Qhubekani Nyathi
February 27, 2019

9 Easy Email Hacks To Increase Open Rates

9 Easy Email Hacks To Increase Open Rates

Do you want to increase your email open rates?

Of course, you do!

It’s no secret that email is the unrivaled king of marketing channels.

With a 40x return per $1 spent and a ROI that’s 4x higher than social media, direct mail or paid search, email is still the go-to channel for both B2B and B2C companies.

However, to reap all these juicy profits, you need to get your email opened first.

That’s easier said than done.

Inboxes are bursting at the seams. People are becoming more choosy and sensitive.

Assuming you already have a handle on best practices for getting your email opened, here are 9 easy shortcuts to boost your email open rates.

#1. Resend Unopened Emails

When you email your audience, and your email isn’t read, you compose another one, right?


There’s a simple trick that can yield great results. Simply resend the same email a day or two later to people who didn’t open it but with a slight twist.

Just adjust the subject line.

That’s exactly what Noah Kagan of OkDork did. Here are the results.

Email 1

Email 2

Image via OkDork

OkDork’s second email had an 11% open rate. Altogether, 32,774 of the original 89,169 emails were opened, for a total 36.75% open rate. That beats the 21.01% average cited in the Get Response Email Marketing Benchmarks report by about 75%. For one minute of work, raising the total open rate by that much is an awesome return!

#2. Stay Clear Of Spammy Words

Spam is a serious problem.

People send over 14.5 billion unrequested emails every single day. This makes up 45% of all emails sent.

Spam filters are working overtime to intercept these annoying messages.

If some words in your subject line sound remotely salesy your email is in danger. It might not reach the intended recipients. The infamous spam filters might nab it instantly.

Do all you can to minimize or eliminate spam trigger words in your subject line.

Here are common terms to avoid:

  • Buy
  • Discount
  • % off
  • Guarantee
  • Great offer
  • Cash
  • Free trial
  • Special promotion
  • Incredible deal
  • Earn money
  • Risk-free

Refrain from spammy words. It’ll give your email a good chance of being opened.

#3. Use Short Subject Lines

These days, 66% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices.

That’s good news for users on the move but bad news for marketers trying to reach them.


Most mobile devices have limited space. As a result, they cut off subject lines before you can get your message across. Research shows that mobile devices truncate titles to as few as 27 characters.

Image via Campaign Monitor

So, brevity is crucial.

Aim for 4-9 words or 35 characters for your message to be visible on most devices. Yes, your subject line can be longer, as long as you put the most important part of your message at the beginning.

Users are more likely to open a fully communicated message than one left hanging midway. You can use a tool like Zurb Test Subject to see how your subject line will appear on popular mobile devices.

But briefness on its own isn’t enough.

Also, make the subject line compelling.

Here are ideas for uncommon subject lines that work for you to try as suggested by G2 Crowd.

#4. Personalize With Laser-sharp Accuracy

Personalization means much more than using someone’s name on the subject line and salutation.

While that’s old news, it can increase click-through rates by up to 35%.

Personalized emails make the reader believe someone wrote the message for them and no one else. Its foundation is list segmentation — grouping people with similar interests or intentions. Here’s how to make your emails more personal.

  • Personalize sending time.
  • Send emails as a person not a company-more about this soon.
  • Write in a lively conversational tone and avoid a dull corporate style.
  • Tell stories. They tag the human heart as nothing else can.
  • Discuss relevant subjects that readers find useful.
  • Share your failures occasionally; it humanizes your brand.

Cater for individual needs, you’ll see your opens spike.

#5. Send As a Person Not a Company

What do you look at first to decide whether to open an email?

Let me guess.

You check who it’s from. That’s the case for most people.

A shortcut to getting your email opened is changing the sender name.

Send emails as a person not as a company. This makes it easy for people to relate to your brand.

A study by HubSpot revealed that emails coming from a person have both a higher open rate and click-through rate compared to emails sent using the company name.

Image via HubSpot

Sending emails as a company makes you a faceless corporation. People find it hard to connect with companies unless you are Coca Cola 🙂 They’d rather touch base with an individual.

