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Dramatically Increase Your Email Open Rate

Everyone and the baker talks about money being in your double opt-in mailing list. That Email marketing can be a virtual cash machine when it’s done right. Hence, you’ve got to focus on how to dramatically increase your Email open rate.

While Email marketing can be a virtual cash machine, if you cannot get anyone to open/read your Emailed messages this is just a notional perception of wealth which is really frustrating.

In this Blog post I’m going to focus on how you can dramatically increase your Email open rate with your site registrants. It’s all about simple techniques to achieve just this. I’m also going to show you how you can engage with your target audience effectively and keep them looking out for your emails.

I found this great article on 10 Reasons Why Email Marketing Should Be Your Absolute Priority which provides some street-wise tips and tricks of the trade from a home-based email marketing expert.

Make Your Mails Personal

Today, inboxes are being flooded with junk mail. This is a pain that everyone who has an Email Id bears with.

Whenever anyone signs up for a product or service that’s interesting, they must be open to the possibility of being flooded with SPAM and tons of irritating affiliate offers.

People who use Email constantly find different ways of dealing with this problem. Using their email client’s SPAM filtering rules for example.

That said, there is one tried and tested technique that all people use to decide on whether they should click on and open an Email they’ve received. They look for a mention of their names in the Email subject list and then click to open those Emails.

Hence, it’s always a great idea to personalize the subject lines of the emails dispatched to include the recipient’s first name.   This approach is an instant attention grabber and subtle trust builder.

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Ensure That Your Registration System Is Double Opt-in

When you’ve got to choose between list size and list quality, always opt for list quality. Your Email list will be a lot smaller when you use a double opt-in technique for registration, BUT it will have much greater quality.

A double opt-in registration system is when a potential subscriber is sent a link to the Email Id they have submitted to click on and verify that they do indeed want to register. This further confirms that their Email Id is genuine, if they click on the double op-in link.

This is really a way in which someone is telling you that they are seriously interested in whatever it is you are offering.

When you are offering something or real value to your subscribers, you do not need a massive email list to make a living. Just do not forget the trouble your subscriber has taken to register, reward them well to show your appreciation of the trouble they’ve taken.

Ensure Your Website Is Responsive

Today everyone owns a smart phone. A lot of these individuals access the Internet using their smart phones. The number of people who access the Internet using smart phones is growing exponentially.

Statistics show that 43% of all email worldwide is opened using mobile devices. That is a staggering statistic. Hence if your email contains links to a site that is not responsive these people will bounce off the site immediately simply because it’s painful for them to view the site.


Hence, as site owner you’re driven by two objectives, your newsletter must be responsive. The links contained within the newsletter must lead to a responsive site.

Otherwise there is a section of potential customers you are ignoring and definitely losing out on.

Create Arresting (Personalized) Subject Lines

More than 70% of the marketing emails display boring (essentially non engaging) headlines. This really is a worrying statistic. Translated, this indicates that 70% of marketing emails never get read.

Fortunately there really is a simple way of writing arresting email subject lines. Just remember the word sea – puck (i.e. CPUQ). This stands for:


Ensure that you use one or a combination of these techniques and the headline you craft is sure to be arresting enough to get your email opened and read. Here are some headline examples.

Offer Real Value Consistently

It’s imperative that you deliver awesome, value add content right from the very first newsletter you dispatch, then ensure that all other newsletter deliver value the same add quality consistently.

As soon as your recipients understand that you care and that you really are willing to share top quality information, they will be looking forward to your newsletters with their recommendations for various products and services.

Nothing gets your Emailed newsletter flagged as SPAM or unsubscribed from quicker than pounding your mailing list with offer after offer after offer.

The only people that get away with such an approach are those whose mailing lists are greater than 100,000 email IDs and thus can afford to lose a about 10% to 15% without a major impact on their earnings.

Build A Relationship With Your Readers

The goal of all your online interactions must be to build strong relationship with people. This is the only way to build an excellent online reputation.

This is really not too difficult to do. All you’ve got to do is come across as honest, straight forward and dependable in every single online transaction.

Always remember that you are the most important representative of your brand, so if you always hold yourself to the highest standards possible your work and you relationships will automatically reflect that.

Once this happens your people will give you great reviews and testimonials. They will leave positive comments on most of your Blog posts which is great for engaging with them and holding their attention. Loyalty is always earned, it’s never bought.

Keep Pruning Your Mailing List

As with all mailing lists you are going to have some inactive subscribers. These subscribers just need to be handled a tad differently. Here’s a simple approaches you can use.

  • Place inactive subscribers on a separate list where they’ll no longer be emailed regularly
  • Next send them an Email asking then to reconfirm if they want to be on your list
  • Repeat this blast after 10 days.

If for both of your blasts your emails do not get opened, delete the subscriber’s email Id from your mailing list thus pruning it of dead wood.

Typically you can automate this entire process through the auto-responder, list segmentation option, in most web-based, email marketing services, such as Mail Chimp, AWeber and so on.

Deliver Newsletter At A Consistent Delivery Time

I discovered that when I dispatched my Email newsletters at in consistent times their open rate was much lower than when I dispatched them at the same time, each time I planned an email blast.

All web based, Email marketing services, auto-responders have an option to have emails dispatched at a specific date and time.

I use MailChimp and I always set my follow up emails to – send 1 day after previous – which sends out my Emails at the time the individual received that last email, which is the same time they subscribed. Be sure to have several emails queued in advance when you use this approach.

