top of page

Email Open Rate 101

You received more than 100 emails… and that's not even counting all other notifications you might have received on Whatsapp, Instagram, Personal Email, Slack, Teams, and whatnot.

Your email to your prospect is just a drop in the ocean of notifications they receive (just like you). So, how do you stand out? How do you ensure that your emails not only get delivered but also read by your prospect? How do you improve the chances of someone opening your email?

If you're come this far — it's likely that you want to increase your email open rates… But, what are email open rates? In simple terms,

Open Rate = Emails Opened ÷ (Total Emails Sent)

The average email open rate across all industries as of 2020 is just 18.0%. But, at The Scalelab, we’ve delivered as high as 100% open rate and usually average around 85%.

The numbers might be staggering and seem inaccessible. But after reading this article, you'll know how to get there too. Read on to know everything about email open rates, how to boost them with some simple tips, and more.

In this article, you’ll know about:

  • 3 Things That Impact Email Open Rates

  • 7 Tips to Make Your Email Subject Lines Stand Out

  • 9 Tools to Measure & Improve Email Open Rates

But first, let’s understand…

How Email Open Rates Relate to Email Deliverability?

Email deliverability is the ability of your email to successfully reach your recipient’s inbox, passing hurdles like ISPs, spam, etc. It is the crux of your outbound email campaign and largely determines its success. Good email deliverability means potential open rates, and consequently, higher probability of:

✓ more clients meetings scheduled

✓ more website traffic

✓ more leads

✓ and more deals closed!

So, laying out the obvious — Email deliverability impacts your email open rate directly. If your email does not reach your prospect’s inbox, how can they open it?

Before moving ahead with email open rates, focus on email deliverability first.

READ MORE: Email Deliverability 101

Now, you have got great email deliverability rates but your emails are still unopened? That’s where this article will help. Read on…

3 Things That Impact Email Open Rates

  • Sender’s Name

This is the very first thing the recipient notices about emails. It is the bridge between yay and nay for your email marketing campaigns. Here’s how to optimize the sender’s name to get the best results:

- Use your name versus your company’s name.

  • People like connecting with people. It adds a touch of personalization and humaneness.

  • Youssef El Kaddioui > The Scalelab

- Follow this format while sending your emails: Name from Company Name

  • At times, when it’s necessary to include a company’s name, add it as a suffix.

  • Youssef from The Scalelab or Arnaud at The Scalelab.

- Include a name from your team whom the recipient or prospect might know.

  • This helps with better recall value and increases the chances of opening the mail.

  • It can be a referral, support executive, or someone from your team.

- Use the name of leaders in your company.

  • It adds a layer of credibility and authentication to the email.

  • Can be the company’s CEO, CMO, or Head of Department.

  • Email Subject Line / Title

Did you know that 47 out of 100 recipients open a mail solely based on its subject line? A good subject shines in the inbox and creates a strong urge to open the email. So…

-Use power words in your email titles that trigger a strong emotion in your prospect, and consequently, make them open the email.

-Understand your prospect’s pain points and the solutions that would benefit them. Build your titles around that.

-Do not use email spam trigger words else your email could be flagged and sent to the spam box.

-We also recommend using emojis sparingly to add a tinge of uniqueness. But, do not go overboard with it.

Examples of Email Subject Lines That Work

Uh Oh, Your subscription is expiring…

  • Acts like a trigger & creates an urgency to open the mail.

Attention, Attention, [FIRST_NAME]

  • Intriguing, acts as a trigger, and captures attention.

I knew it…

  • Short, triggers interest, and forces the recipient to click “what does he know”…

Email Subject Lines That Don’t Work

[Month] Newsletter

  • No personalization & gives an impression that the content is boring

5 Tips to Make Your Email Campaign Stand Out From……

  • Too long. Your customers won’t see the rest of it.

Make $$$$ with THIS trick

  • Oops, spam alert 💀

7 Tips to Make Your Email Subject Lines Stand Out

  1. Directly tell your prospects what to expect in the email — so they are sure to open the mail. Ask questions to build intrigue.

  2. Make it clear, crisp, and, most importantly, concise. 7 words or 41 characters are ideal.

  3. Do not oversell in the email subject line – only to underdeliver in the email copy.

  4. Avoid using jargon & technical terms which your prospect might not understand.

  5. Match the email subject line with your company’s brand voice and email tone.

  6. Avoid using ALL CAPS, too many emojis 😕, and exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!

  7. Make the email title hyper-personalized to the prospect and the context of the email.

  • Preview Text / Blurb

Preview text is the second-most important thing to look out for after email subject lines. According to a Litmus study, 24% of people look at preview text before deciding whether to open the email. Follow these best practices to make your preview text convincing enough:

- Use the preview text to support your email’s subject line — and back up the promises or intrigue created by the title.

