Ho to Create an Email Marketing Campaign to Increase Open Rates

Are you ready to take your email open rates to the stratosphere? Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But wait, isn’t email marketing deader than disco?” It’s quite the contrary, actually.  Email is still the reigning champ when it comes to ROI. In fact, for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect a whopping $42 in return. That’s like finding a unicorn in your backyard!


Table Of Contents:

What is Email Open Rate and Why Does it Matter?

You’ve probably heard the term “email open rate” thrown around a lot in marketing circles. But what exactly does it mean and why should you care? Simply put, email open rate is the percentage of people who actually open and read the emails you send them. It’s a key metric for gauging the success of your email campaigns. Calculating your open rate is pretty straightforward. Just take the number of unique opens and divide it by the total number of emails sent (excluding bounces). Then multiply by 100 to get your percentage. For example, if you send 1,000 emails and 250 people open them, your open rate would be 25%. Easy peasy, right?

The Significance of Email Open Rate

Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, so some people opened my email. Big deal.” But trust me, it IS a big deal. Your open rate is a direct reflection of how engaged your audience is with your content. If people aren’t even opening your emails, they’re definitely not clicking through to your website or making a purchase. A low open rate could indicate that your subject lines aren’t compelling enough, your send times are off, or worse – people have lost interest in hearing from you altogether. On the flip side, a high open rate means your subscribers are eager to see what you have to say. They trust you and find value in your content. And that’s the first step towards building a loyal customer base.

Average Open Rates in Different Industries

Of course, what constitutes a “good” open rate can vary widely depending on your industry. According to a study by Campaign Monitor, the average email open rate across all industries is around 17.8%. But some industries tend to perform better than others. For example, government agencies and nonprofits often see open rates over 25%, while retail and e-commerce businesses hover around 13-15%. It’s important to benchmark your own open rates against others in your specific industry to get a realistic sense of how you’re doing. But don’t get too caught up in comparisons – the most important thing is that you’re consistently working to improve your own numbers over time.

15 Proven Strategies to Boost Your Email Open Rates

Okay, so we’ve established that email open rates are important. But what can you actually do to improve them? Here are 15 tried-and-true strategies:


Captivating Subject Lines

Your subject line is the first (and sometimes only) thing people see when your email hits their inbox. So it needs to be attention-grabbing and compelling enough to make them want to open it. Some quick tips:

Keep it short and sweet (under 41 characters is ideal)

Use actionable language and create a sense of urgency

Personalize it with the recipient’s name or location

Ask a question or promise a benefit

Avoid spammy words like “free” or “guarantee”

Personalize Your Emails

Speaking of personalization, it doesn’t stop with the subject line. Personalizing the content of your emails can make a big difference in how people perceive and engage with them. In fact, studies show that personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. So whenever possible, use merge tags to dynamically insert each subscriber’s name, location, or other relevant information you’ve collected. Just don’t go overboard – too much personalization can come off as creepy.

Segment Your List

Another way to make your emails feel more relevant and targeted is to segment your list based on subscriber preferences, behaviors, or demographics. By sending different messages to different groups, you can tailor your content to their specific needs and interests. This not only boosts open rates, but can also improve your overall ROI. Some common ways to segment include: – Interests or preferences indicated at sign-up – Past purchase behavior or browsing history – Geographic location – Engagement level (e.g. active vs. inactive subscribers) When you send your emails can have a big impact on whether or not people open them. The optimal send time will depend on your specific audience and their habits, but there are some general best practices to follow. According to CoSchedule, the best days to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with the highest open rates occurring around 10am, 8pm, 2pm, and 6am. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to test different send times and see what works best for your list. Try sending your next campaign at a few different times and compare the open rates.

Keep Your List Clean

Over time, your email list can start to accumulate inactive or unengaged subscribers. These are people who never open your emails, or worse – mark them as spam. Having too many of these “dead weight” subscribers can hurt your deliverability and make your open rates look lower than they actually are. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean your list by removing bounced emails and unsubscribing inactive contacts. Most email service providers have built-in tools to help you identify and remove these subscribers. For example, Mailchimp lets you create a segment of people who haven’t opened your last 10 campaigns. Sometimes the best way to improve your open rates is to simply test different elements of your emails and see what performs best. A/B testing (also known as split testing) lets you send two slightly different versions of an email to a small portion of your list, then send the “winning” version to the rest. Some common things to test include: – Subject lines – “From” name – Send time/day – Preview text – Personalization Just be sure to only test one element at a time so you can accurately measure its impact. And always let your test run long enough to reach statistical significance before declaring a winner.

