How To Increase Your Open Rate!

Imagine if you were selling a product that costs $1. And you had an email list of say, 1,000 subscribers.

If you sent out an email, promoting your product, and you got an average open rate of 30% (that’s 300 people opened your email), and out of that 30%, 10% bought your $1 product, you’ll be making $30 daily.

Now, imagine if you were sending out this type of email once every week Or if you had more email subscribers. Tha means more revenue for your business every week!

But, you won’t make sales or generate revenue if no one is opening your emails.

So here are 5 steps to ensuring your customers are opening your emails, and buying your product. I have personally used these techniques to increase my email open rate from 4% to 26%-30%

Step 1: Get Your Customers To Whitelist Your Email 

So, I had this issue for a long time and didn’t realize it.

I was steadily growing my email list, but my open rates weren’t improving.

In fact, at a time, over 96% of my email subscribers weren’t opening my emails. Until I discovered why and fixed the issue.

You see, there’s something called spam blocker, that basically protects you from getting unwanted emails (have you ever received those penis enlargement emails? Then you know how annoying spam is). Unfortunately, some of these spam blockers affect legit emails (like mine)And I found out that my newsletters were either going into spam folders or the Promotions tab (for Gmail users).

There are 2 ways to avoid this or to remedy this if it has already happened.

  1. Ask your subscribers to Whitelist your email after they subscribe. You can include a simple instruction to your email subscription form, that shows your subscribers how to add your email to the whitelist and prevent your emails from getting to the spam folder or promotions tab.
  2. Get your subscribers to reply your emails. Once they reply your email, they are automatically added to your contact list and whitelisted. This means your emails get VIP status on your customer’s inbox.


Step 2: Use Short And Powerful Subject Lines

Your subject line is one of the first things your recipients see when they get your email.

And your subject line, determines to a great extent, whether or not your recipients will open your emails.

I have personally analyzed the emails I open daily, and I have discovered that the subject lines usually follow a pattern.

  1. The subject lines are short enough to fit my email preview: Different devices and email providers come with different lengths for the subject line. And it is important for your recipients to see the full subject line on their email preview. Subject lines with 5 words or less will fit right into almost all devices and email providers preview.
  2. The subject lines are catchy and benefit packed: If I don’t get a sense of value from the subject line, I don’t waste my time opening or reading the email. Your subscribers just as well judge your emails based on whether or not it promises value to them. So, ensure that your subject line goes straight to the point with the value and benefit the email holds for your customers.


Step 3: Your From Name

You know, people do business with people.

That’s why personalization is so important in email marketing.

Your email subscribers and customers would rather receive information from a human, than from something that seems automated.

That’s why a lot of brands are now using From Names like Tunde from Company, or Okechukwu | Brand Name, as their From Names. 

This adds a personal touch to your business and brand and goes a long way to increase your email open rates.

You could even use a full name as your From Name to amp up the personalization.


Step 4: Your Pre-header Text

Your pre-header text is the text right after your subject line.

It gives your recipients a preview of what your email is about.

And I’ve seen many brands make the mistake of leaving this part blank, or generic like ”click here to view email in browser”.

That has just given away the fact that your email is generic, not personalized and that same email is reaching thousands more. Nothing special there. Even if your email is all of that, don’t make it that obvious.

Your pre-header text should

  1. Re-enforce your subject line
  2. Entice the recipient to read more
  3. Share the call to action to your email

With this, you can improve your email open rates.


Step 5: Time Your Emails Properly

How many emails do you receive on a daily basis?

There’s a stat that says the average worker receives up to 121 emails per day. I personally get close to 70 emails per day, and I find it hard to reach email zero each day.

The thing is, your subscribers also receive tons of emails per day, which makes the competition fierce for you.

But you can increase your odds when you send your emails just when your subscribers are checking their emails.

For a long time, I used to send out my emails at any time.

Partly because I wanted to test the best times to send. But then it hit me.

Because my audience are people like me, all I had to do was think of the times I normally check my emails.

And that’s usually first thing in the morning, between 6 AM – 7 AM.

This might not be the best time for your business. For a different client of mine, I send her newsletters by 4 PM. Why? Her business is a blog that shares stories. Her audience will be checking their emails by 4 PM (while waiting for 5 PM so they can pack and go home).

I send emails at 1 PM for a different client that’s into travel and tourism. When workers are on their lunch breaks, and dreaming of a better life (the reason their working so hard in the first place).

So you see, the best time to send your emails is the time your audience will see them.

About The Author

Mason Frederick is the head of business development at Orator Consult. He manages the company’s content and email marketing campaigns and curates The ORT Newsletter. The ORT Newsletter is an email community of 7,000+ professionals across Africa, and shares practical marketing ideas, events and business opportunities with members. Connect with him on twitter @mfc_cn

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