October 12, 2021

Comprehensive Guide: 10 Simple Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates

What is email marketing?

Email marketing allows businesses to keep their customers informed and tailor the marketing messages to their audience. Otherwise, email marketing can drive customers away without opening it or even annoying spam emails.

The two biggest advantages of email marketing are price and ease. Emailing is an inexpensive way to advertise and the easiest way to promote your brand – Experts with the email marketing company Litmus estimate that email marketing returns an average of $42 for every $1 spent.

The other huge advantage of email over social media is that customers are more likely to see an email than social media since an email will sit in an inbox until it’s read or deleted – A study of more than 1 billion shopping sessions in 2019 found that email marketing has a conversion rate of 2.3%, compared to 1% for social media.


Email open rate

Speaking of email marketing – email open rate is a perfect indicator of subject line effectiveness.

According to Mailchimp benchmark reports, which include both small and Fortune 500 clients, email open rates average between 15% and 30% across most industries. Personal interest topics (religion, hobbies, photos, etc.) trend higher while marketing topics (ecommerce, coupon offers, and so on) trend lower.


How to calculate email open rate?

The easiest way to do it is by using this formula:

Open rate = (total unique opens ÷ total recipients) x 100

You need two variables to calculate the open rate:

  • Total recipients – how many email addresses are on your mailing list
  • Total unique opens – how many recipients opened your email

Keep in mind that you need the unique open only. If a recipient opened the same email twice or more, they only count as one unique open.


Here is your comprehensive guide covering 10 ways to increase your email open rate

  1. Keep your contact list fresh
    • Some people may have changed email accounts, or maybe they just aren’t interested in your brand anymore. – it’s a good idea to periodically remove inactive subscribers to keep your contact list fresh.  Always can use an email verification tool to determine which email is valid or invalid and keep your contact lists fresh
  2. Segment your list
    • It’s very important to keep people feeling engaged with emails that you have been sending – it’s decided whether they want to open or not. You can start segmenting your list based on demographics, behavior, interests, and so on.
  3. Bypass spam filters
    • If you want to make sure your email marketing campaigns go to the inbox, you’ll need to do everything possible in order to avoid being flagged as spam. Avoid words in the subject line that might trigger spam filters. Here is a list of Top Email Spam Trigger Words to Avoid in 2021
  4. Add an email preheader
    • Preheader text appears directly below or to the right of the subject line – depending on which device the recipient is using. The pre-header of an email allows the recipients to preview the content of the email before actually opening it. Utilize the preheader space to trigger the curiosity amongst the reader to compel them to open and read your email.
  5. Find out the best email sending time
    • Timing really depends on your specific audience. In general, people tend to be more responsive on weekdays during business hours. You could test for variations between emails sent at the start of the day, around lunch, and near the end of the day.
  6. Avoid sending too many emails
    • The email benchmark study from GetResponse found the highest open rates with companies sending one email per week, declining a bit with each additional email sent per week.
  7. Create killer subject lines
    • When it comes to email open rates, your subject lines are your weapon – it has to stand out. Here are a few tips to create killer subject lines:
      • Include numbers in subject – Including numbers in your subject line is proven to increase email opens.
      • Keep it short – More than half of the emails are opened on mobile phones. Hence it is essential to keep the subject line short enough to read the entire subject on a mobile screen.
      • Use title case – Use title case for your subject to boost open rates.
      • Avoid spam trigger keywords – Avoid spam keywords in subject to ensure that your email hits the inboxes.
      • Use of emoji in subject line – Some brands that do use emojis experience a 56% boost in their unique open rates. Although using an emoji or not is a choice that your communication team can make.
      • Be honest with your subject – Do not deceive the readers with misleading subject lines. It might make the readers lose trust in your brand and lead the recipient to unsubscribe or report your email as spam.
      • A/B Test your subject – Avoid using intuition to predict which subject line would have higher open rates. It is always sensible to create A/B variations and test them out for yourself and then select the best subject line for the larger campaign.
  8. Personalize the email content
    • Please remember that email content is the most important thing since you need to deliver your message and start getting engaged. If you’re consistently personal in both the way you write the emails and the subject line title, there’s a good chance you’ll win in the long run.
  9. Use a recognizable sender name
    • It is always nice to put a face to the sender. By personalizing the sender’s name, the reader will feel like they’re talking to a real person instead of a bot or a business. This will encourage more readers to open your emails and reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.
  10. Understand the reason for unsubscribes
    • People unsubscribe from mailing lists for a lot of reasons, they might feel that they don’t need the information, or they feel spammed, and so on. Most of the unsubscribes happen for a legitimate reason that you should know about. So send them an email and ask why they decided to unsubscribe, you can try to use a survey.


Email marketing plays an important role in getting higher ROI, but before that, you need to make sure that people really open and understand what you are saying – follow all the above marketing tips and strategies we’ve talked about to improve your open rates.

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