Vanessa DeBurlet

How to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Vanessa DeBurlet



How to Increase Your Email Open Rates

We’ve all been there. 

You have a GREAT product. GREAT email copy. GREAT campaign strategy. You’re ready with your email. All you need to do is click “Send”…and wait for the results. 

And wait. 

And wait. 

But suddenly you realize that people aren’t even opening your email! It’s dismally disappointing. They’ve missed your great content AND your great product, and your strategy is no longer effective…because you’re not even reaching your audience. 

So How Do You Increase Your Email Open Rates?

How do you get your audience to click on your emails in their inboxes? 

In this blog post, I’m going to share a few different tips and strategies for increasing your open rates – and giving yourself the platform you need to succeed!

What is considered a “low” open rate? This can fluctuate a bit based on your niche and field, but interestingly, a 25% open rate is considered pretty solid. So if you find that you’re ending up with a 3-4% open rate, you definitely want to start increasing those numbers. 

1. Ask Your Readers to Simply Add Your Email to Their Contact List

Many readers will do this just because you ask them, and this way your emails won’t go to their spam folder. Your audience always has the option to unsubscribe and stop receiving your emails, so you want to do your best to keep your current members – the audience that wants to be there – engaged with you and your content. 

2. Send Emails At Optimal Times

When IS the best time to send an email? Well, it depends on your audience, so you’ll want to look at your specific statistics. However, in general, Tuesdays are often the best day of the week, followed by Fridays. Most readers are also more likely to open their emails around 12pm-3pm, during the lunch hour at work. After 24 hours, the likelihood of people opening your emails also decreases – so you want to try to set yourself up for success from the start. 

3. Use Your Name

You can do this in the subject line; many times, people put their names, a tagline from their business, etc. here and it often helps increase their open rates. But what if people don’t know you yet? Well, they may not know you initially – but once they get to know you and see you’re a real, caring person, your audience is more likely to open your emails with your name than if you simply put your company name. People will also be able to see you as a person and start warming up to you. 

4. Pique Interest With Your Subject Line

We all know you want to create curiosity and get that “perfect” subject line, right? But how? Well, for starters, you want it to be the right length. Some researchers have found that subject lines that are roughly 6-10 words seem to perform the best. If it’s too short, there is not enough information to intrigue people. If it’s too long, you lose your audience before you even get into the email copy. This length also works well on a mobile app. 

It also helps to create a sense of urgency. For example, when I post about the end of a sale or an expiring offer, I tend to have very high open rates – because my audience realizes it’s urgent. How can you incorporate urgency into some of your emails? Ask yourself what causes YOU to open an email. What sort of subject lines are attractive? Why? Are they funny? Interesting? Why do they catch your attention? 

5. Personalize Your Email

Put your audience member’s name into the email – don’t just send out a blanket statement to your audience. You don’t want to go overboard with this; use it sparingly, but DO include first names here and there in your email. 

6. Include Movie Titles or Song Lyrics In Your Subject Line

This one is interesting – you can increase your open rates by including movie titles or song lyrics in your subject line. Do some research on what movies and songs are trending, and be clever about how you include them. If you can make it fit comfortably, you can “up” the likelihood of someone opening your email. For example, “I’m all shook up over XYZ”. 

7. Words Matter

Most emails that are opened include words like secrets, e-sales, and awesome in the subject line that cause people to open. However, when there are words such as confirm features or upgrade, these emails often get reported as spam. 

Personally, I recommend that you do some research on what words are most often reported as spam, especially those that you might tend to use in your emails or industry. DON’T USE THEM. 

If you have a fun offer such as a video, include this in the subject line. Note that people are also less likely to open if you have a question mark or hashtag in your subject line. There may be funny conventions in your field or industry that help your audience to pay greater attention to your emails; take note of these (and take advantage of them!).

In conclusion, you can’t control your audience’s actions – but you CAN give yourself a head-start when it comes to email open rates. Take a look at your current strategies and see how they line up with this list. Do you need to adjust any of your techniques? Be willing to pivot, test, and try new things – and you just might be surprised at how your email open rates jump up. 

Have you decided on an email marketing tool to collect your emails? Unfortunately, if you use your personal account you will eventually get shut down for spamming. After all, your list WILL grow into the thousands! I tried the free ones at first and while that is appealing when you are new they tend not to do the job after you grown and then you have to deal with moving everything to a tool that can handle more. I use Active Campaign and have been very satisfied!

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