Run Split Tests

If most of your content is the same for all subscribers, run split tests to identify what content the subscribers identify with and enjoy.

I’ll test several different mail-out times based on time of day in PST, EST & GMT.

Typically I’ll test 8am, 2pm and 6pm mail-out times for each time zone, then set my mail broadcasts to the timing which give me the most user engagement.


The second is test what – see pucks – type headlines (Controversy, Power-Words, Urgency,Questions) are getting clicked on and opened the most. Then include that style in the subject lines more frequently.

The third thing to test what works better to have Emails coming from myself or from the brand. Typically it’s best to have emails from a person, but I’ve seen otherwise, which is why I test.

Make A Great First Impression

First impressions are everything in real life? The same is true online.

Your first impression is your best shot at earning your site visitor’s trust and ensuring future emails get opened.

Assuming you’re running an unobtrusive and least irritating pop-up or slide out email Id capture form to build your list, it’s crucial to give away awesome content like problem solving reports,

Info-graphics, podcasts and videos packed with useful information to registrants.

Have A Lead Magnet

Create a lead magnet in the form of an eCourse, audio or video series spread out over several days and offer this via your pop-up or slide out form. This a clever and incredibly effective way to get emails opened and engaged with.

You’ll notice Income Diary employing this very method with their Free 7 day money making eCourse…

Another great way of enhancing your relationship with your mailing list is simply surveying them from time to time.

This will help clearly identify what problem it is that you’re audience needs solving. Once you identify what their problem is, make it a point to over-deliver on the solution.

Always try to empathize and respect your subscriber/reader. You will have no problem earning a living online if offering high value to your subscribers is (100% of) your mission.

Don’t meet expectation, exceed it!

Success by choice, not by chance.

Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help

If you liked this Blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you thought that this Blog post was not up to your expectations, I’d love to read your comments.

It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please pass on your bouquets or brickbats in the comments section right below.

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Ivan Bayross
Digital Marketing Evangelist, International Author & Business Mentor
I've been an entrepreneur for more than 33 years.

I've taught marketing and finance at a few MBA schools in Mumbai, India. These subjects are like a horse and carriage. You can't have one without the other.

I am technology savvy too as I am armed with an M.Tech from Manchester University, UK. In that sense, you could call me a geek-marketer, as I’m comfortable with both technology and marketing.

I have written and published 83+ books in tech and digital marketing. Many of these are available on Amazon.

I've been working in digital marketing for around 24+ years. I love to teach the subject, plus define, execute, and tweak digital marketing strategies for my own websites and my clients.

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6 responses on "Dramatically Increase Your Email Open Rate"

  1. Hey Ivan,
    This is a fantastic take on dramatically increase email open rate. One must never ignore the fact that the subscriber should be offered real value consistently. It is when this is done that it becomes easier to subscribe or follow the appended call-to-action.

    Personalization of emails and reassurance of double opt-in will help to increase the open rate of emails. The best subscribers are those who are fast in accessing value in the content and in the context of which this is presented.

    Yes, testing and re-testing of the best personalization options will go a long way in helping to achieve increased open rates.
    I left the above comment in as well

    • Hi Sunday,

      Thanks very much. You’ve made my Monday. I’m pretty chuffed that you liked my Blog post.

      Yes, only when any subscriber is consistently delivered value over time will they build trust and will they convert to paying customers.

      Thanks for coming over to my personal Blog site and leaving this comment Sunday. Much obliged.

  2. Hi Ivan,

    There isn’t a “one size fits all” standard for judging email open rates since they can vary by industry.

    But the shared post gave us smart, handy and practical ideas to dramatically increase the email open rate.

    Yes, personalizing the subject line boosts open rates every time. The idea of subject lines containing the first name of the subscriber always performs better than e-mails without.

    One should also stick to relevancy. One useful idea that everyone can use is to segment contact list or use tags to send more targeted emails.

    • Hi Metz,

      Yes, I agree. There isn’t a one size fits all standard for judging email open rates as they do vary by industry.

      That said, I think what’s more important is once one is aware of the generic – Email open rate – for a specific industry, then its definitely possible to use creative digital marketing and inbound content marketing techniques to up the open rate for your Emails.

      At the end of the day, independent of industry vertical, one is dealing with human beings. Hence, using tried and tested techniques, that gets your Emails opened will always be beneficial in driving focused customers to your site and increasing your purchase rates. That shoukd be great for business.

      Yes, totally, segmenting your contact list and then delivering the – Right content – to each segment is definitely going to pay off handsomely in the long run. Regretfully, there are very few clients / digital marketing specialists I know who actually do this.

      Thanks so much for commenting Metz. Your input is really valuable to my readers.

  3. These are all some great tips that will help get your emails opened. I liked where you talked about connecting with your readers, making compelling subject lines, and have value inside the emails the people can connect with. It is also important to check which times of the day gets the most email opens. Everyone’s audience is different, so I believe the most effective way to figure out your audience is split testing. It may take time but it would be worth it.

    • Hi Lawrence,

      I’m really happy that you found my Blog post content useful Lawrence, I makes all the hard work crafting such content so worth it.

      Yes, I completely agree with you, being careful about the time when your send out your newsletters is pretty important.

      Timing your newsletter dispatch properly increases the chances of your Emails being opened and clicked on quite a bit.

      That is what all newsletter writers need isn’t it?

      Split testing, (often totally ignored regretfully) is another terrifc suggestion.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lawrence. Appreciate this.

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