How do you track email open rates

How to improve the open rate of your emails before it's too late

Better emails usually also lead to better conversion rates.

It doesn't really take more than that.

However, billions of emails are sent every day.

If your emails won't open in the first place and get lost in the unread messages, they're useless.

If customers don't see the content of your email in the first place, then they can't know that you have an irresistible offer.

But how many emails should you send per month?

It's a complicated question.

If you send too many emails, you annoy your customers and they will unsubscribe from the newsletter. But if you don't send enough emails, you'll be forgotten.

Fortunately, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow to increase your chances of success.

How to improve your email open rates before it's too late:

Step # 1: Are you sending enough emails?

Everyone wants to know how many emails they should send each month.

But every industry is different. In some industries, you may even be able to send an email every day. In other industries, only two emails per month are appropriate.

You can find out quickly with the pot Email Open Rate Benchmark Tool ’from HubSpot.

You can enter your current open rate and select your industry to see if how you compare to your competition.

When do you send too many Emails?

HubSpot found that companies do that per month Send over 30 campaigns, have poorer open rates and click rates.

These campaigns were aimed at the respective target group and were sent to customers from the company's database. So these were not general campaigns without targeting.

How many emails are enough?

Between 16 and 30 emails a month seems to be getting the best results?

At first glance, that looks like way too many emails. But if you think about it carefully, it actually makes sense.

You share your customers' mailboxes with numerous other emails.

The content of your emails has to be amazing, of course. But the customer should also get used to your emails.

However, this only happens if you appear in his mailbox regularly.

Companies that send between 16 and 30 emails per month see a click-through rate that is 2 times higher than companies that only send two emails per month.

This is what the results of the HubSpot investigation look like in a graphic:

If you send 16 to 30 emails per month, your open rate can increase to 32.4% and your click rate to 6.5%.

I'll show you even more strategies to improve your results.

Step # 2: Write short emails

Open and click rates have remained constant over the past few years.

And that despite the steadily increasing volume of emails.

E-mails are opened less and less frequently on desktop devices, but the opening rate on mobile devices continues to rise.

And this is exactly why short emails can work wonders.

Only short subject lines fit on the small screens, so you really have no choice but to keep it short.

However, this can in turn trigger curiosity in the recipient, as in this example from Suitsupply:

This is really not a classic subject line.

Not an exaggerated statement to attract attention.

Instead, just two words that attract attention. At first glance, this could also be a friend's email.

Most people first check their email on their cell phones.

Because of this, you'll need to customize your subject lines.

Here is an example from Barnes & Noble:

The subject line is extremely long.

No problem for a desktop device. However, it is cut off on a small cell phone screen.

Now compare this example with the subject line from TripAdvisor.

As in the very first example, this subject line is kept short.

At first glance, this email also looks like it came from a friend who wants to inquire about your vacation.

You want to get people to open your email, so you need to adjust your strategy because email is now mostly opened on mobile.

Step 3: The added value is important - special offers are secondary

MailChimp analyzed 40 million emails and found that the subject line also affects reading behavior.

Some subject lines resulted in an open rate of 87%, while others only achieved single-digit results.

Interestingly, the company noticed certain patterns that always seem to work. However, you may be surprised now.

None of the classic marketing subject lines seem to work. Dull phrases like "corporate newsletters" performed best.

Here is an example from Free Biz Mag:

Who would have thought that something like this would work? But it seems to be the case!

The added value and the consistency of the information seem to convince the customer in the long term.

The data also showed that ad-heavy subject lines didn't work at all.

Here is an example from Shutterfly:

We can learn the following from this.

We read emails written by real people for real people.

We don't want to be bothered and overwhelmed with special offers all the time.

Readers are interested in real industry information and of the benefits that you can hope for from opening the e-mail, interested - and a discount on top of that.

To ensure this, you should use the personal pronouns “I” “You” and “We”.

In Hillary Clinton's election campaign in 2016, these three words were used in every email.

Aside from our political attitudes, we can learn a lot from that.

Hillary builds trust in this way and speaks to you directly.

Step # 4: use numbers to grab attention

With numbers you can do almost all tricks at the same time.

Here is an example from PostMates:

You can learn a lot from this example, so let's take a closer look at it now.

You just get $ 100 for free!

In addition, you have “only one day” to take advantage of the offer. The deadline leads to urgency.

Last but not least, there is a short but effective reminder: "This is your last chance!"

Here the possessive pronoun “Your” is used to address the reader personally.

You could be missing out if You do not act quickly.

Here is the same strategy from a different brand.

AdEspresso uses numbers in Facebook ads to get users' attention.

Here we can see two things:

  1. The “70%” research-based statistic provides credibility.
  2. And the negative statement - “… you can't reach your followers” ​​- immediately catches the eye.

Negative statements are almost always about consequences that the reader will suffer. Or consequences that he has already suffered.

This way you can quickly get the attention of your target group.

Both examples have one thing in common.

There is a number in both examples. “Just one more day” and “70%”.

Interestingly, studies have also shown that unequal numbers tend to work better.

Here is another example from Ramit Sethi:

The subject line with the number “1” fits all of the strategies we've discussed so far.

It is short! Slang was used, just like talking to a friend.

And it contains a number to stand out from the crowd of emails in your inbox.

Step # 5: Always use a CTA

Reporters must answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how of each article before the story can be published.

We should do the same with our e-mails.

Every email should answer these questions, otherwise the recipient could be confused and not understand why they should click in the first place.

You need to give context to your call-to-action.

