Marketing Monday: Email Marketing: 3 Excellent Ways to Improve Open Rates / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Is your email marketing performing as well as it could? To improve your email marketing efforts and open rates, consider taking these...

Email marketing isn't going anywhere. Instant messaging, social media and advancing technologies haven't killed off this powerful marketing tactic.

Successful marketing teams are using email to reach new subscribers, encourage upsells, and reengage customers who have been missing out on new products or services. One metric that really matters to email marketers is the open rate.

Is your email marketing program performing as well as it should or as well as it could? As you look to improve your email marketing efforts and open rates, consider taking these three steps forward.

Related: Get a free quote for email marketing

Satisfy with Subject Lines

The subject line and introductory paragraph of your email can make all the difference in open rates. If you're offering a discount, limited or exclusive trial, or running a promotion, make sure to include that information in your subject line and/or intro. In the latest bi-annual report from Knotice, the digital marketing agency reported that 41% of commercial emails are now opened on mobile devices (Tweet this stat!). Subject lines and a brief intro are all that's visible. In such a small window, you need to ensure your subject line and introduction quickly attracts the reader and engages them so they open the email.

  • Tip: Focus on fascinating your audience. Whether it's a teaser, a lust-worthy offer or an interesting question, the subject line and introduction paragraph must be attention grabbing. If you're sending an email based on a trigger (an action taken by the customer that automates an email response), ensure your subject line and introductory paragraph tie directly back to that action so that this email is a fresh, yet easily associated, impression on the customer.

Related: 5 Secrets to Email Marketing Success

Timing is Everything

A 2012 report from Informz points out that emails sent in the morning result in the highest open rates. After analyzing more than 600 million emails sent by over 700 large and medium-sized enterprises using its platform, they found that morning emails saw an average open rate of 39.2% (Tweet this stat!), ahead of those sent mid-day (33.9%), in the late afternoon (32.1%) and during the evening (32%). Testing your optimal send time is crucial. From day of the week to a specific three-hour window, improving open rates starts with getting the email to land in a customer's inbox at the right time.

  • Tip: Segment your database at random. Then, send one segment the email during the morning, send another segment the email midday, and send the final segment the email at night. The results will differ from business to business but this is a great way to start optimizing the timing of your email blasts. Again, a triggered email should be timely (within the hour), so make sure your timing with email automation is on point.

Related:5 Tips for Converting with Your DIY Email Campaigns

Pop with Personalization

Customers want to feel a connection. They don't want to be just another name, email or face in the crowd. Personalizing emails is a great way for your business to increase its open rate. A case study conducted by MarketingSherpa reported that by adding personalization into its newsletter emails, C Spire Wireless was able to increase its click-through rate by 92% and its open rate by 537%. Eloqua found that in their sample of over 200 million emails, the best-performing emails include subject lines personalized with the recipient's name and an additional data point, like location. Custom personalization in an email subject line can lead to a nearly 10% greater open rate (Tweet this stat!).

  • Tip: Include personal touches in your emails to make an immediate connection with your reader. Segment your list separately by social data, such as birthdays and likes, and then include a personal touch and you'll be able to foster the relationship that's already begun. Be cautious of going overboard, but keep the conversation friendly and personable.

Email marketing is a key component of both B2C and B2B marketing strategies. As customers' inboxes become flooded with massive amounts of businesses, how do you ensure yours stands out? A great subject line and a touch of personalization within an email sent at the right time are where you can get started ramping up your email marketing efforts and open rates.

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