Email Marketing: Increase Your Email Open Rate

We love email marketing and marketing automation!


We know the Return On Investment (ROI) ROCKS!  In a study by DMA, for every $1 spent on email marketing, your return on investment is $38.  That’s 3800%!

One of the most important ways to help increase your ROI for your email campaigns is to get people to OPEN the email.

Below are 10 ways to increase your email marketing open rate and make your email marketing campaigns more effective!

Segment Your List

This is most important.  Segmenting your list allows you to identify a target or ideal client and really address the concerns of that market.  This allows you to do a 1 to 1 marketing approach vs. the 1 to many.   Segmenting is different for different businesses.  You may segment by age, sex, products purchased in the past, geographic area and more.  If you are B2B, you may segment by industry, size (employees and/or revenue), and position/title.


Personalizing includes both using field merge tags to include information personal to them (name, company, product purchased in the past) as well as personalizing for the segment.  If you do a great job of segmenting your list, you can personalize your email to address specific concerns of that target market or segment.

Subject Line

The subject line is key to getting the email opened.  A study by Campaign Monitor showed that if the subject was personalized, the open rate increased by 26%.  I suggest using AB split testing to try different subject lines.  Here’s a great article by HubSpot on email subject lines.

Sender Name

The sender name also affects the open rate.  Try different names and see what works best.

Sender Email Address

The sender email is important as well.  It’s typically better to use a person’s name ( vs a department (

Day & Time

The day and time can play a significant role in increasing the open rate.  You will want to test out what works best for your company.  Many of the email marketing companies have studies.  These studies differ in which days are best (some had Tuesday, some had Thursday, while others had Tuesday and Wednesday).  The consensus was to stay away from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Test to see what works best for your company.


The preheader is the information that appears just under the subject line.  In most email marketing software programs, it prompts you to write it separately from the body.  Consider this a teaser of the information you want to provide.  Similar to the heading, you want it to encourage people to open.

Deliver Great Content

As with anything you create, create GREAT stuff!  You’ve heard ‘Content is King.’  Well, they were really just referring to GREAT content.  If you send emails and your list knows you always provide interesting, relevant and helpful information, they are more likely to open and continue to open your emails.


This is a big debate among email marketers.  Frequency varies depending on marketers from daily to less than 1 per month.  Determine what is right for you, your company, your segment, and your style.  You may determine that certain segments of your customer or prospect base should get more emails and some should get less.  If you use marketing automation, you can also use triggers to have more emails ONLY go to people that are engaging and consuming your content.

Mobile Friendly

66% of all emails are opened on smartphones or tablets (US Consumer Device Preference Report).  You need to make sure your emails are easy to read on a smaller screen and your call to actions are easy to use on a mobile device.

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