By: Lori Smith
You use social media to drive traffic and build authority, but emails
are the main channel for marketing your business. 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 an email, 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 is going to 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 that I, myself have
used to not only get an average open rate of 48.8% but my click-
through rate, average is 26.4%. Want to know how I did it? Read on,
but promise me this, you’ll, actually take these tips and implement
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 are proven
to 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’re going to get if they open your email, but make sure to
– 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) are 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 are shown to have higher open rates. Think something
like “you made the wrong choice”. With a subject line like this, people
will be 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 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 lose a lot of subscribers.
– 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.
What People Want
Everyone gets spam emails. They’re unwanted and hated. The email
could very well be from a legitimate source, but if it doesn’t offer
value, then no one wants to read it. Nobody wants to receive emails
that read as spam no matter who they’re from.
Surprising or not there are, actually several things people do want in
– Information that is timely
– Some kind of benefit for taking action
– Information that is useful
– Personal invitations
– Necessary information
– News that’s fresh and relevant to them
Besides creating awesome subject lines, there’re a few other things
you can do to help get your emails opened and stay out of the spam
– Use a personal email address. People respond better when
someone is being authentic and transparent. One of the first things
readers check is who an email is from before opening it.
If your email is set up like this, [email protected] you might
want to check into creating a domain email. This is simply an email in
your own domain name. Zoho is an email service that provides
domain emails for free. No affiliate this is just what I use.
– To stay out of spam folders ask readers to whitelist your emails.
When they add you to their address book, it over-rides the spam filter.
– Inform readers of your email schedule. Tell them what they can
expect to receive and how often they’ll receive emails from you. This
way they can be looking out for your emails.
– Best days to send are Tuesdays and Fridays. This can vary a little
depending on your specific audience, but generally, these are the
best days for sending. You will want to do some testing to find the
days that are best for you.
– Best times to send your emails. Mornings 8 am to 10 am and
afternoons 3 pm to 4 pm, seem to work best. Most people have a
routine for reading emails. Some prefer to read emails early in the day
to get them out of the way. While others will read them later in the
afternoon once they’ve finished up their work for the day.
You want to make sure your email is near the top of their inbox at the
time they are checking it. This will increase the chances of your email
being seen and read. Again this is something you will want to run an
A/B test on.
– Provide quality content. All the clever subject lines in the world
won’t help increase your open rates if you’re not backing it up with
valuable, high-quality content. You might get your emails opened
initially, but over time you will see your open rates drop off.
Emails are critical to a comprehensive marketing strategy. It’s the
most direct line you have for conveying your message to your readers.
It takes time and effort to craft well-written emails that sell, and those
emails need to get opened. Nobody wants to get clicked and deleted.
It hurts, in more ways than one.
I’ve been a blogger for two years, and it took a lot of testing to figure
out how to get my emails opened on a more consistent basis.
I had some fails along the way, but that didn’t stop me. I kept at it and
found a formula that works. Not all these tips are going to work for
everyone. It’s all about testing, measuring success, and testing again
to find what works for your audience.
Email marketing plays a huge part in your sales success. It’s worth it to
take some time and find what works.
Experiment with some of these tips and turn your emails from being
deleted into opened.
Do you have any tricks for getting your emails read? Share them in the