Take Advantage of Preheader Text

The preheader is the short summary text that appears below the subject line in most email clients. It’s easy to overlook, but it can actually be a powerful tool for boosting opens. Think of it as a “second subject line” – use it to elaborate on your subject and give readers another compelling reason to open your email. Keep it short (around 40-50 characters) and make sure it doesn’t get cut off in the preview pane. You can use tools like this one to test how it will look in different email clients.

Ensure Mobile-Friendliness

These days, more people than ever are reading emails on their phones. In fact, mobile opens account for 46% of all email opens. So if your emails aren’t optimized for mobile devices, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to engage your audience. Make sure your email template is responsive and looks good on smaller screens. Some mobile-friendly best practices include: – Using a single-column layout – Keeping your subject line and preheader short – Making your CTA buttons large and easy to tap – Using a larger font size (at least 14px) – Compressing your images to reduce load time

Avoid Spam Triggers

Even if someone has opted into your email list, there’s still a chance your message could end up in their spam folder. And if too many people mark your emails as spam, it could hurt your deliverability in the long run. To avoid triggering spam filters, steer clear of using all caps, excessive exclamation points, and spammy phrases like “CLICK HERE.” or “FREE OFFER”. Also be sure to include an unsubscribe link in every email. You can use tools like this one to test your emails for potential spam triggers before sending. One effective way to get people to open your emails is to create a sense of urgency or scarcity. If subscribers feel like they might miss out on something if they don’t act fast, they’ll be more likely to open your email right away. Some ways to do this include: – Using time-sensitive language in your subject line (e.g. “Last chance.” or “24 hours only”) – Offering a limited-time discount or bonus – Highlighting low stock levels or limited availability – Using a countdown timer in your email Just be sure not to overdo it – if every email you send feels urgent, subscribers will start to tune it out. Use this tactic sparingly for maximum impact.

Provide Consistent Value

At the end of the day, the best way to improve your open rates is to consistently provide value to your subscribers. If they know they can count on you for helpful, relevant, and engaging content, they’ll be more likely to open your emails every time. Some ways to provide value include: – Sharing industry news, tips, or resources – Offering exclusive discounts or promotions – Giving subscribers a behind-the-scenes look at your business – Asking for feedback or running surveys – Segmenting your list to send more targeted content The key is to focus on what’s in it for them, not just what’s in it for you. Every email you send should have a clear purpose and benefit for the reader. People are visual creatures, and incorporating eye-catching images or videos into your emails can help boost engagement and open rates. In fact, studies show that emails with visuals get 94% more views than those without. And including a video in your email can increase click rates by 300%. Just be sure to use visuals that are relevant to your message and add value for the reader. And always include alt text for images in case they don’t load properly.

Regularly Update Your Strategy

Your email strategy shouldn’t be a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. As your audience and business evolve, so should your approach to email marketing. Make a habit of regularly reviewing your open rates and other key metrics to see what’s working and what’s not. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new tactics or retire ones that aren’t performing well. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on industry benchmarks and best practices. Email marketing is always changing, so staying up-to-date can help you stay ahead of the curve. Want to know what your subscribers really think of your emails? Just ask them. Encouraging feedback can help you get valuable insights into what your audience likes (and doesn’t like) about your email content. You can use this information to make targeted improvements and boost engagement over time. Some ways to encourage feedback include: – Including a survey or poll in your email – Asking open-ended questions in your copy – Offering an incentive for completing a feedback form – Following up with subscribers who haven’t opened your last few emails Just be sure to actually listen to and act on the feedback you receive. Showing subscribers that you value their input can go a long way in building trust and loyalty.

Monitor Your Performance

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to improve your open rates is to closely monitor your email performance over time. Most email service providers offer detailed analytics and reporting tools that can help you track key metrics like open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate. Use this data to identify trends and areas for improvement. It’s also a good idea to set benchmarks for yourself based on your own historical performance and industry averages. That way, you can easily see when your open rates start to dip and take action to course-correct. Remember, email marketing is an ongoing process of testing, tweaking, and optimizing. By regularly monitoring your performance and making data-driven decisions, you can continuously improve your open rates and overall ROI.

