10 Ways To Boost Your Email Open Rate

Sarah Jordan

Read Time: 4 minutes

With so many saturated inboxes, email marketing can be a difficult medium through which to gain visibility and drive conversion.

Yet when done well, your audience can actually look forward to receiving your emails. Here are 10 ways to boost your email open rate and keep your audience engaged long-term.


1. Write An Engaging Subject Line

Your subject line is your email’s shop window. Include verbs and numbers to make it engaging and encourage click-through. For instance, “Discover Email Marketing Success | Top 10 Ways To Boost Your Email Open Rate.” Most email marketing platforms allow you to A/B test your subject lines to help you get it right.


2. Avoid Using Spam Words

Overtly sales-focussed words on the other hand will almost certainly decrease your open rate. Increasingly sophisticated email providers will actively filter emails containing words such as ‘free,’ ‘sale’ and ‘buy now,’ sending them straight to junk. Exclamation marks and capitalised words can have the same effect and potentially turn your audience off too.


3. Write To A Person

Many brands direct their marketing activities towards specific personas. These fictional characters represent a specific segment of your target market. For instance, a cosmetics line might target ‘Jasmine,’ a 22 year old student living in an urban area with mid disposable income. Try writing as though to a specific person, in an accessible way, without being colloquial or overly familiar.

Read More: 6 Steps to Develop an Effective Brand Language


4. Send From A Person

Sending as though from a specific person can help instil a sense of trust in your target audience. Obviously sending an email from a named employee’s address could create a multitude of issues, so using a general address with an authentic sending name can be a good compromise. However it is best to send your marketing emails from a separate domain to that of your website. If too many people mark your domain as spam it can result in your domain being blacklisted.


5. Send High Quality Content

We know that high quality content is king when driving engagement. However did you know that including a video in your email can increase click-through rates by 200-300%? According to Forbes, 64% of customers are also more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video about it – so get filming!

Read More: Why All Brands Need To Think About Social Video


6. Write To People Who Want To Hear From You

Unsurprisingly people who don’t want to hear from you are unlikely to open your emails! Speak to the right people by regularly cleansing your lists, having clear unsubscribe options in your emails and not buying leads. Remember that upcoming changes in data protection legislation with GDPR will make this even more important.


7. Strike While The Iron Is Hot

Subscribers are at their most engaged when they first subscribe. Therefore the content you send them straight after sign up is likely to have the best chance of success. Setting up an email automation series can be a convenient way of ensuring your new subscribers receive relevant and engaging content at the right point in their customer journey.


8. Send It At The Right Time

Sending your email at the right time of day and week is also important to maximise open rates. Many email marketing platforms can automatically optimise your email send time and day to achieve the best open rate. As a general rule of thumb, send emails when people are likely to have eyes on their inbox – first thing in the morning and at weekends.


9. Segment Your Mailing List

If you can segment your mailing list based on their purchase history or the products/services they have expressed an interest in at the time of subscription, this can significantly improve your open rate. By sending specific audiences content that is particularly relevant to them, it is likely to make them more engaged your communications.

Read More: The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing


10. Ensure Your Email Is Fit For Mobile

We know that our audiences’ behaviour is changing all the time. One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the need to ensure mobile responsiveness. Many email marketing platforms allow you to check the appearance of your design in mobile format before sending. Always do a test email before sending and check it on as many different devices and email providers as possible.

Written By: Sarah Jordan

Written By: Sarah Jordan

Sarah Jordan is the founder and director of The William Agency. She specialises in engaging content marketing campaigns, brand marketing initiatives and tone of voice development.


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