How to Increase Open Rates

So you’ve built up an email list of subscribers and customers to bolster your email marketing and drive more sales to your business. Fantastic!

Yet, one obvious, and important, metric you’re noticing is a low open rate; you’re not getting the engagement you’re aiming for. In fact, your analytics reveal you’re not even achieving the average open rate of 24.88%!

With time and effort going into creating and executing an email campaign, it’s key to generate the results you’re looking for. You see, a strong email marketing strategy increases revenue and repeat business. It’s actually considered to be the most effective marketing tactic for ROI.

But they have to open your messages first!

So, here are seven super smart ways to get your list to open your messages. As a result, you’ll boost your engagement rates and improve your overall email marketing strategy.

#1 Craft a Killer Subject Line

The email subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see…so you have to make it good! At that moment, they’ll decide whether or not they want to engage, therefore it must be compelling, enticing, and intriguing.

OptinMonster curated a list of the best email subject lines which include curiosity, fear of missing out, funny, pain points, ones that are simply straightforward, and others. These drive the most engagement because it creates an emotional response.

When crafting your subject, keep your audience in mind. What will get them to act? What benefit will they get from reading your message? When subscribers know what’s in it for them, they’re more likely to take action.

#2 Do Segment Your List

Email segmentation wins! It is a top email trend that every marketer and business should employ to create successful results online.

Not only does this tactic increases your open rates, but it also drives clickthroughs and engagement. The reason: Because you’re sending targeted messages that specifically relate to the subscriber.

You see, it’s not a cookie-cutter, generic email blast that you’re sharing. Rather, it’s personalized content based on the subscriber’s preferences, website actions, or online behavior. Therefore, you can uniquely speak to their needs and be more effective.

You can easily start segmenting your list by asking your subscribers what lists they’d like to be a part of, segmenting by their location, and divvying your customers based on their previous purchases.

The ideas are plenty but make sure it aligns with your overall content strategy (more on this later).

#3 Discover the Best Times to Send Your Messages

how to increase open rates

Another factor that impacts your open rates is the time you deliver your message. Sending your content at the right time when your audience is most engaged will certainly improve your metrics. This includes what day of the week is best and the actual hour.

The good news is, your email analytics can gauge the times your list is active, so you can set it up to deliver then to test your results.

Now, there are studies that show when the best times are for emails. Tuesday seems to be the optimal day and with mornings being the best timeframe for any weekday.

This is good to follow if you’re starting out with your email marketing. However, it’s better to test and when your unique audience is the most engaged for optimal results.

#4 Delete/Remove Inactive Subscribers

Did you know 20% of emails don’t make it to a subscribers inbox? Depending on how large your list is, that’s a lot of people missing out on the action!

One way that you can improve your deliverability rate is to start removing inactive subscribers. Deleting folks who’ve gone long periods of not opening your emails keep your list fresh and engaging.

Before you go on a deleting spree, initiate a re-engagement campaign as a “last chance” for subscribers to act. This way, you keep those who still want to hear from you while getting people reactivated to your list (ahem…opening your emails!).

#5 Add the Word “Video”

But don’t just add the word, actually embed a video in your email content if your provider supports it!

Why? Because studies show that adding “Video” to your subject line can increase your open rates by 7-13 percent. Video is also the perfect tool to boost your clickthrough rates.

So, add a bit of pizzazz to your email content by including a video. If you’re unable to (let’s say that your email provider doesn’t allow video to play in your user’s inbox), take the following steps:

  • Take a screenshot of video (make sure the play button is present)
  • Include the image within your email content
  • Be sure to link the image to the actual video

By taking these steps, when the user clicks on the image, they’ll be directed to the actual video.

#6 Put an Emoji on it!

how to increase open rates

According to a report by Experian, 56% of brands who included an emoji in their subject line experienced a higher open rate. Emojis work!

The benefits are too compelling to ignore; they stand out in a crowded inbox, they express emotion, and the save space (keeping your subject line to around 41 characters or 7 words is the sweet spot).

However, be sure that your emoji can be seen across all devices. Some emojis and symbols may not display for others because they’re using a different operating system.

If you want to test emojis in your subject lines, consider using this chart as a reference.

#7 Focus on Delivering Value

The final way to getting email subscribers to open–and keep opening–your messages is to focus on sharing value. When your brand is known for delivering content that’s relevant, useful, and fresh, they’re likely to keep engaging.

They’ve opted-in because they want to stay connected…so give them a reason to stay engaged!

An excellent way to focus on value is to develop and execute a content strategy for your brand. Having a content marketing plan ensures that all of your content online aligns and supports each other. Meaning, your email, social media posts, blog content, and other content types are all connected and conveying the same messages but expressed differently.

A content strategy allows you to work smart and ensures that you’re moving closer to ultimate business goals.

It makes your email strategy much more effective and coherent.

how to get subscribers to open email messages


Leveraging these email tactics will help better your open rates and overall email marketing engagement. Therefore, as you’re growing your customer and subscriber list, implement them in your strategy.

As a result, you’ll experience more people checking out your emails and begin to see your metrics improve over time.

Much success.