The 6 Best Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates

how to increase email open rate

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Email marketing is one of the most popular and successful digital marketing methods available to any business. However, it can be a guessing game on the sender’s part. Click-through and email open rates provide vital insights into how your marketing efforts engage with your target audience and those that do not. If you’re wondering how to increase email open rate, check out these tried-and-tested open rate optimization techniques:

What are the benefits?

There is no perfect universal blueprint for planning email marketing campaigns. You must find the ideal way to communicate your unique message to your target audience. That requires a bit of trial and error. Tracking email open rates and click-through rates provides valuable insights into your campaigns’ performance. This will allow you to make adjustments that improve campaign success.

For email campaigns to be successful, it is important that the relationship between your target audience and your brand remains positive and retains value. The last thing you want is for your emails to be seen as spam. You need to maintain trust, and tracking email open rates and click-through rates will provide you with insights that will help keep you on track.

Email Open Rate vs. Click-Through Rate

Email open rates and click-through rates provide similar insights into different aspects of your email campaign.

Open rate: In email marketing, the open rate refers to the number of email recipients who open each email. It is tracked and analyzed as percentages. Your open rate speaks to the external aspects of the campaign and let you know how your target audience reacts to elements like the subject line and sending time.

Open Rate = (Total Opens / Total Delivered) * 100

Email Open Rate Calculator

Click rate (click-through rate, CTR): In email marketing, click rate refers to the number of people who click on a hyperlink, CTA, or image within an email. Your CTR can indicate the success of the email content specifically, including the copy, graphics, and/or special offer.

Click-Through Rate (CTR) = (Total Clicks / Total Delivered) * 100

Email Click-Through Rate Calculator

Click to open rate: Many email marketers and small business owners use this metric to measure their email campaign performance and engagement level. The click to open rate, aka CTOR, calculates the number of unique clicks to the number of unique opens.

Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR) = (Unique Clicks / Unique Opens) * 100

Email Click-to-Open Rate Calculator

What is a good email open rate?

A good email open rate depends on your industry. It is generally 17-28%. However, it would be wise to research your specific industry.

Note: You can expect your click-through rate to be notably lower, the average being between 2% and 5%.

Best Practices for a Successful Email Open Rate and Click-Through Rate

how to increase email open rate

You and your team must practice the following to optimize your email open and click-through rates.

1 – Observe the best days for high email open rates.

It will take time and a little trial and error to find what days of the week your target audience is the most responsive. Test various schedules and routines, then track their success rates and adjust accordingly.

2 – Observe the best email open rate times.

Much like with the days of the week, you and your team will need to test and track various send times to find out when your audience is the most active. Some people check their email every morning; others prefer to do it at the end of the day. Find what works best for your audience.

3 – Observe your email open rate and click-through rate metrics.

Collect all the necessary data and determine your metrics at the end of every email campaign. This will reveal the overall success of the campaign and guide you.

The Top 6 Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rate and Click-Through Rates

how to increase email open rate

1 – Segment Your Email List

Segmenting your email list allows you to increase relevancy by speaking directly to your target audience. Creating smaller contact lists based on shared metrics will help you customize the content in a way that is relevant to your target audience.

2 – Increase Email Deliverability

It doesn’t matter how impeccable your content is if your email is automatically sent to your contact’s spam folder or junk mail. There are a few ways to improve deliverability. You should authenticate your email domain and maintain a proper IP allocation. Keeping the content and subject lines non-spammy and relevant helps as well.

Maintaining a clean contact list is one of the most overlooked ways to ensure deliverability. Bounce-backs are inevitable. A high bounce-back rate could destroy your reputation as a sender and place your IP on a blacklist. Removing them from your contact list is important to keep your bounce-back rate low.

3 – Choose the Right Time And Frequency

There is no perfect time to send emails. Everyone checks their email at different times of the day, depending on their lifestyle and routine. Test out different sending times to see what works best for your audience.

In addition to searching for the best time of day for your audience, identifying the optimal frequency is also key. Sending emails too frequently can lead to high unsubscription rates. Sending emails too infrequently can lead to disengagement and disconnection. The correct frequency varies, so test different strategies until you find the one that works best for your industry and audience.

4 – Build A High-Quality Email List

Would you open an email from a brand you didn’t subscribe to? If your answer is yes, then you are likely in the minority. To optimize your email open rates and click-through rates, you need to ensure that the people you are reaching out to have expressed interest in your brand, service, or product.

The best sign-up method is a double opt-in, ideally using a lead magnet. Whatever you do, avoid buying email lists or using tricks to get people to sign up and subscribe. There are more ethical and effective ways to grow your email list fast.

5 – Be Mindful of Mobile Users

We all practically live on our phones, so making sure the format of your emails is suitable for mobile use is a must. You’ll need to do the following.

  • Keep the formatting single-column and under 600px wide.
  • Ensure the content is appealing with or without images (some email apps or phones won’t display images).
  • Use smaller images to avoid long load times.
  • Make sure the CTA button is large enough to tap with your thumb.
  • Make it easier for readers to click the correct links by keeping them spaced out.

6 – Focus on The Content

None of your other efforts will matter if the actual content does not speak to your target audience and encourage them to engage. From crafting irresistible email subject lines to the email copy and design, spend time and energy making each email appealing to your target audience.

An optimal subject line is concise yet alluring. It needs to grab their attention quickly without using clickbait-like tactics. Personalizing it while keeping the word count under twenty can be challenging, but it is worth the effort.

When planning your content, remember that you don’t need to provide all the information simultaneously. People do not go to their inboxes to read full-length articles.

Allow your emails to build on each other and remember that the goal is to get the reader to act or engage. Lead them to the next stage using enticing language that makes them want to learn more. The more personalized the content, the better.

Email Engagement FAQs

how to increase email open rate

How do you calculate the email open rate and click-through rate formula?

Calculate the click-through rate by taking the total number of clicks an email receives and dividing that by the total number of delivered messages.

Email Click-Through Rate Calculator

You can calculate your campaign’s email open rate metrics by dividing the number of unique email openings by the number of emails sent (subtracting the number of emails bounced).

Email Open Rate Calculator

What is a good b2b email open rate?

The average email open rate for b2b marketing will be slightly lower, with the average being around 19%, however it will range based on the industry.

Why are email open rates unreliable?

Even though email open rates can provide incredible insights into the success or failure of your email campaigns, they are not always reliable. This is because anyone can only tell when a reader has opened an email by downloading a tiny image from the web into the person’s email reader. Once the image has been downloaded, the person’s email is counted as read. All email marketing systems use this method, but it’s not reliable.

For example, email providers like Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo will block all images, some by default. So, the email might be opened, but that tiny image isn’t downloaded, so it is not counted as read.

What is the average email open rate?

The average email open rate varies depending on the industry but typically falls between 17% and 28%. Industries like education and agriculture tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum, while retail and food/beverage industries are on the lower end.

In our experience

Achieving higher email open rates and click-through rates requires a blend of strategic planning, audience understanding, and content finesse.

The top three actionable tactics we usually recommend starting with are:

  • Experiment with timing and frequency.
  • Customize content using segmentation and personalization.
  • Optimize your email content for mobile.

Start by implementing these top tactics, and remember, the path to success in your email marketing strategy involves continuous adaptation, refinement, and a commitment to delivering value through every email interaction!

increase email open rate

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