  • Subject Line: First Impression Simran…

  • Preview: Hi Simran, Last week I received a sales email. And I was not impressed... 😶

  • Also note, how we’ve used our prospect’s [FIRST_NAME] in both the subject line and the preview text to add a level of personalization.

- Like the subject line, keep the blurb crisp and concise (Up to 40 characters for Android users & up to 90 characters for iOS mail app users).

- ALWAYS provide value in your emails — and make sure your blurb and titles reflect that. It’d skyrocket your email open rates.

- You can also use hidden preview texts (that only appear as preview blurbs and do not appear in the actual email body copy) to customize your emails further.

Here are a series of emails we sent to our email subscribers.

Note: [1] the sender’s name, [2] subject lines, [3] preview texts.

And how we’ve employed the above-mentioned tips to scale our open rates 🚀

Emails sent preview

Subscribe to our super-amazing newsletters HERE.

5 Super-Tips to Skyrocket Your Email Open Rates

  • Power of Personalization

Personalization works like a charm in email copies, affecting all conversion metrics, including email open rates. Here’s what we recommend:

- Use the prospect’s name in the subject line or preview text.

- Include second-person pronouns (like: you and your) to address your prospect directly.

- Tailor the preview text according to the personality, needs, and past action of the customer/prospect.

  • Importance of A/B Testing

It is challenging to come up with winning subject lines and preview texts in one go. That’s why A/B testing your emails with different subject lines and preview texts is always recommended.

- Segment your list into a different set of audiences – based on parameters like age, gender, experience level, industry, expected outcome, etc.

- For each segment, tailor different sets of subject lines and preview texts.

- Use powerful A/B testing tools (see the next segment) to find out what works best.

  • Time Your Emails Well

In the cluttered world of emails, timing is crucial. An average person receives 121 emails per day 🤯 — and if you don’t time your emails well, it can get stacked towards the lower end of the inbox.

Result: Your prospect wouldn’t open your email, because, hey, she missed seeing your mail. And we do not want that. So, get highly specific activity data from your CRM dashboards and time your email campaign accordingly.

- As a general rule, send emails on your prospect’s working days (Monday-Friday), preferably post-lunch time. 1 PM had a 22% spike in the average email open rates. Note the time zone of your prospect and send your emails accordingly.

email marketing benchmarks

- Friday was the best day to initiate email campaigns and had the highest email open rates at 18.9%.

email marketing benchmarks
  • Optimize Emails for Mobile Users

According to Bluehornet, 67.2% of recipients open their emails on mobile. So, always work on how your email looks and reads on the mobile screen. So, follow the above-mentioned tips and A/B test to see how your emails read on mobile.

  • Keep Your Email List Clean

In your email list, include people who want to listen to you and are highly likely to benefit from your services. Spammy paid lists lead to a very high bounce rate, miserable delivery rates, and thus, non-existent open rates. It also leads to a high unsubscribe rate and negative sender reputation.

Clean out the following email IDs:

- with spelling errors

- people who unsubscribed

- inactive recipients

- people who never open your emails

9 Tools to Measure & Boost Email Open Rates

  1. HubSpot — an integrated email marketing service that helps you plan, schedule, and monitor campaigns.

  2. LemList — to customize cold emails and track your campaign on several metrics.

  3. MailTracker — monitors your emails and sends you a notification whenever someone opens your email.

  4. SendPulse — tells you where someone opened the email, devices used, the CTRs, and any errors that occurred.

  5. ClearSlide — additional data on how recipients reacted to email, whether it was forwarded, and what actions they took.

  6. Litmus — for A/B testing your email campaigns.

  7. MooSend — for automating repetitive tasks and designing behavioral email campaigns based on your subscribers’ information and activities.

  8. BenchmarkONE — for hyper-personalized email campaigns. It creates tags and assigns them to prospects – based on their interests and the stage of the funnel they’re currently in.

  9. CampaignMonitor — for testing, tracking and optimizing all email campaigns.

Wrapping Up…

Achieving high email open rates isn’t as difficult as you think. Just keep the above-mentioned points in mind, and see your email open rates skyrocket 🚀

To sum it up:

- Work on your email subject lines / titles.

- Optimize preview texts / blurbs for mobiles.

- A/B test your emails.

- Deliver value consistently.

Stay tuned for our final article in the series: Email Reply Rate 101.

Until then,

The Scalelab

150 views0 comments


bottom of page