5 Ways to Improve Your Email Open Rates

Your company’s email open rates are one of the key indicators of how effective your email marketing is. Emails can be a great way to generate leads and expand your business, but if no one is opening them then you could be missing out on a lot of potential sales and sign-ups. It is essential that your emails are structured in a way that encourages a higher open rate, so that you can grow your business faster. In this blog, we’ll highlight the five key ways in which you can improve your email open rates.

  1. Keep your subject line simple

You want your marketing emails to contain all of the relevant information that the recipient needs, but regardless of how much information is needed it is important that you keep the subject lines of your email brief and simple. Simple subject lines are essential in improving email open rates; if the recipient can’t immediately tell what the email is regarding, it’s unlikely that they will be interested enough to open it. As a rule of thumb, all of your important words and phrases should be within the first 5-6 words of the subject line – as this could be all that your subscriber sees.

  1. Stand out from the crowd

For some industries, adding an emoji to your subject line can make your email stand out within an inbox – think fashion and beauty as key examples. But for most industries, we’d advise against the use of emojis aside from an occasional one here and there, as they can increase negative sentiment towards an email and have no impact on improving open rates. As further things to avoid, uppercase letters can trigger spam filters, in addition to a long list of words and phrases such as:

  • Anything to do with earning money – like earning extra income or cash
  • Using the word “free”, “rebate” or “bonus”
  • Excessive superlatives and exaggeration like “incredible” and “unbelievable”
  • “Limited time”, “get it now”, “once in a lifetime” and “offer expires”
  • Any mention of “marketing”!

As a better way to differentiate your emails, use your own voice and personality in subject lines to perfectly align with your branding strategy. Tell a story, draw them in with mystery, inspire curiosity and urgency, use humour and puns, or ask a question – and you’ll pique their interest. Numbers are also a great way to stand out from the crowd, adding visual prominence, so if you’re conveying a specific fact or statistic, use numerals versus letters for any numbers you want to include.

However, make sure to avoid false advertising and clickbait subject lines just to try and achieve a short-term lift in open rates. This can feel disrespectful to your subscribers and can even go so far as damaging your brand, so make sure your subject line aligns with the content of your email, and always think long-term. Unexpected, shocking and controversial email subject lines can work when crafted perfectly, but there’s a fine line between insulting the reader and making them intrigued enough to open the email.

  1. Add a personal touch

People want to read emails that are sent and crafted by real people; emails that make them feel unique and individual, rather than one of a million subscribers on a company’s huge marketing list. So, what’s the best way to do this?

A great way to get customers to open your emails is to personalise the email to them specifically. Most brands do this by addressing the email to the customer’s name, which works wonders in improving their open rates. Begin by adding the customer’s name to the subject line to get their attention and encourage them to open the email, and follow that up by adding their name to the preheader and the body of the email as well. Adding these small but personal touches can go a long way in promoting higher email open rates.

Go one step further and change the sender name of your email too. Rather than sending emails from your company’s name, make it personal with a specific person’s name – whether that’s your own name, someone else’s name from your business, or a made-up name! As the sender name is a prominent part of the email preview, this can be a huge factor in improving your open rates, making your email feel more trustworthy.

In addition, 

  1. Don’t overdo it 

Emails are a great marketing tool; they can truly be your best friends in lead generation. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and it has been shown that if you send your customers too many emails it can actually have an adverse effect on how they feel about your brand. The last thing you want is to see an increase in customers unsubscribing from your mailing list because they are receiving too many emails. The number of emails you send can vary depending on your company, but to be safe it’s best to avoid sending emails more than once a week.

Remember, your job is to give your customers valuable information and to stay in touch – not to pester them!

  1. Send high-value emails

The emails you send your customers should have a purpose – you’re sending an email to give information, not just for the sake of it. A good rule to live by is if you would not be personally excited to receive that email, then your customers probably won’t be excited to receive it either. 

The takeaway here is that you want to avoid sending emails that are of limited value to the customer. Make sure there is always something in there that is going to either help them, excite them or interest them. If you can successfully do this, then you will find customers actively seek your emails in their inbox and your open rates will improve hugely.


Email marketing can be instrumental in growing your business if you know how to use it. Following these simple tips can make a huge difference in your email open rates as well as turning your mailing list into one of your key marketing strategies. Want expert assistance with your email marketing? Get in touch with the Kreativity Marketing team today for a free no-obligation consultation.


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