What is email open rate and how important is it?

Open rate is one of the most important metrics in email marketing. It is directly proportional to your sales because the recipients need to open the email first in order to read your content and move down to the next part in your funnel, then decide whether to buy your product eventually.

Moreover, it does not only matter for that specific email but also affects other emails you send in the future. The big email providers like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft make profits from ads, so they will not like senders of emails that are not opened meaning not showing their ads. Therefore, emails from those senders will more likely end up in the spam folder next time.

How to increase email open rate?

1. Avoid sending emails to inactive accounts

Most of us are conditioned to believe that an email list is one of our greatest assets, but a portion (usually 20%-40%) of an email list is usually made up of liabilities, not assets.

What do we mean by liabilities? They are the ones that do not use and open the email anymore. Therefore, if you keep sending to these inactive email addresses, you are pushing yourself into a dead-end. 

So, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you are sending your email to the right people. We would recommend you clean up and segment your email list after a certain amount of time.

2. Make sure people open your first email

According to Adrian Savage, the email marketing expert and Founder of Deliverability Dashboard, “Statistically, if you can’t get someone to open your email in the first 7-14 days after they signed up to your list, they would probably never ever see anything you send out.”

Therefore, it is vital that you need to try every way you can to ensure people will open the first email you send them. It could be an email including an offer for a gift or a sell-off. It could be very detailed instructions on your thank you page after they have signed up to remind them to open the email. For example, “Thank you! We have just sent you an email, please find it in your email account. If it is not in your Inbox, please check the Promotions tab and drag it back out to your Inbox. If it is not in your Promotions tab, please check your spam folder and mark it as “safe””.

3. Content: make it valuable, enticing, engaging, and personalized

There is no doubt that content is a key of an email in many layers.

The first content the recipient will see from your email is the Subject line, so it plays a crucial part in their decision to open the email or not. Your subject should be brief but carry as much information in your email as possible as well as grab your subscribers’ attention as fast as possible. Therefore, if you can create an enticing subject stimulating curiosity or excitement for some benefits or shocking news they can get from the email, it will definitely increase your open rate. A report by Retention Science showed that subject lines with 6 to 10 words deliver the highest open rate, making 8 words an ideal number for a subject line. If a subject line is too long, it will get cut off and your recipient will not know what the email is about and be more likely to ignore it, especially for mobile viewers as the display space is limited.

Email Open Rate by Number of Words in Subject Line (Retention Science)

Additionally, most people prefer seeing their first name greeted in the email, so make sure to call out their name. You can also call their name right in your Subject line. Also, they will be more likely to open an email if it is sent from a specific personal name than from a company name. A research from Pinpointe Marketing found that by using a specific personal name, rather than a general email address or company name, you can increase open rates by as much as 35%!

When it comes to the main content part that you want to deliver in an email, of course it should bring value to the recipient. It could be a solution to their problem, an answer to their question. It could be some useful information that they can benefit from. It could be some offer that they wouldn’t want to miss. It could be something entertaining or humorous to brighten up their day. It could be something engaging that they would love to discuss. It could be something that stirs up lots of emotions in them. What’s more, it would be even better if you could segment your email list, based on different categories like interest, to send personalized emails to your subscribers. We know we all love things that feel special and relevant to us.

4. Suitable time and times to send your email

Which day in the week, which time of the day, and how many times a month to send your email depend on your email content as well as your subscribers’ behaviors and habits. So, it is necessary to psychologically understand your business, your audience and do a lot of testing to find out the best time and times to give you the highest open rate. 

For example, heavy business-related emails sent on the weekends when people like to relax will most likely get fewer to open. Also, sending emails too frequently or too rarely will negatively affect your open rate. You can try out different levels of delivery frequency like sending an email once a month, twice a month, or once a week, twice a week to see what results you get for each. Resource is also a factor to consider here, because not all companies have the ability to send a large number of emails in a short time while still ensuring their quality. And, remember that quality is over quantity.

Although we would encourage you to take time and test out yourself to find your own formula that fits your audience and business the most, we found some research from Get Response to share with you on this. It shows that the best day to send emails in order to get the highest open rate is on Friday, and the best hour to send is 1pm, when they are catching up on their emails after lunch.

Email marketing metrics including open rate by hour of day (Get Response)
Email marketing metrics including open rate by day of week (Get Response)

5. Make them anticipate your next email

After you’ve got them to open one email, it will be even better if you can use that opportunity to make them open the next email, and so the open loop goes on.

So, it would be great if you can get your audience to anticipate your next email and get into the habit of looking for and reading your email. Well-written welcome emails usually include some sentence like “Please make sure to check back tomorrow for the email that I’m going to send you about…” Sending emails on a regular basis, like on a specific day of the week, is also a way to train subscribers to expect your email and be ready to open it more.

Let’s wrap it up

So those are our 5 most effective tips to increase your email open rate! After all, it boils down to using psychological science to optimize your email marketing, so again, it’s important to understand your business and your audience. If you implement these 5 tips correctly, you will for sure get good results of higher open rate, leading to higher sales for your business. We hope that this blog article was beneficial for you.

Good luck!

If you need help to level up your email marketing or your marketing game in general, book a strategy call with an AweSM coach and see if we’re what you’re looking for. All you need to do is click this link and answer a few short questions, then you can choose the date and time you want for the call: https://callwith.awesm.com/social

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Business Strategist and Visionary

Petter Erik Nyvoll has worked in sales and has been an entrepreneur for 20 years. He has sold courses and conferences, sponsor packages, consulting services, shares, investment opportunities, telephone and server solutions, ads, exclusive memberships, and network marketing products.

He loves to keep up with what’s happening in sales and marketing around the world, is continuously testing new marketing strategies by himself and helps online entrepreneurs implement new sales and marketing strategies. He is well known for challenging his clients to double their price , to think creatively and to break out of their comfort zone!