How to increase your email open rate up to 30% (or even more)

5 min read

Increase open rates and build trust with effective email strategies.

Learn how to increase email open rates and build trust with practical tips and effective subject lines for better engagement.

How to easily calculate your email open rate

The first step is to measure your current open rate. You can use InboxPro’s Insights + Tracking tools or you can make this simple math operation:

Emails sent per month / Emails opened per month.

E.g.: 100 emails sent / 25 opened = 25% open rate.

Now, you know where you start from.

Is it a low or a high open rate?

It depends on your industry and probably everyone has their numbers but the average open rate is nearly 21%. Could be higher in the education sector (28%) or lower in the retail one (17%).

How to set goals to improve your email open rate

The second step is to set a goal that must be measurable. I highly recommend using the OKRs system, which is used by Google, Amazon, and other great companies. OKRs mean Objective and Key results, that is:

  • What do you want to achieve,
  • How are you going to measure it.

Could be something like this: increase the email open rate up to 30% in Q2. So you know that at the end of June 30th for every 100 emails you send, you must have an average of 30 opens.

Once that is clear let’s move forward to the next step…

The #1 determining factor to increase the open rate

Everyone will tell you that the determining factor for your emails to be opened is the subject, but NO. It is more important the “From”, that is, who sends you the email.

Think about it, if your partner sends you an email, would you read it? I’m sure you would. It doesn’t matter what subject matter he or she wants to address.

So, the point is to build trust when writing an email so that they get to know you. And this is achieved in several ways:

  • Write your name: I never put “InboxPro Team” but my name on the “From”. This is not to follow an odd strategy, it is just because I want my recipients to know that there is a real person sending you the email and not an abstract entity. Even if it means losing some of the power of the recognizable branding because people prefer to follow people over trademarks.
  • Add a picture in your signature: if you wish, you can use InboxPro’s signature feature to show a professional and well-designed one but it really is just about adding an image to associate your name with your face. That will give you a real identity and you will be perceived as a real person, as we discuss before.
  • If you have a YouTube / social media channel / Podcast connect them with your signature so they can get to know you better. Sometimes it’s not enough by showing your face, your recipients want to see you in action: how you talk, how you interact with other people, etc. Believe me, if your content is good they will want to connect with you, even if you run a B2B business.

How to write subjects that catch the attention of the recipients

Be careful, never use clickbait. That is: never promise what you can’t accomplish. For instance, don’t say that you have the secret to eternal youth if you don’t have it… better say something like: “How Okinawa citizens reach +100 years and look like 70”.  For sure that will seem more reasonable to your audience.

So, that’s what you can do to write your subject lines:

  • Catch the attention (ethically): remember that we all receive many emails a day and we only pay attention to those that are really important. Therefore, it should be eye-catching (🔴the red dot emoji works very well) but, at the same time, relevant to the recipient.
  • Add value: no matter how eye-catching it is, if it is not addressed to the right person, he/she will not open it. Always try to segment your audience, so you can deliver the right message to the right people.
  • Personalized: if you include the person’s name in the subject line, that person will feel called to open it. There is some controversy on this point, some marketers think it’s better to use it, and some not. My advice is to use it often but not always.

Some examples of subject copywriting formulas that work bananas:

Example 1: [Name] + [Specific benefit].

→ Matt, this email sequence has generated $2,000 in sales in the last week.

Example 2: [Name] + [Mystery phrase]

→ Matt, were you able to read my last email?

Example 3: [Emoji] + [Immediate request].

→ 🔴 [Urgent] In 20 min. the webinar starts.

Again, be careful! Use these resources with caution (sometimes but not always) because they can diminish confidence and you will be back to the starting point.

The best thing to do is to focus on generating real value for the people you write to, that should be the only strategy.🙂

But this is a different story that I will cover in another blog post.

Until then, have a nice and productive day!

Yaye Caceres
Article by Yaye Caceres Indie Maker and InboxPro's founder, Yaye Caceres brings over a decade of experience from the digital product industry, SaaS businesses, and tech startups. When not programming, he is reading or enjoying triathlon training.

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