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How to Improve The Open Rate of Your Email Newsletters?

Richard Horvath
Last updated: Email Marketing 3 min read
Email marketing is a tricky business. The average email open rate is between 20%-30%, and many times it’s difficult to even get that much. The best way to ensure a higher open rate is to continuously provide quality, relevant and interesting content, which can be difficult. The goal is to have a stream of steady material that your audience will find interesting and look forward to receiving. Creating a blog on your website is a good start. If you update and post at least once a week, by the time your monthly newsletter comes around, you will have a variety of information and links about relevant content to add to your email. Another thing you could do is to create a bookmark folder on your browser where you can easily log content that might be useful for your email newsletter. Keeping it in mind throughout the month will make publishing time a lot easier. It is good to get in a routine early, so you don’t fall off the bandwagon as you progress into your email marketing strategy. One month with bad content can earn you many unsubscribers, or worse, spam reports. Other than content, there are many other things that could be hampering your open rate. Here are a few:

Subject lines

Your subject line is your first impression. The words that show in that little box are the main thing that determines whether or not people will open it. The subject line should be relevant and catchy, without sounding like spam. The subject line should be something that is carefully considered, not just made up the second before you send it. A good idea would be to research successful subject lines by sending out the same email to two groups with different versions of the subject line. You can tell which subject line was more successful by open rates, and from there you can tweak your formula. Pay attention to the emails you click on and read. What is it about the subject line that made you want to open it? By understanding your own behavior about email marketing, it might be easier to understand your audience as well.


The timing of your email is another major factor. Again, consider your own behavior. Do you open all of the emails you got over night, when you first get to work? Do you delete newsletters right away based on the subject line if you have 100 new emails? What about later in the afternoon when you are looking for something else to do? You might get better results with a Wednesday or Thursday campaign than a Monday campaign.


Getting bombarded with emails from the same company too frequently can cause instant deletes, unsubscribes, or spam reports. If you send campaigns too frequently, people will get tired from hearing from you. Offer different types of communications upon sign-up, such as daily, weekly, monthly, or just send less often.

List Quality

People change their email address all the time, so make sure the list you are using is up to date with customers who wish to receive your newsletters. Email addresses change when customers change internet service providers, receive too much spam, or when they sign up for services that provide a free address. Often, people have a separate email address used for registrations, sending all of your emails to an inbox that is rarely visited. Make sure your email address list is populated with correct, current, accurate, and used email addresses.

Spam Filters

It is a possibility that all of your emails are going straight into your recipient’s junk mail folders, which would explain the lack of opens for your campaign. Spam filters analyze your email, looking for certain things that might indicate unwanted mail. Phrases like “CLICK HERE NOW”, “FREE! BUY NOW!” definitely mean you won’t make it to the inbox. Avoid using all caps (especially in the subject line), sloppy code, bright colored text, exclamation points and “spammy” phrasing. Your email should be written and designed with spam filters in mind, steering clear of things that might get you blocked. We know that getting your emails opened and read is the most important part of your campaign. Hopefully these tips will help you refine your marketing strategy in a way that will increase opens, clicks, leads, and sales. If you have any questions, comments, or are just looking for more help with your email marketing campaign, contact the internet marketing team at TheeDigital studio by calling 919-341-8901 or fill out the contact form.

Tags: Email Marketing

Richard Horvath

Richard Horvath is the founder of TheeDigital, a Raleigh based award-winning web design and digital marketing agency. He is proud of his team and the results that they provide to their clients.

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