How Manufacturers Can Boost Email Opens By 20% In 4 Steps

One of the biggest challenges in custom manufacturing  Is poor communication to their audience. This isn’t a isolated issue but one that seems to be pretty consistent. Even when email marketing is being properly used, the issue that plagues many is low Open Rates.

What is an open rate? To keep it simple, your open rate is the percentage of people who will see your email and open it to look at it. If you send out 10 emails and 3 of your recipients open it, then you sit at a 30% open rate.

However, for most, 30% would actually be a victory. If you think about your own email habits, how often do you delete or ignore an email that is of no interest to you or doesn’t catch your attention

The emails in your inbox are all prying for you to open them, but many times we don’t. This is why Open Rates are so important when it comes to email marketing.

So now, we turn to you. You are sending out hundreds, or even thousands of emails out for a new product announcement, promotion, or something else–what kind of response are you getting from your email and what kind of Open Rate are you getting? If you need a reference, the average Open Rate for Manufacturing in 2021 is about 14.8%!* 

If you’re like many custom manufacturers in the space, you are not seeing the results you want and it can be frustrating. This is why we mapped out a powerful way with these 4 steps to boost your Open Rate by 20% in 2021!

Step 1: Clean Your List:

Cleaning your list is an important step. You are sanitizing your list for invalid emails, people who unsubscribe, hard bounces (never opens), and spam traps.

  • Manually comb your email list and look for records that have bounced or hit spam traps. 
  • Use a list cleaning service like Zerobounce, Kickbox, Validity, or others. 
  • Remove inactive records that haven’t hard bounced yet but might (people who haven’t opened or clicked on an email in months) .
  • Look to see if any duplicate emails exist. There’s a chance you are sending two emails to one place, or a very similar place, which gets seen as spam by the email client. Duplicates  also clutter the list. 
  • Uniformity in a list works wonders to keep all your data looking lined up formatted correctly. This means keeping things like ‘United States’ or ‘US’ or ‘U.S.A.’ is consistent across the board for all variations. You want to take that same approach with things like Job Title, Seniority, Company Name, etc.
A clean list means a list that will hit more inboxes and perform better overall because it removes clutter and the potential to become spam and hurt your brand.

Step 2: Break Your List Into Segments

Breaking your list into segments allows you to control the destination of your emails in an orderly fashion. You can group emails into different categories based on specific needs. For ex: Top clients, low budget, return customers, etc.

It is a known fact that smaller email list sends typically perform much better than larger blasts. There are a few reasons for this:
  • Smaller lists have a lower chance of hitting spam traps or triggering an email clients’ built in filters. 
  • Targeted email sends to smaller lists can help warm up the email client inbox (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) to demonstrate that your email is a valid one. 
  • Smaller list sends means you can break up the send to different days of the week to again avoid setting off alarms in the email clients’. 
  • You can filter out hard bounces from the next sends easier in your upcoming, large batch sends. 
  • You can collect data based on your segments and apply that data differently and directly to each specific group. If it wasn’t segmented, your data can be skewed and hurt or help different groups. 
  • Within those specific sections, you can personalize your emails to the specific tastes and needs of the place or person you’re trying to reach easier. This is known as dynamic content. (More on this on the next section)
Smaller is better when you can do it, but it isn’t always possible, but it’s one option if you are running into consistently low deliverability and open rates.
Step 3: Personalize Your Email Sends

Think about how good it feels to receive a personalized letter, gift, message, or email from someone. It’s the thought that counts right? The same can be applied for the marketing emails you send out.

That’s the power of “dynamic content” in an email. Dynamic content allows you to send  special and uniquely crafted content that speaks to the personality, habit, or tendency of the user it is sent to. It may contain information, key words, or topics that will peak their interest in a way that makes them want to click open.

Here are some quick numbers: GetResponse, says open rates are nearly 30% with email body personalization. Epsilon research indicates 80% of customers are more influenced toward making a buy with personalized experience.

Personalized email sends perform better, hands down. But personalization doesn’t just look like inserting First Name into the subject line of an email. While that is great, here are some ways you can personalize your email sends for your audience:
  • Use first name in the subject line. Yes, as simple as this, it is crucial especially if you have all of the data in your database to do so. It’s more casual and conversational. 
  • Use other variable fields like Company Name, Job Title, etc. that might be relevant to your communication. One example could be “We know that the folks at {{company.Company Name}} want solutions like ours.” 
  • Tailor the content to match your audience based on their unique interests. If you are marketing to end users, you don’t talk to them like distributors or dealers, and vice versa. Your audiences have particular interests so craft emails unique to them and for them. 
  • Do not inundate them with filler. Make your content relevant and efficient to the needs of the person. 
  • Use a captivating preheader. This is an important one as well as it drives overall click through of an email when a good, captivating preheader is used as opposed to a generic one. 
  • Also knowing the timezone of the subject is important. You can monitor what times are best to send an email. For example, 8am EST may be great to send an email but for the person in California, it’s 5am.

Step 4: Set up Welcome Campaigns for All Segments

Welcome campaigns are extremely important for onboarding new clients and customers. This is essentially your first impression to hook in the target and keep them engaged. More often than not, they have okayed this first interaction and are the most receptive to what you are selling / saying.

Something we see a lot is that someone will get a brand new list of people and then just blast them all with an email–let’s avoid that where we can. Instead, set up welcome drip campaigns that trickle out to your audience.

  • Drip campaigns, especially welcome campaigns, can be a simple and easy way to start engagement long before you have your first email blast. 
  • When your database is getting this welcome series, they are getting ‘warmed up’ and primed to receive your next communication (their inboxes too). 
  • A welcome series informs your audience about your company AND can speak to a specific segment about where they can best be served by your company i.e. an end-user will want to know how to use the product, how it’s made, and what distributors or dealers can they connect with for example where a distributor or dealer might be interested in something else.
  • Having a drip in place means that you can breathe a little bit easier about how often your list is getting emailed–you can be confident that communication is happening on some level and they aren’t just sitting around. 
  • Each one of these emails serves a purpose to instill to the intended target, “Hey, you want to be here and stick around for what’s next.” Essentially, you are providing constant value to them in hopes that they will take you on your offers. 

To sum everything up, one of the most important metrics of success is the open rate. 

The higher you are able to get your rating, the more business you will have coming, the more meaningful and positive interaction you will have with your database, and the more business that will ultimately come your way.

There are many small and easily correctable issues that can cause your open rates to plummet but with these four steps of: Clean Your List, Break Your List into Segments, Personalize Your Email Sends, and Set Up Welcome Campaigns for Segments, you should be able to boost your email Open Rate by 20% (or even more!) With the average rate being around 15%, adding 20% to that takes you far beyond the competition and help you connect your unique messaging with your Distributors and End Users!


  • Influence Marketing (Manufacturing Open Rates)

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.