#6. Craft Tantalizing Preheader Copy

When a message lands in the inbox, it displays:

  1. Sender name- tells the reader who the email is from.
  2. Subject line– tells the reader what the email is about.
  3. Preheader– tells the reader why they should read the email.

The preheader is the short snippet of text that appears immediately under the subject line when an email appears in the inbox. Many marketers ignore it. That’s a big mistake because a well-crafted preheader can give a reader the final nudge to open an email.

The preheader acts like a second headline. It gives you a second chance to entice readers to check out the contents of an email.

An effective preheader:

  1. Complements the subject line by giving more details about the subject thus compelling readers to open the email.
  2. Teases the reader to check out the content of the email by dangling an irresistible benefit before them.
  3. Appeals to the readers’ curiosity which pulls them in because people have a strong natural desire for closure.
  4. Summarizes the content memorably thus making users eager to look into the email.

Email Optimization Shop saw a whopping 95.6% lift in revenue per email when their test preheader copy beat the control.

Image via Email Optimization Shop

They would have lost all these gains if they didn’t have a preheader.

Take a minute or two to tweak your preheader for more opens.

#7. Cull Your List Ruthlessly

After a while, your email list goes stale.

With time, some people lose interest in your messages. There are endless reasons this happens:

  • Maybe some were freebie hunters?
  • Perhaps you are sending too many emails?
  • Or you are sending infrequently?
  • Maybe your content is not engaging enough?

Whatever the reason, the heart of the matter is they no longer want to hear from you, so they don’t open your emails. To counter this, remove inactive subscribers from your list. This way you only email the folks who want to hear from you.

The result?

Your opens will pick immediately because you have a fresh list of eager subscribers who are thrilled to receive your messages.

Before you part ways with your hard-won subscribers, send them a last-ditch email to reengage them. A good number may stay on and actively engage with your content from then on.

#8. Include An Emoji

Emojis are the rage in marketing right now for a good reason.

They work.

Emoji use by brands in digital communications has risen by a huge 609% year-over-year margin. In one instance, emojis achieved a 35.33% open rate.

Emojis are effective because:

  1. They stand out from plain text.
  2. They have a strong visual appeal.

Here are a few guidelines on using emojis in the subject line:

  • Relevance– only use emojis that fit the context of the message.
  • Frequency– use them occasionally as a surprise tactic. Otherwise, you’ll bore your subscribers.
  • Audience– know your audience and the emojis that are likely to move them.
  • Test– do a split test first to see which emoji works best.

It’s easy to get carried away with colorful emoji. Don’t fall into that temptation. One or two emojis are enough to fascinate your audience so they take a peek at your email.

Slip an emoji or two into your subject line and watch your open rate soar.

#9. Add A Number

Figures are convincing because they are specific.

A study by YesWare concluded email open and reply rates are higher when a number is present in the subject line.

Yep, it can be that simple to bump up your open rates. Just include a number in the subject line.

Numbers bolster your credibility and convey benefits convincingly. And people love numbers.

Enough said.

Hack Your Way into People’s Inboxes

Here’s the good news about hacks.

They’re quick-and-easy. They take just a few minutes at most.

But the results can be amazing.

Not only do these fast hacks supercharge your email marketing campaigns, they ultimately add to your company’s bottom line.

Talk about maximum gains from minimal effort.

Your Turn

Have you had particular success with any of the methods mentioned above? Has a different method or tweak proved beneficial to the success of your email campaign? Please share your stories in the comments section, below, Thanks?!


You may also want to readWhy Email Outreach Campaigns Work and Bulk Campaigns Don’t

Ramp Up Your Email Campaigns with These 4 Psychology Hacks

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_piren‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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According to his cheeky wife, Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy is an irresistibly handsome guy. He’s an offbeat certified SEO Content Writer who helps SMBs grow their income through zingy long-form content that ranks, drives leads, and builds authority. He contributes to prestigious blogs like Search Engine Watch, Crazy Egg, Smart Blogger, Business 2 Community, Get Response, and more.