How to Increase Your Email Open Rates

How to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Time and time again, email marketing has proved itself to be far superior to other online marketing methods, despite all the constant hooplah about email being dead. Fact is, it’s alive and well and not going anywhere anytime soon. However, the biggest mystery all marketers face when trying to set up a profitable blast is actually getting people to open them.

There’s so much competition that exists in the digital era to get the attention of consumers, that marketers can no longer rely on simply blasting out information and offers over and over and be successful.

The following tips focus on increasing open rates, not avoiding spam filters, high rates of unsubs, or getting banned by your provider for Can-Spam compliance violations. If you’re doing everything up to code and still not getting a desirable ROI, this article is for you.

1. Spend more time testing to find optimal delivery times

The trend in email marketing keeps changing constantly; this puts emphasis on the importance of testing things out.

There’s a couple of factors to consider when finding the optimal delivery times to get through to your list, get emails opened and increase CTRs to your offers. First, simply changing the time of day you send emails to your entire list — eventually after sending enough blasts at different times of day, you’ll find one or two optimal times that work best for your unique list, regardless all the 10:30 am and 5:30 pm dogma. Your list is likely made up of people in different time zones and there may be a time zone that’s more effective in terms of the eyes you can capture.

Next, segmenting your unopens and testing/tweaking the times you send these folks emails can turn them into avid readers of your email overnight. It’s much easier to try this than it is to mess around with images, buy buttons and the like, first. Filters can tell you instantly who isn’t bothering to open your emails and giving you the perfect opportunity to at least find an optimal time to get through to them.

2. Resend your unopened mails

It’s very rare to find a marketer who actually does this. However, you’d be surprised how often it can work. This sort of goes in conjunction with the first tip, but you can also experiment with sending the same email to your unopens days or weeks down the road if you like. Some marketers also change the subject line when employing this tactic, but make sure you always note any variables you changed for future use.

Marketer Neil Taparia ran an experiment sending emails out to subscribers in the morning, then reseding to those who hadn’t yet opened by the end of the day, and increased his email reach by 54 percent. His theory is that while a catchy subject line may get a user’s initial interest, giving them a mental note to “read later.” However, for whatever reason they may get distracted and forget, potentially even junking it without any recollection of initially wanting to get to it when they had more time. Hey, you can’t argue with his results!

Mobile email marketing

3. Segment your subscribers using demographics and other specific data

Why would any business want to waste marketing dollars throwing a bunch of crap at a wall and seeing where it lands? Segmentation is yet another (fairly) easy way to ensure the people you’re sending messages out to actually opens them.

By segmenting, and testing what to segment and what not to, open rates increase by 14.31 percent, and clicks go up by well over 100 percent. This starts with smart data acquisition such as demographics, behavioral data, preferences they’ve given you, and any other parameter you can think of such as sign up dates, last time they opened an email, or bought a product, etc.


When you consistently spend time testing delivery times, resending unopened messages, and making strides to constantly segment users in order to deliver the most relevant information and offers, open rates will inevitably go up and up. Failing to meet your list’s needs, all they need do is hit the ‘spam’ or ‘unsubscribe’ button and it’s unlikely you’ll ever get the opportunity to make them a customer ever again.

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