6 Ways to Improve Your Overall Email Open Rate

Email is now an intrinsic part of our daily lives. From what was once a novelty in some respects has become a dominant form of communication.

Now, everything requires an email, which is why thousands of emails flood our inboxes on a weekly, or even a daily basis. Most of us feel that our email inbox is a cluttered mess of different messages desperately trying to get our attention.

As a result, some people use their email provider’s tools so they can stay on top of their emails. Others, on the other hand, simply ignore what’s sent to them, making most emails meaningless.

However, email is an important tool for sending information, especially marketing communications. So how can we make sure that our emails get read and not ignored/deleted like so many others? Learn how to improve your email open rate with these six key actions.

1. Don’t Trigger Spam Filters

So much email is riddled with spam, so email providers are on high alert to overcome this threat. This makes it more difficult for genuine emails to get through spam filters.

Make sure you follow these best practice guidelines:

  • Ensure all recipients are opted-in to your emails.
  • Avoid spam trigger words (e.g. “FREE”, “amazing, “eliminate bad credit”, “clearance”, “discount”, “buy”, etc.).
  • Send through verified whitelisted domains.
  • Add unsubscribe links so recipients can easily opt-out of your email communications.
  • Don’t “lie” by using deceptive subject lines.

2. Make it Personal

When you remove the human element from an email, it will often be perceived in a negative fashion. If people think an email has been sent by a machine, it is more likely to get ignored.

By taking the time to refer to the recipient by name and engage them directly, it gives them more of an incentive to engage with your message. That will inevitably increase your overall email open rate. Also, if you can quickly tell the recipient how you can make their lives easier, they will be more inclined to learn more.

However, don’t get too familiar with recipients and act like they’re your best friends. Always remember that you are sending business emails to business customers/contacts!


Source: HubSpot

3. Pay Attention to the Time and Day

According to Omnisend, the day you choose to send emails has a real impact on overall open rates. In short:

  • Thursday is the best day to send emails, followed by Tuesday, for open and click rates.
  • Weekends should be avoided unless you’re providing time-sensitive information.
  • Wednesday is a good alternative day to try.
  • Monday is the worst day to send promotional emails.

Time of day can affect email open rate

Source: Omnisend

So, what about the time of day? Everyone has email usage patterns, where we look at and respond to emails during certain peak hours. Getting your message to someone’s inbox when they are actively emailing gives you a better chance of being seen.

For example, business leaders tend to check their email early in the morning or late at night as they are often busy during the day. If you don’t get a response from someone after a week, try emailing them again, but at a different time of day.

4. Get to the Point Quickly

Don’t waffle at the start of an email. It will simply bore the recipient. Get straight to it immediately and use as few words as possible to get your message across.

If your email is too long, it will be scanned so quickly that there is virtually no chance that the message in your email will be understood.

5. Be Clear About What You Are Asking For

An email must have a goal or a desired action you want the recipient to take. If they don’t know what that is, they are not likely to open it.

Make sure you specifically mention what the call to action is, while making it as polite as possible.

6. Choose the Best Subject Line

Subject lines often do not have as much thought behind them as the rest of an email’s content. If it is too generic, the open rate of the email will often be quite low. In fact, Convince&Convert ascertained that 35% of all recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.

It is best to avoid subject lines such as:

  • Introduction
  • Greetings from Elliott
  • Following up
  • Great meeting you

These could basically come from anyone and won’t stand out in someone’s inbox. It is better to use something like:

  • We shook hands at the Jones Business event last night
  • Introduction for Person 1 and Person 2 to connect
  • You won’t read another email like this today

Something similar to these subject lines will more likely grab a recipient’s attention and increase your email’s open rate.


When looking at how to improve your email open rate, you need to grab a recipient’s attention quickly. Additionally you need to give them an incentive to interact with your email. Careful thought and planning is needed when drafting email communications, whether they be for standard corporate mail or marketing purposes. Remember that people receive many emails a day, so you need to make sure you stand out in what will be a crowded inbox.

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