Last week, we talked about the importance of your From Line in getting your emails opened. It’s a big one that deserved its own post!

Let’s look at five other important factors in your increasing your open rates.

Good Subject Lines

Coupled with the From Line, your Subject Line is the other bit of text that readers use to decide if they will open your email or not.

Should your subject lines be long or short? What words should you use? Yes or No on emojis and personalization?

The fact is that you can find data that supports just about any claim someone wants to make about subject line best practices. There is no magic word or phrase that will work all the time for everybody.

You have to play around and see what works for your list right now.

That said, there are a million suggestions to try. Optin Monster has some great categories to consider including funny, greed, vanity, and personal.

My suggestion is to focus on PUT: in other words, a subject line that conveys personal, useful, and timely content.

Along with the subject line, you can also try some of the suggestions in your pre-header text, which is effectively a secondary subject line that some readers will see.

List Health

The easiest way to increase your open rate isn’t to change anything about your content. It’s getting rid of people who NEVER open your emails!

It’s simple math. Your open rate is percentage: number who opened over the number sent. If you don’t send to people who will never open, your open rate goes up.

That’s why we recommend that you do regular list maintenance based on your engagement rate. For example, if someone doesn’t open any email for six months, you stop emailing them.

We go deep into list health and engagement strategies in our upcoming webinar series on building and maintaining a healthy, engaged email list.

Consistent Schedule

If you want people both to recognize you and to connect you with good content in their email boxes, you need to send regularly.

By regularly, I mean no less than once a month. I strongly encourage twice a month and if you have good content, more like weekly.

The time of day you send can also matter. We recently shared some data on best email sending times.


Segmenting your list helps you be more relevant, and relevant content will always have higher open rates. When you segment, you can appeal to the specific interests or situations of people in that segment, rather than speaking generically. No one wants to read generic emails!

Great Content

Of course, everything boils down to great content that people are genuinely interested in. Taking a content marketing approach to your email — instead of just an advertising approach — makes a huge difference in your email open rates.

What’s the difference? Content marketing is about attracting people to your content because it’s something they want (even if they don’t know it until they see it); advertising is about shoving your messaging in front of them. I wrote a whole book about content marketing for nonprofits.

See, it’s not that hard or complicated! If you are having trouble with your open rates, pick one of the strategies above and work on it for a while. Then pick another one. You’re sure to find your way to better open rates.

Published On: September 10, 2019|Categories: Email Marketing|