Six proven ways to increase Email open rate.

Six proven ways to increase Email open rate.

This blog post is all about our learning and the ways we got to achieve a higher email open rate. Let's read.

"Behind every successful email campaign, there is a higher email open rate."

We as a marketer keep asking these following questions before we get started with a new email marketing campaign, it doesn't matter how successful our last campaign was -

  • Q. How could we increase the email open rate for this campaign?
  • Q. How should we improvised and optimize the content of the email to get it opened by many?

At this point - after delivering bumper ROI for a number of campaigns and also experiencing some bitter down between them - we have found the best ways of getting the higher email open rate every time. (and so the handsome ROI)

Personal data:

Before we get started, let's understand the anatomy of an email:


1. Timing isn't everything but it does count:


On Tuesday afternoon, at 2:00 PM when Mr John was going through the mailbox and other pending messages, he received an email with a subject line 'Accelerate revenue with these six CRM hacks!!' from the marketing executive Miss. Jolly at bizztop business solution.

Mr John: "Hmm. another mail. Time to clean the inbox."

Q. How did we try our best to deliver an email that would pop on contacts screen at the right time?


  • The answer lies in a database and the insights. We study carefully the behaviour of contacts, leads and prospects to target them at the right time.

(However, the best time to send the email may warry industry to industry, and it all depends on who you are targeting - the bottom line about timing is you need to research what is the best time to send email to the contacts in your target email list.)

Before you search in your database read what co-schedule says about the best time to send an email.

Deliver the email at right time, it was the trick. But timing alone can't win contact's attention, he may open the email but there are higher chances that he can also back out from the mail if it isn't relevant.


2. Sender name - get personal:


When Mr John was scanning the mailbox, before a subject line caught his attention, the sender name got his sight, a very human name, Miss Jolly from bizztop.

Mr John: "Miss Jolly sent this? Why does she want me to read this? Must be important."


Q. How can a little change of replacing a company name to sender name affect the email open rate?


  • Mr John, like everyone, finds himself reluctant to open the mail which sounds like a company is talking to him. Whereas a personal touch increases the trustworthiness of mail.
  • We may market a product to businesses but humans are someone who will always be at a core, as they are the one who makes a decision.

The below screenshot is a way sender name appear on John's email inbox.

When Mr John reads it; the sender is Miss Jolly from bizztop, this increase his interest in the email but sole personal sender name won't make him decide to devote his valuable time to scan through the email. Here comes the subject line factor in the picture - where you have to perform exceptionally effective to craft the eye-catching yet relevant subject line.


3. You have to write a super eye-catching Subject Line:


With the sender name, the line that was bothering Mr John was Accelerate revenue with these six CRM hacks!!'

Mr John: "Yup!! We need CRM." But wait...

Mr John had already aware about the problem he had in revenue generation by integrating company marketing and sales operation and when he noticed the subject line like 'Accelerate revenue with these six CRM hacks!!' Why he wouldn't open the email?

This is how good subject line would look like?


We all have to agree on the fact that the subject line affects email open rate than any other factors.

While crafting a subject line - the two questions pop up in marketer's mind are: How long it should be? And what to include in it?

Marketo has got an answer about the length of the subject line and according to them, the seven-word subject line is the best!! The detailed information is here.

Within that length, the toughest job marketers have to do is, 'keeping the subject line catchy yet relevant', this part us a 'what' part. Many marketers write excellent subject lines that eventually catch most of the attention and lead to achieve the highest email open rate, but they fail to gain trust.

For instance -

Your LinkedIn account has been blocked!!

(When opening the mail - it disappoints with content that doesn't have anything to do with the subject line. Where is relevancy? BIG NO NO)

Bullet points for writing a good subject line.

  • Keep the subject line between six to a maximum of nine words. (as described, seven-word subject line is a perfect balance)
  • Be specific about the solution you are providing, for instance - 'Increase email open rates with these six tips.'
  • Trigger action keywords - Improve, increase, fill etc
  • Add numbers (when possible) in the subject line - '...with these six tips.'
  • Don't sell, educate.
  • Avoid spam words, here is a list of some of those.