Crafting Irresistible Subject Lines to Skyrocket Open Rates

We’ve already touched on the importance of subject lines, but let’s dive a little deeper. After all, your subject line is often the make-or-break factor in whether someone opens your email or not. In fact, 47% of email recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. And 69% of people will report an email as spam based solely on the subject line. So how can you craft subject lines that practically beg to be opened? Here are a few tried-and-true formulas: 1. The Curiosity Gap: Pique their interest by hinting at something intriguing without giving away the whole story (e.g. “You won’t believe what happened next…”) 2. The How-To: Promise to solve a problem or teach them something valuable (e.g. “How to double your open rates in 5 simple steps”) 3. The Question: Engage them by asking a thought-provoking question related to your content (e.g. “Are you making these common email mistakes?”) 4. The Command: Use a strong, action-oriented verb to inspire them to take action (e.g. “Boost your open rates with these proven tips”) 5. The Scarcity Play: Create a sense of urgency or FOMO by emphasizing limited time or availability (e.g. “Last chance to get 50% off.”) 6. The Personalized Touch: Use merge tags to include their name or other personal details (e.g. “Jane, your exclusive offer is waiting.”) 7. The Emoji: Add a relevant emoji to make your subject line stand out in a crowded inbox (e.g. ” Hot tips to skyrocket your open rates”) Of course, the key is to mix things up and test different approaches to see what resonates with your specific audience. What works for one brand may not work for another. It’s also important to keep your subject lines honest and relevant to the content of your email. Nothing will tank your open rates faster than misleading or bait-and-switch tactics.

Optimizing Your Email List for Maximum Engagement

No matter how great your subject lines are, they won’t do much good if you’re sending them to the wrong people. That’s why optimizing your email list is just as important as crafting compelling content. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to regularly clean your list of inactive or bounced emails. But it’s also a good idea to proactively keep your list fresh by continuously adding new subscribers. Some ways to do this include: – Adding opt-in forms to your website or blog – Running social media campaigns to drive sign-ups – Offering a lead magnet or incentive for subscribing – Collecting emails at events or point-of-sale Just be sure to always get explicit permission before adding someone to your list. Buying or scraping email addresses is a surefire way to tank your open rates and damage your sender reputation.

Segment Your Audience to Increase Relevance

Once you have a healthy list of engaged subscribers, it’s time to start segmenting them based on their interests, behaviors, or demographics. By sending targeted content to specific groups, you can increase the relevance and value of your emails, leading to higher open rates and engagement. Some ways to segment your list include: – Interests or preferences indicated at sign-up – Past purchase behavior or browsing history – Engagement level (e.g. active vs. inactive subscribers) – Geographic location or time zone – Job title or industry – Buyer persona or customer profile The key is to think about what kind of content would be most useful or interesting to each


Key Takeaway: 


Email open rate matters because it shows how engaged your audience is. To boost yours, focus on creating catchy subject lines, personalizing emails, and sending them at the right time. Also, keep your list clean and segment it to target specific groups better. Test different strategies with A/B testing for best results.

Timing is Everything: When to Send Your Emails for Best Results

The time of day you send your email marketing campaign matters. So does the day in the week, and how many times a month you dispatch bulk emails. It does, however, also depend on your customers and the product/service you provide. On average, most Emails are opened at 8 a.m, a higher click-through rate occurs at 5 p.m. While it is best to send one email a week, it would be better if you and your campaign team check the statistics of your industry and what other companies are doing.

One effective strategy to improve your email marketing campaigns is utilizing A/B testing, also called split testing. This method involves sending two versions of an email (A and B) to a small segment of your email subscribers to assess which version yields better results in terms of open rates, click-through rates, and other key metrics.

Once the more successful version is identified, it can be sent out to the remainder of your subscriber list. A/B testing can significantly enhance the performance of your email campaigns. Below are some suggestions for elements you can experiment with through split testing to boost open rates, engagement levels, and conversions:

  • Subject lines
  • Sender name
  • Email content
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Images and visuals
  • Sending times

It would be horrible to deliver an email at the best time and then captured a prospect’s attention enough to open the email, and then they meet blah. Content is king. What you deliver should be witty, concise, humorous, and engaging yet still get you sales. That is the underlying goal of every other thing.

