A Study-Approved Trick for Boosting Your Email Open Rates

Posted by Chelsea Hejny on 16 Jan 2015 / 0 Comment

Do you use email marketing?

Do you use Facebook marketing?

Have you ever thought of putting them together to boost your email open rate?

If you answered “no,” maybe it’s time to think about marrying the two.


SalesForce ran a study that targeted 565,000 email subscribers with its regular email marketing and coordinated Facebook News Feed ads.

This study revealed some interesting results. Check out these stats:

• 18% of the people targeted only opened the email. They were not exposed to the ad.

• 27% of the people targeted were only exposed to the ads and did not see the email.

• 16% of the people targeted opened the email AND saw the Facebook ad.

• 33% of the people targeted did not open the email or see the ad impression.

Combining Your Email with Facebook Ads

The first bit of exciting data that SalesForce stumbled upon was that by coordinating their email marketing with Facebook ads, they were able to reach 77% more people than performing these two marketing strategies separately. Awesome, right?

Combining Facebook Ads and Email Marketing

Here’s what else they discovered.

• Of the 16% of people who saw the ads and opened the email, 22% of them were more likely to purchase than those that only opened the email.

• Of the 16% of people who saw the ads and opened the email 8% of them were more likely to click on an email than those who opened the email but didn’t see the ads.

What these stats essentially tell us is that people are more likely to open an email from a marketer if they’re also being targeted by that marketer through Facebook ads.

If you think you’d like to test out this theory by coordinating your Facebook ads with your email marketing strategy, here are some best practices to keep in mind for each marketing strategy.

Best Practices for Email Marketing

Write Compelling Subject Lines: The subject line of your email will help the reader determine whether they want to open your email or not. Studies have shown that using uppercase letters tends to raise the engagement of a subject line, such as: 5 Holiday Marketing Tips You Need.

Have a Strong Call-to-Action: Calls to action provide your audience with a clear view of what they should do with the content you’ve delivered through your email. Calls to action should be short and sweet, between two to five words. Also, choose one call to action per email and stick to it! For example, if you’re linking to a blog post about 5 Holiday Marketing Tips You Need your call-to-action may be “Read More” or “Learn More.”

Keep your Call-to-Action and Message Above the Fold: The fold is the point on the screen where users have to start scrolling in order to see more information. In order to maximize your click throughs and keep your recipient engaged, keep your most valuable messages and calls to action above the fold. If you can keep your whole email above the fold, even better! Here’s an example of a popular email we recently sent.

Like-Gate Ban

Now that you have a few email marketing best practices under your belt, let’s get into the execution portion of this blog post.

How to Create a Facebook Ad that Targets Your Email List

Step 1:

Setting up a Facebook ad to target your email list is simple. The first step is to create a Custom Audience (CA) for your email list(s). One way of doing this is to go to your Ads Manager, then in left-hand column, click on “Audiences”

On the next page, there are a few buttons. Click on the first one to “Create a Custom Audience.” Then, in the pop-up window, click on “Customer List.”

The next screen is where you select one of three options for creating a Custom Audience of your email list subscribers. Choose the option that works best for you.

Once you complete the process of creating a Custom Audience, wait about 30 minutes for it to be ready. After this waiting period, you can dive into creating a Facebook ad that targets your email list.

Step 2:

To create a Facebook ad that targets your email list, i.e., the custom audience you just created, you can use to the ads create tool.

After you’ve chosen an objective for your Campaign, on the next webpage select your Custom Audience in the Custom Audience drop-down menu. Complete your ad by selecting other targeting options and setting a budget.

When you’re creating a narrowly-targeted Facebook ad (like one that targets your email list), your ad’s copy can be more direct and personal sounding. After all, you likely have a relationship with the folks you’re targeting!

Your subscribers get you, and hopefully you get them. If you do, when you sit down to write copy for your ad, a tip is to brainstorm ways you can essentially call out your subscribers (in a good way, of course).

A Facebook ads pro that executes on this type of ad really well is Jon Loomer. Take a look at one of his ads below:

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Readers, what do you think of using Facebook ads as a way to help boost the open rates of your emails? Does this sound like an awesome test to try in 2015 or what? We think so!