3 Advanced Tactics Marketers Can Use to Boost Email Open Rate

Nothing is worse than crafting an email that will never be read. If you don’t set yourself up for success by improving your email open rate, then you’re probably wasting your time. So, how do you predict open rate success and what does it look like?

Across all industries, average open rates for email marketing hover around 25% but can certainly vary above and below that line. Do you know your current open rate? Do you know what might be hurting your open rate? Have you applied an open rate formula to your campaigns? Before you do anything else, stop and take stock of how your emails are performing right now. Don’t get down if the numbers aren’t as high as you would like. Luckily, there are some easy ways to keep your message out of the dreaded “junk” folder. Here are some tips to ensure that your reader is intrigued enough to open your emails and listen to what you have to say.

Business development woman crafting an email response on her laptop
Visual components like symbols or emojis can be incorporated in a subject line to make it stand out.

1) Offer a Sneak Peek

Readers hate to scroll through long emails. If your subject line promises a discount code or a free download, put the code or download instructions in the first couple of lines of your email. It will show up in the email preview and incentivize your reader to click on the body of the email to make a purchase or complete the download. Each subsequent line in your email should play on the overall benefit to the reader to engage them through the entire message. Don’t hide the “prize” deep inside your message. Be transparent and make it simple for your reader to benefit from clicking on your email. They’ll be much more likely to do it again the next time you reach out to them.

2) Be Direct

Especially when you’re building a new audience, it’s crucial to keep your subject lines, short and direct. While a clever subject line might induce an initial click, if your reader finds that the subject line was misleading in relation to the email content, they won’t click through your links. Even worse, they won’t bother to click on the next message you send. Be direct and build credibility with your subject lines. List the specifics of your discount or message. Avoid slang and language that could be confusing. Get to the point, and you’ll get readers to click.

3) Make it Visual

Digital marketing expert analyzing email open rates on his tablet
Whatever you tease in your subject line should be one of the first things seen in the body of the actual email.

You may have noticed that more organizations are incorporating symbols and images into their subject lines. While this tactic should be used sparingly, it can create enough interest to make your reader click to read your email. Make sure the images are closely tied to the subject of your email, and again—don’t use this tactic with every message. If it’s enough of a departure from your usual subject line, it will draw attention; if you drown every subject line in symbols, you will only hurt your cause and dilute your message.

Final Thoughts

As with every digital marketing tactic, finding the right “flavor” for your subject lines takes some practice and refinement. Don’t forget to measure after every campaign and make adjustments where necessary. By continually striving to make your messaging relevant, transparent and noticeable, you’ll increase open rates and digital readership. It’s a cost-effective way to gain prospects and strengthen relationships with your current customers.

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Avatar for Eric Steiner

Eric Steiner

Eric Steiner graduated with an MFA in professional and creative writing from Western Connecticut State University in 2014. He's worked on a number of professional writing projects with clients such as Pearson Education, WatchMojo.com, and Michael Mailer Films. Giving brands a voice is his passion.


Avatar for Eric Steiner

Eric Steiner

Eric Steiner graduated with an MFA in professional and creative writing from Western Connecticut State University in 2014. He's worked on a number of professional writing projects with clients such as Pearson Education, WatchMojo.com, and Michael Mailer Films. Giving brands a voice is his passion.