Email Marketing – 5 Ways To Increase Open Rates

April 19, 2023
An email marketing list can be one of your most powerful marketing assets. Make sure you are maximising its potential with high open rates.

If you have gone through the difficult (but very rewarding!) task of building an email marketing list for your business, you need to then make sure you are then capitalising on this hugely valuable marketing asset.

Having a healthy list is great, but you need to convert these people into open, clicks, and actions. The first step – getting them to open the email!

You can spend all the time in the world designing the perfect email. But if it is never opened, that is essentially time wasted. A grim reality for us email marketing specialists – the average person will not open 85% of the ecomm emails they receive…

So, how do you get your open rates up? How do you stand out? How do you grab the ever-shrinking attention span of an online user?

The answer to all of these questions lies in the subject line of the email. The subject line is the most important part of any email. This is where your amazingly well-written email will turn into clicks and conversions or will sit unopened next to thousands of other emails…

These are our top 5 tips to increase open rates of emails via the subject line, and how to generally get the most from your email marketing list.


1. Be Concise & To The Point.

The magic number – 50 characters. 

You have a very finite amount of space in a subject line. You need to grab the attention and create intrigue immediately. Use a small number of words. Use hyphens. 

“There is going to be a sale in our store this coming Friday…” – will simply not cut it.

Some examples of concise and compelling subject lines;

The Clearance Sale that you need to see…

A discount code for you to celebrate payday…

Our new summer range has just dropped…


2. Speak Directly To The Recipient.

Treat each recipient uniquely. Make them feel special. Make them feel valued. Speak directly to them. 

They have gone through the trouble of subscribing to your email marketing list, therefore they want to be communicated with. The least you can do is speak to them directly.

Avoid phrases like – “you all”, “the mailing list”, or “everyone”.

Some examples of personable subject lines;

Avoid saying – Flash Sale For All Our Members”. Instead, try Flash Sale – Just For You!” 

“People Should Servicing Their Car This Often…” is quite impersonal. How about you try – “How Often You Should Be Servicing Your Car…

Merry Christmas Everyone! can even be improved to “Merry Christmas, From Ours To Yours!


3. Use Numbers & Statistics

Studies have shown that email subject lines containing numbers tend to do better than ones without. The eye is drawn to numbers when they are amongst lots of words. People like to learn stats about subject matters they are interested in. People also like lists.

In the email marketing world of today, almost all of the above applied to emojis as well. Sometimes it is nicer to finish on an emoji, than with a harsh full-stop. Just be careful not to overdo it with emojis!

Some examples of good email subject lines using numbers, stats, and emojis;

Instead of “Some Burger Recipes That Stick To Diets”, try “7 Tasty Burger Recipes Under 300 Calories!

Sale Now On – HUGE Savings!” is ok, but it can easily be improved to “Flash Sale – You Can Save 65% Right Now!

Tinsel Hairstyles To Use This Christmas!” can be made a little more eye-catching – “15 Hairstyles Using Christmas Tinsel 🎄”

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4. Keep Your Email Marketing List Clean, Updated & Segmented

If your open rates are consistently low, make sure to take a look at who you are sending to.

A very common example of an unused email address is a work email that someone used to subscribe to a mailing list, that is no longer in use. These emails will never be opened and will always bring your open rate down.

There are a few ways to deal with this. Most email marketing platforms have analytics that will tell you when a person last engaged with your emails. Set a timeline, somewhere in the ballpark of 1 year. If people have not opened any of your emails in over a year, remove them from the list. Read more about removing mailing list members here.

Segmentation is also hugely important. If your business covers a broad range of products or services, not all emails will be relevant to everyone on the list.

If you have a shoe brand for men and women, is there a point in sending the release of the latest summer wedges to the men on the list? Maybe, but unlikely…

Try to segment the lists when people are signing up. Then segment them later based on what they have been buying from you.


5. Always Test Email Marketing On Mobile

The likelihood is that your email will be opened on a mobile device. The exact percentage varies from industry to industry, but up to 81% of emails are first opened on a mobile device.

So make sure you are testing out how the subject line reads on yourself before sending it out to the list. All email marketing platforms have a “Preview” or “Test” function.

A subject list might be visible on a desktop but might cut off key information on mobile devices.

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Implementing the five above steps will set you on the right path toward maximising your email marketing potential. A highly engaged email marketing list is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have and if you have gone through the tough task of building that list in the first place, you need to be maximising its potential.

We have also written a previous blog that delves a little deeper into the world of email marketing and talks about other key aspects like A/B testing and how regularly you should be sending emails. You can read that blog here.

Want to talk more about email marketing? Drop us a message today and see how we can help your business achieve its email marketing goals.