Three Tips for Increasing Your Email Open Rate

Author: Corina Leslie

November 7, 2017
email open rates

Increasing your email open rate takes time, but with consistent effort and some smart tactics, we promise you’ll get there.

If you’re like most businesses, you’re already using a wide variety of tools when it comes to digital marketing. Of all the possibilities in your toolkit, though, there’s no question that email marketing has the most potential for increasing your monthly sales income.

The return on investment for email marketing outstrips every other form of digital marketing. So, it’s essential that you have a comprehensive, professional email marketing strategy in place as part of your overall sales funnel.

email marketing tips

Inboxes are full. How do you increase your email open rate?

There are a lot of moving parts in an effective email campaign.

You need a healthy email list to start with — that is, a list that’s not full of recipient addresses that no longer exist. And, you’ll need to make sure that your emails are landing in your customers’ inboxes, rather than their spam folders. If you have a ton of emails bouncing or landing in spam folders, you could quickly end up on the ISPs blacklist, with your email platform suspending your account.

Let’s assume that your list is clean and you’re landing emails where you want them. The next big hurdle to converting a customer is a simple, often overlooked one: getting your prospects to actually open the email you’ve sent.

Here’s the problem: 55% of people don’t check their email regularly. And, according to some sources, we can expect to see the average person receiving roughly 117 emails per day by 2019. 117. Per. Day. Think about that for a minute.

Half of people don’t check their email daily. And there are over a hundred of other emails sitting in their inbox even if they do.

All of this begs the question: how can you increase your email open rate?

We’ve got three handy tips that, if used properly, should dramatically increase your email open rate right away. Armed with these tips, you’ll not only see your email open rate go up. You’ll see the number of click-throughs and conversions increase, too.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.

email list cleaning

Understand what a good email open rate looks like

Here’s the thing: before you get started with increasing your open rate, it’s essential to know where you stand.

Mailchimp has tracked billions of emails in order to produce industry averages for practically every type of business you could think of. While certain industries are in the low-to mid-teens (“Daily Deals/E-Coupons” are at 15.22%), most industries fall in the range of the upper-teens to mid-twenties.

So, if your open rate is hovering around 20%, you’re probably somewhere near your industry’s average. Of course, “average” isn’t what you want: you need to perform better than average in order to have a leg up on those 117 other emails that are landing in your customers’ email inboxes each and every day.

So, once you have a sense of where you stand, you can set realistic goals for improvement. Don’t expect to double your open rate overnight: it’ll take time. But in the end, it’s well worth it.

email list cleaning tool

Resend emails that weren’t opened

It’s amazing how many beginning email marketers fail to do this, but it’s essential to successful email campaigns.

Wait at least a couple of days after you’ve sent an email, and check your open rate. Segment your list into two parts: the people who have already opened the email, and those who haven’t.

Next, send a follow-up email to the recipients who didn’t open the first. It can be the exact same email. Or, you can experiment with a new subject line, especially if the original open rate was unusually low.

email marketing tips

Time it right

Believe it or not, the day of the week and even the time of day that you send an email is extremely important. Recent studies show that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days of the week to send email in terms of maximizing your email open rate.

Mid-morning seems to be a good time of day. Alternatively, very late in the day or overnight will ensure that customers see your email when they check their inbox first thing in the morning.

Know your benchmark, resend unopened emails, and make sure that your timing is on point. If you follow these tips, you’ll likely see an increase in your email open rate. More opened emails means more clicks, which translates to — you guessed it — more sales.

This article was updated in August 2019.