Ensuring Your Emails Reach the Inbox: Deliverability Best Practices

Email service providers use various indicators to detect spam, and one factor they consider is how frequently emails from a sender are opened. If your emails consistently get opened, it signals to email providers that your content is valued and trusted, improving your sender reputation. This positive cycle helps ensure that future emails have a higher chance of reaching the inbox rather than getting lost in spam or promotions folders, ultimately boosting overall deliverability. To improve email deliverability:

  1. Authenticate your email with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols
  2. Maintain a clean email list by regularly removing inactive or invalid addresses
  3. Avoid using spam trigger words in your subject lines and content
  4. Provide an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe
  5. Monitor your sender reputation and address any issues promptly

Do not purchase email lists. Building your own list organically ensures better engagement and deliverability.

Leveraging Personalization to Connect with Your Subscribers

Personalization goes beyond just using a subscriber’s first name in the email. It’s about tailoring content to their interests, preferences, and behavior.

“Personalized email marketing is far from dead. It’s an evolving practice that, when used well, can deepen your customer relationships, drive engagement, and deliver major ROI.”

– Campaign Monitor

Some ways to personalize your emails:

  • Segment your list based on demographics, interests, or past behavior
  • Use dynamic content that changes based on the recipient
  • Send triggered emails based on subscriber actions (welcome series, abandoned cart, etc.)
  • Recommend products or content based on past engagement

The key is to make your subscribers feel like you understand and care about their individual needs and preferences. This builds trust, loyalty, and ultimately drives more engagement and conversions.

Measuring and Analyzing Your Email Campaign Performance

Key Metrics to Track

Tracking the right metrics is crucial for gauging the success of your email campaigns and identifying areas for improvement. Some key metrics to monitor:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Complaint rate
  • Forwarding/sharing rate
  • List growth rate

Using Analytics Tools

Most email marketing platforms come with built-in analytics tools that make it easy to track and visualize your key metrics. Some popular options:

  • Mailchimp
  • Constant Contact
  • Campaign Monitor
  • HubSpot
  • GetResponse

These tools allow you to see how your campaigns are performing, compare results over time, and even do more advanced analysis like subscriber segmentation and A/B testing.

Making Data-Driven Decisions

The real power of tracking metrics comes in using that data to inform and optimize your email marketing strategy. Regularly review your analytics to identify:

  • What types of subject lines, content, and calls-to-action get the best engagement
  • Which segments of your list are most active and responsive
  • What days and times tend to get the highest open and click-through rates
  • How your results compare to industry benchmarks and your own past performance

Then, use those insights to continually refine and improve your approach. Test new ideas, double down on what’s working, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember, email marketing is an ongoing process of learning, iterating, and striving to better serve your audience. By diligently tracking and acting on your metrics, you’ll be well on your way to email marketing success.


Key Takeaway: 


Timing, content quality, and personalization are key to boosting email open rates. Use A/B testing to find the best sending times and elements like subject lines for engagement. Keep your emails out of spam by following deliverability practices, and always personalize to connect with subscribers. Track performance metrics closely to refine your strategy.

FAQs in Relation to Ho to Create an Email Marketing Campaign to Increase Open Rates

How can you improve open rates for email marketing?

To boost open rates, craft catchy subject lines, personalize content, segment your audience, and find the sweet spot for sending times.

What are good open rates for email campaigns?

A solid open rate hovers around 20-40%, but this varies widely across industries. Aim higher than average in yours.

How do you create an effective email marketing campaign?

Mix engaging content with strong calls to action. Segment lists and optimize send times. Always measure results to tweak tactics.

What element increases an email open rate?

Catchy subject lines grab attention fast. Personalizing them adds a cherry on top that’s hard for readers to resist.


Creating an email marketing campaign that gets your messages opened and read is all about nailing the fundamentals. Craft subject lines that spark curiosity, segment your list like a pro, and make sure your emails look stunning on any device.

But here’s the real kicker: consistency is key. Keep showing up in your subscribers’ inboxes with valuable, engaging content, and watch those open rates soar. Before you know it, you’ll be the email marketing MVP everyone wants to high-five.

So go forth and conquer, you email marketing rockstar! The world of sky-high open rates is yours for the taking.

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