How to Increase Your Open Rates in Email Marketing

How to increase your open rates in email marketing


There’s no question that email is still king when it comes to marketing. The first challenge is getting them on your list, and the second is ensuring a high open rate. How do you do that? You stand out from the crowd.


Create a subject line that intrigues your audience.

This is the first hurdle in open rates. If done incorrectly, you can end up in the spam folder. If done well, it can be a compelling connection with your audience. I’m not talking about click bait. The public has become jaded to that type of headline. Hubspot actually compiled a list of SPAM trigger words (words that can automatically mark you with SPAM).


So how do you create a compelling subject line? You must first consider that it is one of the most important pieces of your email content. It is the attention-getter. The subject line has one goal: get your subscribers interested in opening the email.

Here are some guidelines to get you started.

  1. Keep it short and sweet. Try to keep your subject line at nine words or less. People scan their subject lines and take in the first and last few words. With less to read, it’s easier for the mind to retain, and therefore easier to spark interest. For these reasons, make sure you put your power words at the beginning and end.
  2. Use pronouns that reference the reader. Using the words “you” and “your” in the subject lines can create an instant connection with your subscriber. They feel as though you’re talking to them, it feels less generic, and it’s more attention grabbing as a result.
  3. Be specific. I can’t tell you the number of subject lines that say things like “3 Steps to Success”, “Why do I feel this way?”, “Don’t miss this chance”. When I see generic subject lines like this, I rarely open them because they don’t tell me anything. What if the 3 Steps to Success is about being successful in underwater basket weaving? That’s not something I’m interested in, and I’ll feel annoyed for getting my hopes up and wasting my time. You have nine words to create a story. Use them. “3 Steps for Your Financial Success” is much more interesting, isn’t it?
  4. Use compelling adjectives. Which adjectives are more effective: tired or exhausted? What about angry or furious? Use high impact words that get your message across.
  5. Before you send it out, make sure your subject line can’t be misinterpreted. I received an email today that said “Stop wasting your time on social media”. The content was about how to use your time effectively when using social media, but the subject line could be interpreted to mean that social media was a waste of your time.
  6. Use urgency in your subject line. Scarcity terms like “Missing Out”, and “Last Chance” are compelling, but make sure it’s accurate. If you say something is about to end, make it so or you’ll lose credibility with your viewing audience. Use numbers and statistics to highlight an important part in your message. Ask questions.
  7. The subject MUST match the content. There is nothing more annoying in email marketing than a subject line that doesn’t match the content. It is one of the quickest ways to the unsubscribe (or SPAM) button.
  8. This should go without saying, but subject lines are prone to horrible misspellings. One of the reasons is because it’s forgotten almost as soon as it’s written. Make sure your subject lines are edited along with your content.


Create Quality Content

You want your readers to always feel as though the content you provide is worth the time and effort it takes to click open your email. Your emails should be interesting, engaging, and informative. This means a newsletter has to be more than sales promotions. It’s better to send high-quality emails at lesser intervals than to send daily emails with subpar content. Now, you may have subscribers who only want to see your sales, and others that are only interested in your events. You want to make sure you get the right newsletters to the right people. The easiest, and most effective way to do this is by segmenting your list. When people opt in to your newsletter, you want to know if they’re actually interested in your content. If you used a contest or a lead magnet to gain their email addresses, you’ll want to take the time and ensure they’re willing to move into your sales funnel list.


Format Your Messages for Mobile Devices

You must check your email messages on mobile devices for readability and resource use. Over 75% of smartphone users will use their device to check their email.


Create Consistency

Finally, make sure you create consistent, high quality content. It’s best to have a schedule, but if you can’t do that, ensure that your newsletters provide a consistent voice with information that can enrich the lives of your readers.


That’s our top four ways to increase the open rates in your email marketing plan. Follow these steps and you’ll see.