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How to Increase Your Email Open Rates_Header

10 Ways To Successfully Increase Your Email Open Rates

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The email open rate is one of the most important metrics for every email marketer. If you are running email marketing campaigns and you don’t even have your emails opened, that is a big problem. All the energy and time spent on preparing your email marketing campaigns goes in vain, if no one reads your emails.

To help you and your email marketing campaigns perform better we have put a list together of the 7 best ways to successfully increase your email open rates.

What is Email Open Rate?

The Email Open Rate measures the overall subscribers’ engagement with your email marketing campaigns and it’s a key indicator of their success. The Email Open Rate shows how many people actually opened your email message.

It is good to know that there is no such thing as `typical open rate`.  The most quoted figure as average open rate for the industry is 20%. But the email open rate for your campaigns will vary depending on the frequency of your email campaigns, what time your email campaigns are send, what is the size of your distribution list, etc.

To successfully increase your email open rates, we recommend that you don’t just focus on a particular figure, but rather focus your energy on making the best out of these 7 tips and the results won’t be late.

1. Create Engaging Subject Lines

The subject line is one of the first things your subscribers see from your email when they check their inboxes. That is why to create successful email marketing campaigns and increase your email open rates take your time and write relevant and compelling subject lines.

As people usually skim through their inboxes from left to right, it is a good idea to put your most important (key) words at the beginning of the subject line, so they could be easily spotted.

Seeing your name mentioned is another thing that grabs reader’s attention, so try adding subscriber’s first name in the subject line. It is proven that personalized subject lines improve email open rates.

Usually subject lines should not be longer than 50 characters, but don’t forget your mobile users. There are mobile email clients that cut off the subject line at the 25th character.

Always test your subject lines. A/B testing various subject lines will help you determine which are those that work best for your email marketing campaigns.

2. Avoid Spam Words

Everyday over 100 billion emails are flagged as spam. Make sure your emails are not amongst them, because there is not anything that will hurt your email open rates more.

Email filters are constantly improving and becoming more sophisticated. If your message ends up in the spam folder, no one will read it.

Spam filters check the content of your email against a list of `spammy words`. To successfully increase your email open rates make sure that you avoid using such words. Some of the most popular spam words are:

  • Free
  • Help
  • Fast cash
  • Deal
  • Cheap
  • Big bucks
  • You are a winner

Avoid using exclamation marks and all capital letters too. Also limit the number of links you include in your email and don’t stuff the email body with keywords.

Some email marketing softwares offer the option to check your email for spam words and phrases before the email goes out. That is a handy tool and if you have the opportunity to use one, you better do so.

3. Segment Your Subscribers List

A very efficient way to improve your email open rates is by keeping your email content relevant for your subscribers. To successfully provide your email subscribers with relevant content you will need to segment your email list. You need to think about who your recipients are and what kind of information is appropriate to them.

For example, if business owners, marketing specialists and clients all receive the same campaign, some of them might find the content irrelevant and in return stop opening your emails.

If you segment your list by subscriber location, gender, interests, activity or paid and free users, you will be able to send taylor made messages to each group. Segmentation can help you make your campaigns stronger and build trust with your subscribers.

To find out the information you need to segment your audience correctly, you may start by asking the right questions on your signup form. Use the collected information to prepare custom messages for every group of recipients.

MailChimp dug deep into their data to uncover the benefits of list segmentation. Their study shows that well segmented email campaigns average 14.44% better email open rates and campaigns segmented by a custom sign up field increased email open rates with 18.85%.

4. Improve Your Timing

It is proven that paying attention to the time and day you send your emails at is in positive correlation with the increase of your email open rates.

Make sure that you are sending your emails at the best time given their content, your audience and intent. You may find what is the most appropriate time for sending your emails through testing, industry research or by simply asking your subscribers on the way in.

It is usually considered that midweek emails (send on Wednesdays and Thursdays) result in the best email open rates. On another hand, if you are emailing business subscribers, schedule your message to go out later in the morning or early afternoon.

Once you determine the right time to email an audience, stick to it. Consistent delivery times tell your subscribers that you are organized and that you know what you do.

Here are some good statistics from Get Response on the Best Days to Send Emails.

5. The Quality of Your Content is Very Important

There is no bigger booster for your email open rates than sending your audience emails with relevant, interesting and important content. If you simply promote your products constantly with a pushy sales copy, don’t get surprised if no one opens, reads or interacts with your emails. Prepare your email campaigns carefully, don’t push sales too much and don’t email too frequently and you will successfully increase your email open rates.

6. Mobile is the King

We all browse the internet, shop online and check emails on the go, which is why it is very important that your subscribers know that opening your email on their smartphones they will be able to easily read and interact with it.

If your company’s email newsletters does not display well on mobile yet, make sure that you fix this before your next campaign goes out. Here is our article on The 6 Best Practices for Responsive HTML Email Design.

Along with increasing your email open rates, a mobile responsive email design will also affect your engagement rates and will ensure more clicks on included links.

7. Update Frequently Your Subscribers List

Once you put together your subscribers list you have to take a good care of it to preserver its quality. Go through your list every now and then and clear it from people who does not interact with your emails, email addresses that does not seem correct or such addresses your emails bounce off of. Taking such measures will improve your open rates and reduce costs for sending emails out to inactive subscribers.

8. Use Preheaders Wisely

The email preheader is usually 50 characters long, in grey font colour and follows right after the email subject line. Many mobile, desktop and web email clients use them to tip off the recipient on what the email is about.

Our advice is not to use this precious line of text for a service message like “view this email in your browser”, but rather to slip in a clever message for your subscribers and spice up their appetite for reading.

9. Never Buy Leads

Some people think that email marketing is a numbers game and sending out as many emails as possible increases their chance of success. Even if the size of your email list matters, buying leads and emailing people who have never heard of you is the wrong strategy.

You need subscribers who have opted in for your emails and expect the news, promotions and deals you are sending out. Otherwise, email open rates will suffer seriously and you may even get into trouble sending unsolicited emails. Giving out free industry reports, products samples or discounts to people subscribing for your email newsletter is the way to grow organically your subscribers list.

10. Request Double Opt-in to Improve Your Email Open Rates

We know this is a bitter pill to swallow, but double opt-in is all about quality over quantity. Just think about it for a moment. You have sent a subscription confirmation via email and the user opened it and hit the confirmation link. Whatever your offer is, you have a real new fan. Don’t miss on him, reward him with some quality content and a sweet discount.

We have MailChimp on our side too. Derived from a database of 30,000 users who have sent at least 10 campaigns, MailChimp reports that double opt-ins receive a 29 percent average email open rate, while single opt-ins get an average email open rate of 17 percent.


The best way to increase your email open rates is to consistently send relevant content to your subscribers. Always keep in mind that you’re competing with other personal, work and marketing emails in your subscribers’ inbox. So make sure that your email stands out from the rest. Review your reports carefully and don’t stop A/B testing in order to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns. Good luck!

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