How to Increase Your Email Marketing Open Rate

Even with the increasing popularity and convenience of social media, email marketing is still one of the best channels to reach your audience. However, having your emails left in the spam folder before eventually getting deleted isn’t what you want to happen to your marketing materials. Low open rates equate to low visibility and reduced business opportunities. If you pass the hurdle of having your emails read, ensuring continued engagement and subscriptions can prove further challenges. Engaging a reliable digital agency in Auckland can provide professional help and guidance on improving your email marketing strategies.

We discuss ways to increase your email marketing open rate and keep subscribers interested in what your brand has to offer.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a direct marketing method focused on reaching out to individual customers. The content of each email can differ. Examples include product offers, customer stories, or entertaining facts related to your industry. Email marketing is not only a proven method for driving sales, but it also helps build a community around your brand. With reported figures of more than 4 billion email users worldwide in 2020, almost everyone in your target audience is guaranteed to have an email address.

With the highest ROI (return on investment) at $42 for every $1 spent, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and crucial marketing strategies for any business. It is a proven method for reaching out to audiences, increasing brand awareness, and driving more traffic to your website. Email marketing cannot be overlooked.

The Challenges of Email Marketing

Once you’ve secured a hefty base of customers and subscribers interested in your company’s offerings, you must ensure their continued patronage. However, there is no guarantee that everyone will read your sent emails. Users receive many emails every day, meaning your message could become lost in a sea of repeated emails desperate to be read.

According to marketing automation and email marketing platform Mailchimp, the average open rate of email marketing materials for all industries is 21.33%, showing just how difficult it can be to catch the eye. A well-planned email marketing strategy packed with quality content will make your brand correspondence stand out from a sea of similar marketing materials.

Instead of sending repeated messages which can lead your user to cancel their subscription, choosing to prioritise quality over quantity is vital in increasing your email marketing open rate. Routine testing by segmenting your subscribers and sending out multiple subject lines or content can help identify audience likes and determine a winning format for future emails.

Tips on Increasing Your Open Rate

Curate Your Subscriber List

Separating your subscriber list into different segments can help you curate custom emails based on purchasing or browsing behaviour. Segmented emails that are relevant and targeted to specific customers will outperform generic emails and are likely to have higher engagement. Examples include personalised thank you messages for regular customers or return offers for those who have not visited your site for a while.

Periodically removing inactive subscribers helps keep your list fresh and filled with interested parties. Incentivise them to engage with you by sending out special vouchers or checking in periodically to see if they still want to stay subscribed. Reminding them that you’re still there creates a lifeline for them to reach out and continue engaging with your offerings.

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Although there’s no guaranteed way to ensure your marketing materials don’t become lost in the void of the dreaded spam folder, you can follow some best practices to increase your email marketing open rate.

  • Ensure all recipients have opted-in to receiving emails
  • Avoid the use of spam trigger words (money, free, discount)
  • Avoid using deceptive subject lines
  • Include a way for recipients to opt-out of email subscriptions
  • Use a recognisable sender name
  • Ask subscribers to add you to their contact list

Craft Eye-Catching Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing most individuals evaluate when deciding whether to open an email. A straightforward and well-crafted subject line is crucial to increasing your email marketing open rate. Personalise your subject lines by addressing the recipient by name. You can also improve your subject lines by announcing offers and promotions that generate attention.

According to a study on email use, 85% of surveyed individuals preferred an all-lowercase subject line. Keep it short and memorable. Avoid click-bait or misleading subject lines unrelated to the contents.

Content is King

A user opening your email may be an initial win, but without quality content to keep your reader engaged, the chances of future emails getting opened are lowered, and they may even unsubscribe from you entirely. Injecting humour and personality into your emails is a sure way to ensure you remain memorable in the minds of your audience. Include relevant information or add links to valuable sources with a doable call to action.


The time and day your emails are sent out can play a massive part in determining if they are read. For example, a study by Experian highlights weekdays as the best period for increased open rates. Simple visualisation by plotting out a day in the life of your target audience and what they’re likely to be doing, together with a little trial and error, can help you determine the best time to send your marketing materials.

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