Tips To Boost Your Email Open Rates

14 April, 2015

Email marketing is an efficient way to engage with your customers and leads. With email marketing, you can easily and quickly reach target markets without the need for large quantities of print space, television or radio time, or high production costs. According to the Direct Marketing Association, Email Marketing has an ROI of 4,300%.

Email marketing works well because your message is delivered directly to your customers' email clients, but once it is in their inbox, how can you make sure that it is actually opened? This is what email marketers refer to as the open rate. If your email campaigns are suffering from a low open rate (email open rate varies from one industry to the other, but according to Constant Contact, the average across all industries is around 22%), then it means you need to look deeper into what you are currently doing incorrectly.

If your email marketing open rate is below the average or decreasing, you will find helpful information in this post. We will look at a few simple tactics to get more people to open your emails and, therefore, increase engagement and widen the reach of your marketing messages.

Here are 5 simple tactics to increase your email open rate:

1. Choose an effective subject line

Email subject lines are more important than the email body itself as it is the first impression on your users. It is what makes the user decide whether to open or ignore the email.

👉  Related post: Best Email Subject Lines to Increase Your Open Rate

Invest time to come up with an attractive subject line for your users to open your email. Here are 9 different types of email subject lines you can use in your next campaign:

  1. Simple, No Nonsense, make it short and descriptive
  2. Funny
  3. Controversial/Shocking
  4. Single-Word
  5. Subject Lines with Numbers & Lists
  6. Personalized Subject Lines have become such a common practice that many users glaze over these as spam. Instead, try location-specific offers and language or interest targeting. LivingSocial and Groupon are old pros at this, sending emails with subject lines promoting deals in your area.
  7. Questions & Other Punctuation
  8. “Missing Out” & Other Scarcity Tactics
  9. Mysterious  Subject Lines 

2. Fix you're ‘from the name.’

Is your “from the name” recognizable and trustworthy to your audience? The name field appears first in most email clients, and most likely, if the name is unrecognizable or sounds spammy, your email will not be open.

Use a familiar "From Name" and "From Email" address that represents your business. If possible, use an email address with your business’s name in it rather than a personal email.

3. Find the best time to send

So, when is the best time to send your emails? Well, it depends on who you are and whom you’re sending to. However, the general rule is to send during the daytime when people are awake, try to avoid sending your emails over the weekend where most people are busy, and try to avoid Mondays as they are the first working day in the week. Usually, it's the most hectic day for most users.

However, the ultimate test to determine the best time to send out your emails is by doing A/B testing to send your emails at different times of the day and keep track of which version gets the highest open rate. Doing A/B testing for a few weeks will indicate when is the best time to send your emails.

4. Segment and Personalize

Not all of your audience is the same. They all are at different stages of the buyer's journey. They all belong to different buyer personas with different goals, behavior, motivation factors, etc. This is where email segmentation and personalization comes into play.

👉  Related post: What is The Buyer's Journey and How to Use it in Your Marketing

According to MailChimp, segmented emails have an open rate that is 14.72% higher than non-segmented campaigns.

It is essential that you understand and know your email audience.

  • What topics they’re interested in?
  • Why did they join your email list?
  • What buyer journey stage are they in?
  • What was their behavior in their last interaction with you on your website or previous email?

The more detailed information you have of them, the more you can target your audience with more relevant information.

Most email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact offer email list segmentation based on the data you have about your contacts. Marketing Automation tools like HubSpot offer a higher level of segmentation by using workflows and smart content to create contextual marketing campaigns triggered when the user performs specific actions on your website.

Segmenting allows for more personalized messages, which then leads to a higher open rate.

According to Adestra, "Personalized email subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened", most modern email marketing platforms allow you to merge data fields in your email subject and message body. It’s essential to personalize a greeting and deliver a personalized and concise message that is easy to read and easy grasp.

5. Refine your email list sign-up process

Attract the right audience in the first place. If you attract people who don’t fit your target audience and then try to email them on a topic they don’t find interesting, no matter how perfect your email, or subject line, they will still find it uninteresting and therefore not open the email at all.

The more targeted your audience is, the higher your open rates will be. 

Make sure your email list sign-up form is clear, explaining to the user what they are signing up for, the benefit of joining your email list, and how often they will receive an email from you.

So there, you have it.

These are my 5 simple tactics to increase your email open rates. I would love to hear about your experience. What other tactics would you add to this list? What’s one thing you could improve on in your next email campaign? 



My name is Izzy and I am a co-founder of IDS, an award-winning HubSpot Solutions Partner. I lead our team of consultants who provide professional guidance to help businesses implement the HubSpot CRM platform migrate, integrate their tech stack to HubSpot to create a seamless environment for sales reps to use. There is nothing I love more than solving the challenges that come up when someone wants to migrate an old system or integrate their tech stack with HubSpot - it's like a puzzle!

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