Learn more about subject lines:

How to write a subject line that wins attention? Neil Patel tells.

4. Preheader text (preview text):


Scenario A:

Mr. John: "Well, I want a CRM and this mail looks something valuable but what's below the subject line...

These days - keeping your marketing team in a loop with sales folks...."

SPAM ALERT!! Spam alert, bad preheader text!!!

Spam alert, bad preheader text!!!

John is afraid!!!

This was Mr John's reaction after reading the text right below the subject line. Will you open this mail which speaks in some coding language? It's horrible, no one will!!

Everything was just perfect and then some words in preheader made Mr John turned down the email. What happened here? A bad preheader text can ruin your all hard work on the campaign. Preheader text is the brief content that gives the idea about the body text, generally, it is taken from the first HTML text in your email including ALT for the image. Good preheader text is strong support to the subject line. Coding the email in a bad way or forgetting to optimize preheader text in HTML tags can cost you a lead.

Scenario B:

Mr. John: "Well, I am having trouble with the CRM and this mail looks something valuable but what's below the subject line, - hello John, Smart CMO like you recognize the importance of having the best CRM in the stack..."

Big yes to this one!!

Now, this definitely will grab his all attention as it the preheader text is personalized, relevant and gives an idea what the email is all about.


5. Email body:


The email body contains the abstract content from the asset. While email body text only gets seen when a contact opens a mail, this can't be considered as a factor that can affect email open rate. However, the purpose of sending email to your contact is not solely getting it seen but making a contact to take action on the same.

While you succeed to deliver the emails that have a higher open rate you could also achieve another milestone that you would not be proud of telling anyone - and it is 'getting a higher bounce rate.'

Following are the things you need to keep in mind while creating a body text:

  • Pictures get seen first. Use the author's picture to convey more trust.
  • Keep the body text will explain well but don't give away all the information.
  • The background should always be sophisticated and should not be so dark shaded.
  • Mind the line and paragraph spacing. Make the text reader-friendly.
  • Strictly optimise for mobile devices as well as consider for some tablets form.
  • Start with personalization, end with a statement that conveys action.

This how would the email body look like.


6. CTA:


CTA buttons are as powerful as any nuclear bomb launching buttons - I am not exaggerating. okay, at least we marketers can understand this.

We can't say CTA is a factor that affects email opening rate. You have to open the mail to see the CTA, we can say, like a body text CTA is the factor that will affect CTR.

Research conducted by campaignmonitor said that using CTR buttons increases the CTR by 28%.

Be honest, without a super value-adding content no one will be going to press the CTR.

You have done all things perfectly. Super catchy subject line, done. Sender name is a person, done. Preheader text is awesome and body text has just rocked.

The example of a CTA button placed in the email body.

So let's talk about how you can make CTR visible so as soon as content rocks and contact feels that s/he wants more, at first s/he will look for CTR.

So what are the factors that make a CTR worth noticing:

  • Size: Not so large, either not a tiny one. It should be enough big that a reader can easily spot a button.
  • Design: Keep it simple. Being so creative in designing can make a reader confused.
  • Colour: We haven't got any fixed pattern but always use a colour that stands out from all other colours used.
  • Mobile Optimization: Optimize for mobile and also consider the fact that your reader is going to touch it on mobile rather than click on it.

Here campaignmonitor gives away some awesome tips to create a CTA that brings the action.




To design an email in such a way that, it gets opened maximum time - one should always consider the following facts

  1. Timing isn't everything but it does count.
  2. Be personal - include sender name as a persona and not as a company.
  3. You have to write a super eye-catching Subject Line.
  4. Mind the preheader text.
  5. Write the readable, relevant and actionable reader body copy.
  6. Design CTA is such a way that it gets noticed and easy to click on.

What do you think, how a marketer can increase email open rate? Let us know!!

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