10 Wonderful Ways to Improve Email Open Rates

how to improve email open rates

How to Improve Email Open Rates

Open rate is an important metric to track when using email to promote a business. Expressed as a percentage, it reflects the number of recipients who open your emails. Statistics show the average email open rate is about 22%, meaning just fewer than one in four recipients open the business’s emails. If your email campaign suffers from a lower open rate, you should consider the following tips to improve email open rates.

1) Personalize Subject Lines

Don’t make the mistake of sending the same generic email to every subscriber on your list. You’ll generate a stronger response and higher open rate by personalizing your emails. According to a study conducted by the credit reporting agency Experian, emails personalized with the recipient’s name in the subject line have a 29.3% higher open rate than emails with generic subject lines.

2) Keep Subject Lines Under 10 Words

In addition to personalizing your email subject lines, you should also keep them under 10 words to encourage higher open rates. According to a study conducted by Retention Science, subject lines consisting of six to 10 words yield the highest open rates. That makes sense considering that long subject lines are typically truncated, preventing the recipient from seeing it. Keeping your subject lines under 10 words ensures recipients see it completely.

3) Design for Mobile Compatibility

Statistics show that people open more than half of all their emails on smartphones and tablets. Therefore, it’s essential to create your emails with these mobile users in mind; otherwise, you’ll probably experience low open rates. You can make your emails mobile friendly by using a short subject line (under 10 words), using a single-column template, limiting the width to 600 pixels and using a large font.

4) Clean Up Your List

When was the last time that you cleaned up your list of subscribers? If it’s been a while, or never, you should go through your list to remove inactive and unresponsive subscribers. If a subscriber hasn’t opened any of the last five emails you’ve sent, for instance, it’s safe to assume he or she isn’t interested in receiving your messages, in which case you should remove them from your list. Sending emails to inactive subscribers will not improve email open rates and only bring down your open rate.

5) Send Emails During Weekdays

You’ll probably experience a higher open rate by sending emails during the week instead of the weekday. A study conducted by the email marketing provider Get Response found that emails sent on Tuesday generated the highest open rate at 19.9%. In comparison, emails sent on Saturday produced the lowest open rate at 16.9%. Emails posted on the weekend often go unnoticed by recipients, which is why it’s a good idea to send them during the week instead.

6) Use a Recognizable From Name

Recipients are less likely to open an email if they don’t recognize who sent it. By using a recognizable “from” name, however, you’ll encourage recipients to open your emails. That means using your business’s name in its complete, unaltered form. Don’t attempt to use a shortened or abbreviated form of your business’s name. To encourage a higher open rate, you should use your business’s full brand name as the “from” address for your emails.

7) Use Preheader Space to Capture Recipients’ Attention

Many email clients, including Gmail and Outlook, display a short snippet of the email’s content below the subject line. You can use this valuable digital real estate, known as the preheader space, to improve your email open rates. Email clients automatically pull the first 100 characters or so of the email’s text, displaying it in the preheader space. Including attention-grabbing words and phrases here can entice users to open your messages. For instance, you tell users to “Act now for a limited time offer” or “Open now to see today’s special offer.”

8) Make Your Emails Valuable

You can’t expect recipients to open your emails unless it offers something of value. Sending the same generic promotional email to recipients isn’t going to work. Instead, you must give them a reason to open your messages. There are several ways to make your emails valuable, one of which is to fill them with useful, relevant content. Think about what your recipients are interested in and focus your email content on this subject matter. If you run a wedding planning business, for example, you could send recipients articles about choosing a venue, finding a wedding dress, creating save-the-date cards, etc.

Another way to make your emails valuable is to include special discounts, couple codes or other promotional offers. Recipients are more likely to open an email if it features a promotional offer. You can even mention these proposals in the subject line. Whether you create informative, helpful emails or include promotional offers in your messages, you must offer something of value to your recipients.

9) Allow Recipients to Opt Out

Of course, you should allow recipients to opt out of your email newsletter. If a recipient cannot opt out, he or she may simply ignore future emails; thus, lowering your open rate. The CAN-SPAM Act requires email marketers to honor opt-out requests within 10 business days, and failure to comply with this requirement can subject your business to $16,000 per violation.

10) Monitor and Optimize

Finally, you should monitor and optimize your emails to see what works and what doesn’t. If a particular email design or style yields a low open rate, ditch it and try something else. Through trial and error, you can optimize your emails for a higher open rate. And when more recipients open your emails, you’ll reap the benefits of more sales or conversions.

These are just a few ways to improve email open rates with your marketing emails. By using the tips listed here, you’ll encourage recipients to open your messages. Keep in mind, however, that open rate is just one metric to watch when promoting your business via email. You should also watch your click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate, which are just as important.


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About The Author

Dan Froelke

Dan Froelke is a successful digital marketer based in Naples Florida . He specializes in helping average everyday people create a 'freedom business' using digital marketing.

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