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18 Strategies to Increase Email Open Rate

18 Strategies to Increase Email Open Rate

Email isn’t only a form of communication but also a strong marketing tool for small and big businesses. Recent stats show that every dollar spent on email marketing produces $42 in ROI — highest of all marketing channels.

Therefore, companies invest time and money to devise robust email marketing campaigns. But convincing people to open and interact with your emails can be challenging.

In this article, we will discuss the following factors that can help improve the open rate and boost the success of your campaign.

Read also: Best Email Marketing Automation Tools

What Is an Email Open Rate?

An email open rate refers to the percentage of subscribers opening your email compared to the total number of recipients. You can gauge the effectiveness of any email marketing plan by looking at the email open rate. It’s an excellent approach to determine whether subscribers read your emails. This method also determines whether your email marketing strategy is successful. You will also know if it requires modifications.

A low open rate indicates your subscriber isn’t following the expected path through your sales funnel. It is not something you want to take lightly!

Why Are Email Open Rates Crucial for Businesses?

Open rates show the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. A high open rate indicates that the subject line, email copy, giveaways, and offers attract the recipients. Those uninterested in your email content may unsubscribe or not open your emails.

An email marketing campaign’s open rate indicates whether any adjustments are necessary. Low email open rates suggest prospects aren’t taking the necessary action. It leads to poor conversion rates.

Read also: Reasons Why Email Campaigns Fail

What Is the Average Email Open Rate?


The average global email open rate is 19.66%. The annual email marketing statistics analysis determined it after assessing 7 billion messages. But it is a global average. Your open rate may be greater or somewhat lower due to the following circumstances:

Location: if your company is in Europe, you may benchmark your open rate at 25.18%. If your business is near North America, aim for an open rate of around 23.53%.

Industry: If your line of work involves food and restaurants (32.04%), nonprofits (31.73%), automobiles (30.87%), or real estate (28.57%).

Business type: Your subscribers’ interactions with your emails will vary. It depends on whether you give them B2C or B2B content.

Email Type: Do you advertise a Black Friday sale, a webinar, or a weekly newsletter? The numbers might go either way in each situation.

Factors Affecting Email Open Rates

Many factors can affect your email open rates. These factors determine if your subscriber finds your email attractive.

Furthermore, these variables assess if your audience has a reason to open your emails. 

Here, we discuss the top elements that significantly impact email open rate:

Content Relevancy

The key to improving the open rate is making the material relevant to the intended audience. But before you craft a hyper-segmented email body, writing a catchy subject line is imperative to hook the recipient.

Test out various subject lines to see which performs best. Changing the style of writing an email copy can be beneficial. Make sure the image’s color scheme corresponds with the email’s copy. Avoid flashy words. They will make the email content challenging to read and engage the audience.

Deep Personalization

Deep personalization is about to make audience segments and consider the interests of each group. Personalize the email’s content and subject line to give it a more distinctive touch. If you consistently give subscribers emails, they enjoy, they will develop the habit of reading them. Most crucially, it will drive them to take the desired action. Email marketers often use strong CTAs for subscriptions, sales, and content reviews.

Read also: Email Retargeting Complete Guide

Content Quality

Your email’s content has a significant impact on future open rates. Your subscribers will not open your emails if you consistently provide invaluable information. Users will not miss out if they are happy with your content and believe you don’t offer value.

Provide compelling material that will encourage email receivers to read more of it. Although subject lines can increase your open rate, you haven’t won the battle. Make sure to write as if you are talking to your friend.  Subscribers like to know that a person is at the other end of the line.

Email Frequency


Increasing your email open rate won’t come from spamming your consumers with emails. They will become so annoyed that they will unsubscribe or report your emails as spam. Furthermore, sending them seldom can cause them to forget about you.

Then, how frequently should you email someone?

There is no perfect number that determines how many emails you should send. Research says that companies should send 1-2 emails each week. However, the frequency of your emails depends upon your campaign objectives. The rule of thumb is to start with a generic frequency and then increase or decrease it as per the results.

Time of The Day

There is no point in sending an email in the middle of the night as your recipient won’t open it. If your audience lives in a different time zone, you must email them accordingly. Generally, most people check in the morning when going to work, thus ideal for emailing.

However, they tend to ignore salesy and non-work-related emails during work hours. Therefore, you can try evening hours to reach out to your audience. Choosing a time to send emails is tricky as everyone is different. So, do your research and find out when your audience is most active on emails. Sending an email during that time increases the chances of an open rate.

Email List Quality

When you can get visitors to sign up for your mailing list, you know they are at least interested in what your business has to offer.

However, marketers often use digital tools to collect email addresses and build lists. As a result, you usually have irrelevant people in your database who will likely ignore or delete your emails.

Therefore, you should always cross-check your email list to ensure you have a targeted audience on board. Use an email verifier if you think the email addresses you’ve collected are incorrect.

