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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




how to get your emails opened



Tips For Increasing Your Open Rate


Subject Lines


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

opening it.


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

more enticing.


– 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

receive it.


– 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

seem spammy. 


– 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.



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, several things people do want in

their inbox.


– 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


More Tips


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. 


– 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 look out for your emails. 


– Best days to send are Tuesdays and Fridays. This can vary a little

depending on your specific audience. Generally, Tuesdays and Fridays

are the best days for sending emails. 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 if your

content isn’t of value to your subscriber.




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 off and on for almost 20 years now, 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 will work for

everyone. It’s all about testing, measuring success, and testing again

to find what works with your audience.


Email marketing plays a huge part in your sales success. It’s worth it to

take the time and find a system that gets you the results you want.


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

comments below.

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