So we want to write a new email. We open our email marketing program and start writing, but keeping the basics in mind.

The problem is pointed out in the introduction.

In the next section, we'll go into why we wrote this email. We'll go into the benefits.

We answer the question that is brewing in the back of our readers' minds. They think: "What do I get out of it?"

With the CTA you can then keep your promise. In this case, that's a huge button.

But this can also be a text link so that it works on mobile devices.

You need to get your message across as quickly as possible. I am writing to you "because ..." and I can offer you the following ...

Step # 6: Asking Questions to Build Trust

Questions spark curiosity.

They open the door to an interesting new topic that gets our attention.

And then the question is not answered at the last second.

This strategy leads to the so-called “curiosity gap”. We really need to find out what is happening.

Basically this is a cliffhanger on the internet. You can do that from films.

Here's how Pinterest uses this strategy:

Of course, this is a rhetorical question.

Why should Pinterest email you about interior design?

Probably because you are interested in interior design and pinned a lot of pins on the topic.

Marketing automation in action!

This is certainly not a coincidence. Your behavior as a user plays a crucial role and now Pinterest seems to read your mind.

You can also fall back on inspiration as clickbait (click bait).

Wyndham Rewards does it like this:

The subject line is cleverly chosen.

Who wouldn't want to spend just $ 34 on a hotel room?

The price seems too good to be true.

Exactly for this reason you click on the offer. You want to find out if it's really possible.

You can hardly do otherwise. You have to at least open the email and take a quick look at it.

You can also fall back on ‘trending topics’ because they are on everyone's lips anyway.

The topics Religion ’or Politics’ should be left out.

But the topic of privacy ’on the Internet is a great example! Every day I read a new article on the subject of “the government is spying on us”.

Zapier uses this strategy in the following example.

The company knows that we don't like being spied on and that we are almost paranoid.

The subject line triggers a fear we've been dragging around with us for a long time.

You just have to open this email because you want to find out what it is about.

Step 7: Don't use too many "power words"

“Great, great, great. That's how we do it!"

What do you think when you see this subject line?

Sounds kind of stupid, doesn't it?

One would not be surprised if such an email immediately ended up in spam. Gmail probably fishes out such an email immediately and it doesn't even end up in the mailbox.

Avoid words that sound like spam or click bait.

If your emails end up in spam, you can safely forget your open rate.

Here is an email. which ended up in my spam.

And now it comes:

I signed up for the newsletter because I wanted to be notified!

I wanted to read this email! However, it didn't even land in my mailbox because it sounds like spam or unwanted advertising.

Here's another example from Credit Sesame:

In this case, too, it is a legitimate email.

The company is great and the offer is impeccable.

Nevertheless, the choice of words triggers an alarm.

The subject of personal finance management in general is often a problem for many email providers.

Here is a long list of words that immediately land in the spam folder:

And that's just one of the three categories of finance.

Totally crazy, right ?!

Optimizing your emails to improve open rates is a balancing act.

Of course, you want to make the subject line interesting and appealing.

On the other hand, you have to be very careful so that the email does not end up in spam immediately.

The risk of losing good customers is great.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to avoid this situation.

Context is important.

The word “free” is also not welcomed.

But it always depends on how you use the word

Your "free advice" is acceptable if it is a follow-up email. In this case, it does not end up in spam because it is not unwanted advertising.

However, the “free 50 inch television” is a problem.

It almost sounds like the “free iPad” sold in exchange for personal information. You probably know these promotional offers too.

How can you make your offer to the customer without ending up in the spam folder due to your choice of words?

You can fall back on the principle of urgency!

MailChimp has found that the words “topical” or “important” can create a sense of urgency.

You can also use power words to appeal to the instincts and innermost desires of your readers.

Of course, one shouldn't overdo it. Instead, use provocative words to grab readers' attention as quickly as possible.

Here is an example:

The average open and click rates in the marketing industry are 18% and 2.5%, respectively.

And this is how you can drive these click rates up:

"Why SERP Rankings Are Useless"

The word "useless" is extremely effective.

It's brave and provocative. The subject line somehow contradicts your general ideas about SERP rankings.

Usually, SERP rankings are important and useful to you. However, this subject line claims the opposite.

Buffer has analyzed the most popular Power Words and put them together in a list.

Each of these words tells the reader something.

The words "new," "announcement," "suddenly," "immediately," "now", and "introduction" all actually mean the same thing.

Basically we are told that things have changed.

Everything used to be different. You have your old habits and are used to the status quo.

But now there's a better, faster, cheaper option that you absolutely need to get to know.

All of these subject lines could also be perceived as clickbait.

However, with the right choice of words, they will not end up in the spam folder.


Nowadays you have to stand out from the crowd. This is especially true for e-mails, since the customers' mailboxes are completely overflowing.

If you want to “stand out” you have to swim against the current. Your subject line needs to be different.

Your content and graphics are great.

But they won't even be seen if the reader doesn't open your email because of a boring subject line.

Before you send your email, you should read your email again and ask yourself: "Would I open this email?"

You should send an email more often so that the recipients get used to seeing your emails in their inbox.

You should use colloquial language and keep it short, just like writing to a friend. Then your email will also be opened on your mobile phone.

Then you can still ask unexpected questions and use numbers.

But don't be too “pushy” and don't forget the call-to-action. The recipient must be able to see immediately why you are writing to them.

And last but not least, you should avoid words that send your email to the spam folder.

Instead, you can use power words to convince the reader to open your email.

Point out changes and new trends that can improve the reader's life, if he reads your email.

What is your favorite trick to increase your open rate?