Email Interface


Most of us check our emails on phones; thus, your email design should be compatible with all devices. Mobile devices are the most common reading environment, with tablets and smartphones accounting for 41.9% of all email opens. It shows that cell phones seriously influence email marketing.

Emails should display beautifully on mobile devices. Images should fit the screen size, and text and buttons shouldn’t be too small. Pre-made templates ensure that every email template is lightweight and suited for all devices.

An email structure that isn’t mobile-friendly will have a comparatively lower rate.

Sender Name

If you believe the recipient’s name doesn’t matter, you should think again! Addressing your audience using their first name adds a personal touch to your email. This is why it significantly impacts your email’s open rate.

It also shows that you know your audience, and they will feel valued. Your recipient will feel that they are communicating with an actual human. This means they are likely to take the desired action or reply. Nobody wants to receive bot-generated, nameless emails as they sound spammy and irrelevant.

Seasonal and Holiday Factors

Business emails typically increase over the holidays, festivals, and events. Your open rates can fall due to the inbox’s extreme volume and competition. Most people are selective about which emails to open. That is why your email might have gone missing in the crowd.

Moreover, slow times like holidays or seasonal vacations might lower the open rate. It is because people do not check their emails.

Gmail Tabs

Currently, there are 1.5 billion Gmail users, meaning you can reach a broad audience. But the channel automatically categorizes social, marketing, and personal emails. Unknown email addresses directly land in the spam box.

The emails in the promotion section receive little attention due to their salesy nature. But those who subscribe to newsletters, discount offers, and other services frequently check all emails. Therefore, when setting a campaign, know your audience preferences.

Unbalanced Text-To-Image Ratio

Your email may be flagged as spam if it contains photos with little to no content. The 60/40 rule is the guideline for balancing text and visuals. Your emails should have 60% text and 40% graphics. Also, test your emails to determine what works for you.

Read also: Best Email Drip Campaign Examples

Automate LinkedIn Prospecting with Octopus CRM

18 Tips on How to Increase Email Open Rate

Do you wish to improve the open rate of your emails? Your email marketing efforts will only be successful if recipients open them. Here are quick techniques to increase your open rate if it isn’t as high as you’d want.

Trigger Curiosity

Getting your subscribers to act is the primary goal of sending emails in the first place. Creating catchy subject lines will attract your readers and entice them to open emails.

For instance, using a teaser in your subject line will hook the reader and induce curiosity. It will also motivate them to read the rest of your email. A distinctive subject line will reduce the chances that your email will end up in your readers’ trash.

Write Compelling Subject Lines

Subject line is the first thing your recipient will read; therefore, you need to create a powerful and punchy one. According to stats, the subject line alone influences over one-third of email receivers’ decisions to open or ignore a message.

So, how do you create subject lines that work every single time? Here is some quick and simple advice:

  • Add value to your subject lines by personalizing them. 
  • Inform recipients of the advantages of opening your email.
  • Be concise. The most effective subject lines limit themselves to 6 to 10 words.

Use First Names


Instead of posing anonymity, try developing a close relationship with your subscribers. One guaranteed way to help is to use the subscriber’s first name.

The experience is like receiving a personalized email. It will undoubtedly generate a favorable response from your readers and motivate them to learn how your email might benefit them.

By using their first name while addressing your subscribers, you may see an increase in email opens.

Make Use of Humor

A lighthearted email can make your readers’ day. They may even start anticipating your emails and checking for fresh stuff you have to provide.

Create a connection with your followers by being humorous. An excellent place to start when trying to increase your open rate is by writing emails that don’t sound too cold, impersonal, or dull.

Ensure your emails are valuable, whether you make them satirical, sarcastic, or humorous.

Segment Your Lists

Besides maintaining list accuracy, segmentation or email list hygiene, can efficiently increase open rates. Users open emails with a high level of relevance to the recipient’s needs and interests. By segmenting your lists, you may send them highly personalized communications that stand out.

You can segment the list based on your audience’s position in the sales cycle. Another way to categorize your email list is to separate them as per the content type they are interested in. By doing so, you can automatically add email addresses to the most appropriate lists for each subscriber.

Use Emojis


According to many people, emoji usage in emails is inappropriate. However, this is not true.  Emoji usage in emails is neither improper nor immoral.

Thus, include emoticons in your communications. They convey emotion and reassure subscribers that the sent emails are not spam emails from automated systems. Emojis also foster a fun, unique connection between the subscribers and the email senders. Your message will be more colorful and approachable if your subject line contains emojis.

Personalize Emails

Automated personalization effectively grabs readers’ attention and convinces them to open an email. That is why most email receivers today can recognize the importance of personalizing emails. It can be as straightforward as using a person’s first name (for example, “Michael, we think you’d enjoy reading these marketing tips.”).

