People send and receive hundreds of emails per day, so it can be difficult for brands to stand out from the crowd. We’re all busier than ever, and most of us don’t even bother to open emails that don’t engage us in some way. Quite the contrary: we’re quick to push the “delete” or “spam” buttons whenever we receive a message that doesn’t seem targeted or optimized.

If your email marketing strategy isn’t generating good results, it’s time to rethink it. A well-crafter subject line, compelling content, and optimized email templates will help you distinguish your digital messages from the dozens people receive on a daily basis. Here’s some useful advice that will help.

1. Analyze Your Data

When you’re looking to upgrade your nonproductive marketing tactics, start by identifying the problem areas. Analyze your email lists. According to inSegment, a digital marketing agency based in Boston, buying email lists is the biggest mistake a marketer can make when looking to optimize their strategy. The temptation to cut corners is high – after all, a growing list usually means growing engagement. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in the digital world of email marketing.

A strong email list helps you create calls-to-action and offers based on your demographics. Building the list will take time and effort, true, but your hard work will eventually pay off. You’ll have a list of email recipients eager to learn more about your brand and products, so there’s a greater chance they’ll open emails and boost your click-through rates.

Focus on drawing traffic to your website, and then convert that traffic into email subscribers. Offer a free ebook or white paper as an incentive to users who subscribe to your newsletter. Even if buying a list seems more convenient, unhappy recipients may report you as a spammer. And that’s likely a marketer’s biggest nightmare.

2. Come Up with Compelling Subject Lines

The subject line is crucial when it comes to increasing your email open rate. If you deliver messages with boring or standard titles, the audience won’t be impressed. Up your marketing game by crafting attention-grabbing subject lines that entice the recipient to find out more. What works?

  • Questions – according to unbounce, questions are proven to entice the reader mentally and improve click-through rates.
  • Something compatible with the clients’ interests – knowing your target audience is essential to marketers. If you have data about your recipients’ interests, use that data in your favor. Create a subject line that promises a solution to one of the common problems your clients deal with, or go the more personal route, by mentioning your target’s favorite movie or leisure activity. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of segmentation and send tailored emails per each segment.
  • Rhymes, puns, or word play – wittiness can really pay off, as long as you adjust your message to your target audience.
  • Calls to action – this tactic will instill a sense of urgency in people, which can have a positive impact on your open rate.
  • Trigger words – words like free, sale, or save immediately grab the reader’s attention. More on that here.

3. Provide Useful Information

Even if you had to user at the subject line, you might lose them in the body. Make it a point to offer the recipient information that they won’t find on your blog, social media profiles, or website. Keep it short and to the point. Include links and calls to action to keep the reader interested.

Most importantly: don’t simply email ads. Consumers are fed up with them, and your message will likely be deleted without being read. Instead, share company-related updates, pricing changes, industry news, favorable online mentions of your brand, and so on. When promoting a new product or offer, include a discount coupon or a special offer, to get recipients intrigued.

4. Optimize for Mobile

In the U.S., 65 percent of email now gets opened on a mobile device first. On the same note, according to a report from email marketing firm BlueHornet, 80 percent of users delete emails not optimized for mobile. If you haven’t done this already, making your email smartphone-friendly is a must. Shorten your messages by device or use responsive design so your emails will render cleanly.

Emails are inexpensive means of mass communication. However, for your marketing strategy to be effective, your emails need to be opened and read. Consider the tips above to correct inefficiencies and deliver your message to the right demographic. If you’re consistent and relentless in your efforts to engage with your target audience, you’ll soon be able to measure tangible results.