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6 Easy Ways to Skyrocket Email Open Rates By 400% Or More

November 13, 2014 | Email Marketing

Managing a newsletter can be the hardest part of running an online marketing strategy. You spend so much time and effort trying to persuade people to join your mailing list, and when they finally do, they don’t even bother  to open your emails! Ahhh! Subscribers are obviously interested in what your business has to offer, after all they did sign up.

“But then why aren’t they clicking open my emails?”

Well that’s what this article will answer.

We are going to show you why subscribers are not to opening your emails along with 6 easy actionable solutions on how you can double, triple or even quadruple your open rate percentages from here on out.

1. Time your newsletter to perfection 

Sending out your newsletter at 2pm can yield as much as 85% more opens compared to mailing at 8am. A recent study conducted by Harland Clarke Digital, showed that more emails were opened between the hours of 3-4pm on desktop and mobile devices, while 8-9pm on tablet computers than any other time of the day.

“ When would be the best time to mail my subscribers? 4pm or 8pm?”

Run an A/B test and find out. One week send emails during the afternoon, then the following week in the evening. Use your newsletter platform to study the results and see which time promoted more opens.

Tip: Avoid mailing your list at 8-9am in the morning as you will be fighting for attention with several other emails sitting in their inbox. People have a habit of deleting all ‘non-critical’ emails first thing in the morning as they don’t have the time to deal with them.

2. Picking the right day

So you’ve found the best time to email your list, your next objective is to work out the optimal day (or days) of the week. Going back to the Harland Clarke Digital study, it showed us that Wednesday accounted for 27% of all emails being sent for the week, while having only a 15.6% open rate success. Compare this to Saturday which had the lowest email send out rate  of 5.5%, while having the biggest open rate at 32.5%.

What do we suggest? Run another A/B test and see which day yields the highest opens. Keep in mind that most businesses operate Monday to Friday meaning fewer emails hit inboxes during weekends. However, some people don’t check their emails on the weekend as they don’t want to be ‘bothered’, this is why testing is critical when managing a newsletter.

3. Learn how your enemy operates 

How much do you know about spam filter technology used by Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook and Yahoo!? With the amount of emails hitting inboxes daily, these big players have come up with several very smart strategies to keep spam out. They include diverting emails into the spam folder when emails contain:

Badly structured HTML code


Several bright colored fonts

Overuse of images and HTML with very little text

Absurd number of exclamation marks!!!

Some filters have become so advanced that if a users deletes an email from a new sender that they haven’t yet opened an email from, all future emails from that sender will automatically be directed to the spam folder. This leads us nicely to our #4 tip.

4. Click-worthy subject lines

Coming up with an engaging subject line is one of the major components in skyrocketing open rates to the moon. A good subject line should either be provocative, negative or provide some sort of exclusivity to the reader. By conjuring up an emotion we connect with the subscriber who will be much more compelled to click open the email. Keep this in mind: you can find the best time and day to send your newsletter but without a thought provoking subject line, all that testing will have gone to waste.

Tip: Writing click-worthy subject lines is no easy task and even the best business minds can hit a road block. Solution: hire a persuasive content writer who has experience in generating subject lines or has past experience with writing email copies.

Tip #2: Avoid words such as reminder, help and percent off. A detailed study carried out by Mailchimp, showed that common buzz words such as the above reflect poorly on email open rates and may even trigger spam filters.

5. Categorize your list

This primarily applies to businesses who cater to a worldwide client base or offer a number of different products or services. For example, a Realtor may wish to divide their list into something like this:

Property investors/ Homebuyers (individuals looking to buy)

Commercial / business contacts (businesses wanting offices, land or warehouse space)

Location (segmenting list by town or area)

Breaking your list down into further categories allows you to send targeted emails directly to your subscribers. Grouping everybody together and opting for the ‘blast to all’ method is not only going to bring you a low open rate, but will dramatically increase your unsubscribe rate.

6. Have you factored in mobile and tablet devices?

Do you know how many emails get opened on a mobile device first? 10%? No, higher. 25%? No, even higher. 50%? Nope, a staggering 65% of all emails get read on a mobile device first. Check to see how your emails render on mobile and tablet devices, most newsletter platforms allow you to play around with the formatting to get things right.

If your images or words are not being displayed correctly, fix the problem immediately before sending out any further emails.

Nurturing a newsletter is one of the most difficult aspects of managing your online marketing strategy, but the rewards can heavily outweigh the work when you manage to crack the code. Implement our 6 simple yet highly effective tips and see your email open rates skyrocket.

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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