First names alone are not the only email personalization strategies. Other ways to customize include:

  • Mentioning nearby locations and events
  • Recommending new material based on prior involvement
  • Providing bargains according to initial preferences and purchases

A/B Test Everything

To ensure your emails get the desired response, testing them with a select audience is better. Write multiple versions of your emails and send them to prospects to gauge which generates the best feedback. The process is called A/B testing.

A/B tests give you the information you need to decide which of your content’s components or pieces is better for an email campaign. In addition to subject lines, you may test CTAs, graphics, and other parts of your email’s content.

Trying several versions of your email will help you determine what appeals to your audience most. In turn, it will also increase the open rate and success of your campaign.

Create Engaging Content

Quality content is the best approach to developing a persistently engaging experience. It will also encourage receivers to read your emails.

Email is a fantastic way to share blog posts and other relevant materials with your readers. It is also an excellent way to increase email engagement. People will pay closer attention to emails after they receive them in their inboxes. The audience will read your emails if you constantly generate customer-focused, valuable content. 

Pay Attention to Your Customers’ Interests

Increasing sales is the primary objective of maintaining a mailing list. But you shouldn’t make it the only criterion of your email’s content. There are many approaches to increasing sales.

Concentrate on creating material that appeals to your readers. This is the ideal strategy to maintain their interest and involvement while guiding people through your sales cycle.

Also, they’ll keep reading your emails since they know they offer valuable information.

Request (and Make Use of) Feedback


Your audience is the best data source regarding your emails’ effectiveness. Feedback can be a viable starting point to modify and optimize your strategy. 

There are several approaches you can take. You can include a poll in a special email to ask for reviews. Another way is to have one or two brief queries after each communication (the query might be as straightforward as “Did you appreciate this email?”).

Direct feedback enables you to pinpoint specific and effective strategies.

Find Out the Reason A Customer Unsubscribed

Have you ever attempted to remove your name from an email list? A form asking for your reasons for unsubscribing was most likely sent to you when you clicked on a link to a page with the form.

As emails irritate or bore them, people often unsubscribe from mailing lists. So, if a subscriber chooses to remove their name from your mailing list, they typically have a reason for doing so.

Besides proving yourself worthy, learn why people are unsubscribing. It will let you make the necessary corrections and stop it from happening again.

Pro Tip: Appealing to your readers’ consciences will cause them to reconsider unsubscribing. The statement that reads, “We are sorry to see you go,” is an example. You never know; the subscriber might change their mind.

Proofread Your Emails


Reading through your email entirely after you’ve finished writing is crucial. Verify the content for inaccuracies, false facts, and any improvement areas. Proofreading gets very little credit.

Even the slightest grammatical error puts off the majority of individuals. Using the wrong punctuation mark or writing “is” instead of “has” will offend your subscribers, so it’s not worth it. Take proofreading carefully, and where necessary, use spelling and grammar checkers.

Send Emails from a Person, Not Your Business

When a real person sends an email, the chances of opening the message arise.Recipients are often more likely to trust a personalized email address than a generic one. Due to the current overabundance of spam, people frequently hesitate to read emails from senders they do not know. They are more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address.

Ask A Query at The End of Your Email to Grab Attention

Starting an email with a sense of curiosity is a fantastic concept. You should end the email with something that satiates the curiosity. But that is not all! The closing statement should anchor their anticipation for more content from you

Asking questions encourages interaction from your subscribers. You may also promise to respond to the query in the following email. As a result, your readers will eagerly anticipate your subsequent emails.

Avoid Buying Email Lists

People use a common shortcut to obtain an extensive list of recipients to advertise to potential customers.  Your letter travels directly to the spam folder, or the recipient server entirely stops you.

You must attract subscribers who sign up on your website or social media. Direct signups enable you to collect data that you can use to segment your emails.

Be Brief in Your Emails

Everyone has a hectic schedule and an overflowing inbox. Why send a wordy email that makes things worse? Long emails tend to be disliked more by recipients than short ones since the latter has a more specific emphasis. Also, when consumers quickly skim through their emails, they will likely identify the main point before deciding.

Another reason to limit the length of your emails? Spam filters will also raise an alert if there is too much copy.

Add One CTA Button to Each Email

Many email receivers will scan your message instead of reading the entire text.  Your email’s CTA button should be obvious and straightforward to identify for even the fastest email scanners. A CTA button urges your audience to do anything that will help your company’s expansion. Placing it at the most prominent spot in an email is crucial. 


Increasing email open rates may be challenging at first. However, once you get hold of the techniques that convince readers to open emails, you will find it simple. You can increase email open rates and develop a meaningful connection with your audience. Furthermore, you can improve the chances of opening an email by producing fresh and innovative content. You should also regularly clean up your email list and track performance.

Use the tips mentioned above to improve your email open rates. Even if you are an expert, you will surely benefit from the above mentioned ways to increase the chances of adding more subscribers.