One of the most common questions we hear from marketers is “how can I improve my email open rates?” While many marketers resort to tricking people to open emails (never a good idea!), we recommend a thoughtful approach that focuses on providing value to your subscribers, communicating with them when they want to hear from you, and always paying off the promise of your messages

This strategies can help raise your email open rates to around 45% across multiple lists in multiple industries.

1) Ask a Question

In order to help get emails into the Primary box and condition subscribers to look for my emails, I will periodically ask questions in my emails and invite readers to hit “Reply” with their response. Receiving regular replies to your mailing address verifies to Google that the recipients desire your mail and can give you a better chance of getting in their Primary inbox, which leads to more opens.

2) Write Out At Least Five Headlines

Write out as many headlines as it takes to get a great one.

I can typically create a compelling headline between tries 3-5. It might take you a bit longer. The key here is that each headline should be meaningfully different.

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3) Build Anticipation for Your Emails

This is one of the simplest things you can do to drastically increase your open rate. Anticipation is a powerful force. If you have something people want, making them wait for it increases that desire.

Many email marketers run anticipation-building email campaigns, designed to increase open and click-through rates.

4) Identify the Right Frequency for Your Audience

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You always need to know your goal when implementing a marketing strategy. What is the number one priority of this campaign?

If the goal of your email list is to maximize website traffic, more emails, up to one per day, will almost always result in more traffic. It’s just statistics. However, if your goal is to maximize open rates, as we are discussing in this article, more isn’t always better.

5) Deliver Email at the Right Time on the Right Day

Many studies have been done on the best days and times to send emails.

Only the right day/time will result in a significant improvement. In other words, if you test across 7 poor send times, they will all be equally poor. When you find the right combo (and there will always be multiple right combos for any list), you’ll see an improvement.

Open rates can also increase over time as people start to expect your email at consistent day/time.

6) Don’t Send Emails You Wouldn’t Want to Receive

The easiest way to completely destroy your open rate is to send a bunch of low-value emails. And in many ways, the opposite is true. The easiest way to improve your open rate is to only send emails people want to read.

If you can deliver that type of consistent quality to your email list, those emails will practically open themselves.

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7) Segment Your List

List segmenting is one of those strategies very few companies implement simply because it requires a bit of setup. But, that’s a mistake!

If you are willing to take the time to create multiple list segments and tailor your email marketing accordingly, you will see significant returns on your investment.

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