The Open Rate is a very important KPI that you are using to measure how many subscribers open your emails.

You should be looking at, and constantly trying to improve your Open Rate. More Opens equal more chances to get your message, and/or promotion across.

If you Google “How to improve the email open rate” you will see hundreds of articles all talk about the following: keep the list fresh, segment the list, avoid spam filters, improve sending times, improve your subject line, personalize your emails, optimize for mobile, design, design, design…

The guides you normally find online are overwhelming not very practical to say the least.

In this guide, I’m going to make it easy and tell you what you need to do today to improve your Email Marketing Open Rate.

1. Deliverability

Make sure you do not have any technical issues drawing you back. Check your SPF, DKIM, DMARC records and make sure you are not blacklisted. I’ve detailed this in the following article: 3 Easy Checks to Improve Email Deliverability (4-5 mins read)

 2. List Management

How to clean up the list – follow these steps.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes and find the answer to the following question: “If I were shopping my site, how often would I actually do that?” If the answer is within 3-12 months then you should immediately exclude all the 12 months+ inactive subscribers.

Go ahead and create a segment right now with subscribers that have not opened any of your emails in the last 12 months – don’t unsubscribe them, just remove them from your bulk sends and see what that does to your Open Rate for the following 3 emails. You will see Revenue Growth after the first 3 emails as more and more of your emails will reach inboxes instead of spam folders.

Do this constantly and ideally automate the process.

Reduce the number of bulk sends & use email marketing automation.

For the last 2 years, all my consulting efforts have been to do just this – move clients from traditional bulk sends into email automation and every single time the results have been great. Email automation is generating more revenue than bulk sends in most of the cases and bulk sends get better open, click-through, and conversion rates because they are no longer spammy. This is a bigger subject, it’s true, and that is why I’ve created step-by-step guides for both of the above and if you follow them, you could have an email automation program set up, within the next few days – you just need to commit to doing this.

1 Key Element That Will Improve Your Bulk Sends

Email Marketing Automation The Blueprint

3. Design

Make sure you have enough text

Often I see emails that are too image-heavy (or only composed out of images).

  • But ASOS is sending image-heavy emails, why shouldn’t I?  ASOS has a great domain reputation – their emails will reach inboxes – yours won’t.
  • image-heavy emails are big and load slowly or not at all if you are not a safe sender
  • image-heavy emails are harder build so that they look good on both desktop and mobile devices
  • text-heavy emails will always load, and you will get the message across even if images did not load just yet
  • text-heavy emails will have better deliverability and thus better open rates

Check your sender name

Your Sender Name should be your brand. Not Sales, not Customer Support, not John Black. You can personalize it a bit if you want but you still need to use the brand. i.e. John from Nike, instead of Nike.

Check your sending domain

Make sure your emails are coming from your domain – not some unknown domain coming from the email service provider or worse, hosting. You can check this by simply opening an email you sent and look at the header – is it “via” or something like “via”. If it’s the latter, reach out to your email service or hosting provider and ask for help.