How To Increase Your Email Open Rate

In this blog post, we’ll outline how to increase your email open rate


Alright, let’s talk open rate Mention open rate to an email marketer and the first thing they’ll tell you is that you need to work on your subject line. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of the advice stops and if you’re like most of us… you want more.You aren’t happy with being slightly above your industry’s average. You’ve mastered the art of writing a really great subject line and you’re ready for your next challenge. For you, the question keeping you up at night sounds something like, “How can I increase my lists’ open rates without changing the subject line?”


Good question, friend. Let’s talk about send time optimization. Marketers don’t talk about send time enough— especially when it comes to increasing your email marketing open rate. We talk about subject lines a lot:


There have been countless articles written and studies performed trying to determine the best time to send email marketing. The general consensus is, Tuesday at 10AM.


The Send Time Optimization Process



Step 1 – Getting your initial data.


Create an email campaign in your email marketing tool of choice. Schedule this email to go out to your entire list at 10AM and wait for the results to pour in. Once you’ve got all your juicy open rate data, continue to step 2.


Step 2 – Who opens email on Tuesday, anyway?


Write your next email campaign, and schedule it to go out:

  • On Tuesday (10AM) to subscribers who did open the previous email; and
  • On Thursday (10AM) to subscribers who didn’t open it.

This is called “segmenting your list and is possibly the most useful tool in your marketer toolbelt. Wait for your campaigns to send, gather your data, and move on to step 3.


Step 3 – You can see where I’m going with this


Write your third email campaign. Schedule it to go out:

  • Tuesday (10AM) to subscribers who opened the email in Step 1.
  • Thursday (10AM) to subscribers who opened the Step 2 email.
  • Wednesday (10AM) to everyone else.



Congratulations! Your email list is now segmented based on when your subscribers engage with your emails. You could continue doing this, sending emails at different days/times until you have the whole week segmented. Of course, how granular you get is going to depend on your own patience and the size of your list (this strategy works best on larger, 1000+ subscriber lists). If you’re working with a smaller subscriber base, or simply don’t want to segment your list for each day of the week— move on to the fourth and final step.



Step 4 – Cleaning Your List (optional and scary)


For email marketers trying to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns, a clean list is crucial. As the final step of this strategy, create a plain-text email and schedule it to go out:

  • On Tuesday (10AM) to people who didn’t open any of your emails.


To this list of inactive subscribers, write a final email asking about their inactivity. The point isn’t to be nasty or to tell them how hurt you are when they ignore your campaigns— be personable.Show them the human being behind the marketing machine. Ask them if they’re no longer interested and, if so, if there’s anything you could be doing better. Finally, ask them what time they’d prefer to receive your content.


This accomplishes two things. One, it will show you who’s actually interested in your emails and who’s just on the list because they wanted your initial lead magnet. The first group of people are worth keeping around. Segment your future campaigns based on their responses and the time they prefer to receive your emails. The second group of people, the ones who don’t bother to open or respond… remove them.


Yes, you read that correctly. Remove them. It’s a scary thought— after all, isn’t the point of this whole marketing thing to add subscribers? Aren’t we trying to build 100,000 subscriber lists?


Well, not quite. As a marketer, you want an email list with engaged subscribers. These inactive folks are messing up your data, decreasing the effectiveness of your campaigns, and are—for whatever reason—not interested in your emails. You don’t want them on your list and they probably don’t want to be there. Do the right thing and clean them from your list.


Your open rates will thank you.

Now It’s Your Turn…


If you have received value or learned anything from this blog post please,


Yours Truly,

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