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The 5 things you need to do to make sure your emails get opened

Daniel Lack by Daniel Lack on 4th July 2017

Following on from last weeks blog, it seems like everyone is looking for the magic formula to get their emails opened, but actually when you focus on what’s important to the audience, you don’t need magic at all, just a bit of common sense and effort. Once you have a system like Growth News to help ensure the delivery rates are high, its’ a bit of simple methodology that generates a high open rate.


The best way to ensure your emails get opened is to ensure you have a receptive and engaged audience to send to. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need a huge list, and add anyone and everyone to it. That methodology never works. In fact that’s the best way to ensure your emails don’t get opened at all. If you would like a bit of reasoning behind this:

Recipients that don’t know who you are or want your emails make up the smallest percentage of opens, but the largest number of complainers.

Feedback from your audience, received through interpretation of the results helps you to tailor the success of future campaigns. A blanket audience distorts the results, making it harder to plan for future campaigns.

Non-opens, junked emails and lots of unsubscribes affects the delivery rates of your emails, making future campaigns increasingly less effective and opens harder to come by. Remember, your audience needs to be know who you are, so keep it full of quality, engaged recipients and always make sure they know who it’s coming from buy using an appropriate sender name…

Sender Name

You wouldn’t open an email from someone you don’t know? You wouldn’t open an email from someone you didn’t want to hear from? So who the email is sent from is quite an important part of the open rate equation. Quick example…

  1. Here are some properties perfect for you. From Morgan’s Estate Agents
  2. I’ve found some properties perfect for you. From Lucy at Morgan’s Estate Agents

Which one would you open? Well we know it’s from Morgan Estates as we know the email address, but the one from Lucy, who we gave our requirements too seems much more personal. And a personal email has a much higher chance of being opened.

Which leads me nicely onto personalisation…


It’s very easy to add a personalisation tag to a subject line, and in many cases it works wonders:

Here is the latest news in your area

Hi Malcolm, here is the latest news in your area.

If you have a good list, then you have first names and they work wonders in a subject line, which is my next point…

Subject Lines

When it comes to open rates, much like data, the subject line is a huge factor in determining whether an email is opened or not. So, here are the hard and fast rules for an effective subject line:

  1. Keep them short – too many words and they get cut off on mobile devices.
  2. Keep them to the point – let your audience know what they are going to find when they open the email.
  3. Test them – Use a split test to see what’s really working. This involves sending a campaign to a small percentage of your list with 3 different subject lines. The one that gets the best open rate is the one that gets used to send the email to the rest of your list. It’s easy to implement and a system like Growth News will allow you to do this very easily.

The right subject line can be gold dust to an email marketer, especially if its sent at the right time…

Send time

So one last thing to consider is the time you send the campaign. This is common sense, but it is so often overlooked and yet so obvious. If someone is at work, they wont open an email if they are busy. If someone is out for the evening, they wont open the email till the morning. On public holidays people often ignore emails as they are spending time with their families or are on vacation. So are there any times more effective than others? Well it depends, but the good news is you know your business, you know your customers and you have the tools to try a few different times and check the reporting to see which works best. Some examples could be:

Lot’s of mums on your list? Try after the school run.

Lot’s of business men – try first thing before work.

Want to catch some weekend viewings? Try Friday just before dinner

It’s just common sense and testing with this one, it if you get it right you will see your open rates increase.

Remember, email marketing involves a learning curve as audiences are always very different, and testing is a key part. A process of elimination is always what we preach in order to get your email formula just right. And now we’ve looked at increasing your open rates, it’s up to you to make the content engaging enough to make sure your recipients continue to open them!

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