10 Ways To Improve Your Email Open Rates


10 Ways To Improve Your Email Open Rates

So how can you increase your email open rate? There are a variety of ways to adjust your email marketing campaign to maximize your email open rate, and some of those vary by industry, but there are some basic and data driven decisions to keep in mind when creating your email marketing campaign.

1. Keep Your Email List Updated

If you don’t have the right audience you will not see the results you want to see. You want to make sure that your audience wants to hear from you. Do not buy lists. Instead, engage with your audience online and have them sign up for your email updates. Offering a freebie or running a contest in exchange for an email address will be a more effective way of organically building your list. 

Your open rates will suffer if you do not refresh your list. Over time people change email accounts, so you may be sending emails to an account that isn’t actively used. Or maybe they no longer hold an interest in your brand or service. You should also remove emails that bounce back and check for obvious typos such as “@gmal.com.” If you keep your list updated it will improve your open rates and make sure you aren’t paying for subscribers you can’t reach.

2. Keep Your Content Relevant

When customers believe that your business will send them interesting and informative emails, they will be excited to open your emails and your open rates will go up. However, if you are always sending every promotion and not offering new and interesting content or the content well-tailored to your audience then your messages will get left unopened or end up in the trash. You want to send timely information that is helpful to your audience. Make sure it is not something they could easily find elsewhere on the internet.

3. Segment Your List

One way to help keep your content relevant to your audience is to segment your email list. Add tags to your subscribers based on their behaviors and send emails based on their activities with you. There are several ways to do this, for example, you could segment your list into people that have made purchases, and what types of purchases, or by how long it has been since your last interaction. When you break down your list into groups of similar recipients you can send a more specific and focused email that is highly relevant to the recipients. If the message is of specific interest to your audience they are much more likely to open it.

4. Write Like A Friend

Even though you are writing your email to thousands of people, when you write it imagine it going to just one. Unsurprisingly, if the email sounds like it was written directly to the recipient the recipient is much more likely to engage with it. Use the recipients first name in your opening and keep a tone of a personal email between friends. Usually a more casual tone with contractions and colloquial language increases the personal nature of the email. For example, instead of saying “You have to check out our spring sale!” you might try, “You’ve gotta check out our Spring Sale!.”

Remember to use some humor. Humor allows you to make an instant connection with people and strengthen that connection. It makes your message more personal as well as entertaining and it will stick with people. It will make you sound less robotic and give you that human connection that customers are looking for.

To write a personalized message well you will have to know the persona of your buyer- their problems, desires, values, as well as likes and dislikes. An email with content informed by this information will help your messaging, open rates, and conversion clicks.

5. Perfect Your Timing

If you are sending out emails every day then chances are that your audience will be overwhelmed and your emails will sit unopened or end up in the trash. You want to send out emails in regular intervals, but how often can be determined by industry. Maybe you only send out one newsletter per month, or maybe you send out a quick weekly email. No matter what the interval is, you want to be consistent. If your emails are consistent in their delivery and you are sending quality content then your audience will look forward to reading your emails and your open rates will increase.


6. Avoid Spam Filters

Spam filters will banish your email to a never seen existence if you are not careful. Spam filters have become more sophisticated, but they still aren’t perfect. Even well-written emails can still get caught in the spam folder.

7. Send Your Email From a Person, Not The Company

You should send your emails from a person at your company, not from “Company X” This might seem counter-intuitive, and it surprises many people, because most businesses send their emails from their business name. But research from Pinpointe marketing found that by using a specific person’s name, rather than a general email from the company you can increase your open rates by as much as 35%! This really shouldn’t surprise you though, because it is one more way that you can remind your audience about the human aspect of your business. People want to engage with other people, so by using a specific name at your company instead of just the company name it gives the communication a personal touch.

8. Have A Clear Call To Action

Your email marketing campaign has a purpose. You need to make sure the call to action is obvious for your audience. They should know why you are contacting them, who or what you are telling them about, when, where, and how. The opening of your email should be warm and personal, but it should also address why you are emailing. The body of the message should contain all the relevant details, and before you get to the end you need to get your call to action out. You probably want your audience to go to your page, maybe to register for something or purchase something, but you need to get them there- your email should have a large button or text link that takes them there

9. Remember Mobile Users

To ensure that your email is mobile-friendly you will want to make sure that you use responsive formatting and loadable media, and you want to remember that mobile screens are smaller.

Pictures will take longer to load, and may not open at all. Android devices default to no pictures, so make sure your email makes sense and looks good without the graphics as well. Because the screen is smaller you want to make sure the call to action button or link is obvious and easy to click on. If you have multiple links do not place them right on top of each other or the mobile reader may accidentally click the wrong link.

When you write on mobile devices larger font is really important. The screens are smaller and if your email is too difficult to read, your audience just won’t. Also, the visible subject line is smaller. You want to make sure that your subject line is short enough to be seen on the mobile device.

10. Make Your Subject Line Stand Out

The subject line is probably the most important aspect of your email marketing campaign. It is the first thing a customer sees on any email. Nearly half of all subscribers say that the subject line determines whether they open the email. Make sure you don’t bait-and-switch with deceptive subject lines or your audience will stop reading your emails, but you still want your subject line to stand out.

Some of your tactics will depend on your audience, but you want to make sure that your subject line gets your audience’s attention. A good subject line will usually not be the first one you think of- you should spend time and use research data to help guide you.
Some ideas you can try:

  1. Use a fun or joking tone
  2. Entice curiosity
  3. Use the language and style that your subscribers use
  4. Insert Emojis to draw eyes to your subject line
  5. Include quotes or puns

Retention Science found that subject lines with 6-10 words delivered the highest open rates. So concise subjects were best. They also found that subject lines with movie titles and song lyrics used in them had higher average open rates. If your subscribers are likely to have read certain books or watch certain movies, it might be worth using references to these works in your subject line. If your audiences uses emojis in their texts, you should use emojis. Adding the word “video” to your subject line increases the open rate by 6%. You can have amazing content in your email, but if you subject line doesn’t stand out your audience may never click on it.


You have to stand out if you want to be noticed. The important thing is to make sure you are constantly evaluating your email marketing results and seeing what works for engaging your audience. What works well in one industry or one region might not work well in another. If you are trying to start or improve your email marketing campaign, start with the suggestions in this post and monitor your data, adjusting as you go. If you are willing to put in the work to know your audience and you follow these data driven tips you can improve your email marketing results.


  1. https://www.pinpointe.com/blog/best-email-send-from-address-name-or-company
  2. https://www.cmbinfo.com/cmb-cms/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Email-and-Facebook-Consumer-Pulse-Report_2012.pdf
  3. https://www.getresponse.com/resources/reports/email-marketing-benchmarks

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