t want to.

Provide Useful Information

Get your readers used to receiving useful tips and information from you. When they see your emails pop up, they’ll want to open them, regardless of the season. Establishing a reputation as a helpful marketer will build a greater open rate.  Instead of providing a lot of promotional emails, make sure you’re actually helping your readers. Think of the types of emails you enjoy receiving, and tie some of the elements you like into your own campaigns.

Cover the News

Is there a relevant news story that you can report on? While news channels will be talking about the story, you can offer your own perspective on the situation. This is also helpful when you aren’t sure what to write and want to keep it interesting. Often, readers will devour anything they can on breaking news, so if you have an email that covers it from your own perspective, it can immediately attract those open rates. Just make sure it’s actually connected to your industry in some way.

You will still notice that your open rates drop during the summer, just like during any holiday, but with these tips, you can increase the number of opens. In any industry, you’ll find that people have less time for reading emails while they’re out enjoying their vacation, but that doesn’t mean your emails have to be tossed in trash folder. Keep the number of emails down and make them useful in order to reach those vacationers.  Use your OSP account to create campaigns to send out those email messages automatically, and then you can go on vacation! If you do not yet have an OSP account, be sure to click on this link and see how we can help you with your email marketing campaign.