By: Lori Smith
You use social media to drive traffic and build authority, but emails
are the main channel for marketing your products or services. So getting
your readers to open them is super important.
No matter the size of your list if you’re sending out emails that never
get read, then you’re losing out on sales. How can you convert
someone into a paying customer when they aren’t even reading your
Email marketing is tricky. Everyone is so inundated with overflowing
inboxes. Sometimes people delete emails unintentionally because
they get on a roll with deleting them.
Admit it. You’ve probably done the click and delete thing yourself. You
get going so fast that you don’t always pay attention to the subject
line or even who sent it before clicking delete.
Standing out in an already crowded Inbox is becoming more difficult.
And staying out of the spam folder is right up there with it.
Your time is valuable, and if you’re making the effort to write and
send emails, then you want them opened. You want your audience
to read, engage, and ultimately take action with what you’re offering.
Your goal is to get them to click-through to your site for the full
article, sales pitch, etc….
There’s a lot of focus these days on providing valuable content, and
this holds true for your emails as well. Fluff will get you nowhere. But
if no one is even opening your emails then no amount of quality
content will matter.
The average open rate for emails across all industries is less than 30%,
and click-through rates are less than 12%. So say you have an email list
of 2,000, then this means only 580 recipients are opening your emails
(this is on the high end). Of those 580, only 63 are clicking on your
links. A little discouraging, huh?
Well, chin up because I’ve got some tricks for you I, myself have
used to not only get an average open rate of 48.8% but my click-
through rate, average is 26.4%. In this post I’m sharing how I did it.
Let’s get down to it and start getting your emails opened instead of
Tips For Increasing Your Open Rate
One of the most important aspects of sending emails is your subject
line. It offers a sneak peek into what your readers can expect by
The trick with email subject lines is…., there is no trick. I’m not trying
to be funny here. It’s the truth. There’s no such thing as the perfect
subject line. But there are a few things you can do to make them
– Keep it short. Subject lines that have three words or less
have higher open rates. Another thing to keep in mind, people use
their mobile devices to check email over 50% of the time. Mobile
screens can only fit four to seven words, depending on the type of
mobile device, on a subject line before the rest, gets cut off.
– Be direct. When you only have three or four words to state your case
you need to keep it concise and to the point. Tell your readers exactly
what they will get if they open your email, but make sure to
follow it up with relevant, high-quality content.
– Use lower case only. Typing your entire subject line in capital letters
will come across the same as it does in a text. It’s interpreted as
shouting. If you make your subject line intriguing, then there’s no
reason to shout it to anyone. Besides, it’s just plain rude.
– Use numbers. Subject lines with numbers (odd numbers are best
with the exception being 10) get opened more. People like statistics
and numbered lists they can take quick action on.
– Go negative. As counterintuitive as it might be, headlines with
negative words tend to have higher open rates. Think something
like “you made the wrong choice”. With a subject line like this, people
are more compelled to click and open the email. They want to know
what they did wrong.
– Make it exclusive. Use words like exclusive or invitation. Make your
readers feel like VIP’s or that the email is exclusive and only a select few
– Be controversial. Something like “Neil Patel Was Wrong” (not that he
is) but you get the idea. If you have a different or opposing viewpoint
on a topic, then use it to your advantage to get readers to open your
– Use you or your. Using the pronouns, you or your makes it more
personal. Your readers will feel like your talking directly to them.
They’ll be more apt to open an email that feels written to them
– No subject line. Yep, you read that right. Blank subject lines are said
to be opened 8% more than emails, with subject lines. A word of
advice though, don’t send out an email to your entire list with a blank
subject line. Try some A/B testing on this one.
Subject Lines To Avoid
Just as there are several ways to make your subject lines more
clickable, there are things you should avoid that will make your emails
– Avoid using words associated with spam. Words like free, percent
off, help or reminder have a junk mail kind of feel.
– Long Subject lines. This one is a no-brainer. Everyone is super busy
nowadays, and they don’t want to read a subject line that’s 10 words
long just to find out if they want to open it or not. Subject lines even
on desktops get cut off at around 10 words, anyway.
– Pleas for help. Now this one might not seem like it would be such a
bad thing but think about it. When someone is asking you for help,
you tend to do one of two things. Ignore it because you don’t have
time for helping anyone, or you see it as begging and are turned off by
– Statements that are too good to be true. We’ve all received these
types of emails. You know the ones whose subject line reads, “How I
made $1,000,000 three months after launching my blog.” I just click
and delete these types of emails and move on.
– Bait and switch ploys. Don’t use a catchy headline just to get people
to open your email, then provide content that’s unrelated to what
your headline promised. This is a good way to rack up a bunch of
– Requests for donations. Nowadays it seems everyone wants a
donation for something. Think about your reaction when you get a
phone call for a donation. So when you get an email asking for a
donation, you most likely have the same reaction.
– Using exclamation points or question marks. On top of this being a
red flag for spam filters, they’ve lost their effectiveness over time.
Exclamation points are overused and in an already over-flowing
inbox, they no longer convey excitement.
A question mark, on the other hand, isn’t bad itself. It’s more how it’s
used. Asking questions that are too broad or generic won’t compel
anyone to open an email.
– Using marketing language. Using words like cash, money, weight
loss, gift card, buy now, etc., is not only a red flag to recipients but it
triggers spam filters. Avoid these types of terms and use words that
convey real value.