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5 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Email Open Rates

March 26, 2019

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Once you get to the inbox, how do you make sure your emails actually get opened?


This is a question we hear a lot. Even if your business already has a strong open rate, once your numbers start to flatten out, you’re probably wondering what you can do to nudge them in the right direction.


Improving your email open rates doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting.

With a few simple tweaks, you could be on your way to higher open rates and more opportunities for your business.


Here are five simple strategies to consider:


1. Invest in your subject line


Your subject line is one of the most important lines of your entire email. Similar to an article headline or the tagline of an ad, your subject line is meant to draw people in and get them interested in what you have to offer.


Generic subject lines like “April Newsletter” or “News from [Your Business]” probably aren’t going to cut it.


Invest some extra time in your subject line before hitting send.


Here are 5 ideas to help you get started:


The question: Using a question in your subject line is a great way to make a more personal connection with the people viewing your emails.


The command: Sometimes it pays off to be more direct with your audience as a way to get them to take action.

The teaser: Believe it or not, people love cliffhangers. And if crafted correctly, the teaser tactic will pique interest and entice subscribers to read on.


The list: Lists make it easier for people to consume the information you’re sending out. They also give you the chance to demonstrate your points in a more compelling way.


The announcement: Subject lines don’t have to be complicated, especially if the goal of your email is to announce something new. Be straightforward about what your email is about.


2. Fix your ‘from name’


Do you know what you used as the “from name” in your last email campaign? What about the “from email address”?

The from fields let readers know who an email is coming from. If you’re not thinking carefully about the information you put into these fields, you could be making it difficult for people to recognize your email when it lands in their inbox.

People are skeptical of emails when they don’t know the sender; they could be less likely to open and more likely mark your email as spam.


Use a familiar from name and from email address that represents your business. If possible use an email address with your business’s name in it, rather than a personal email.

Tip: Here’s how to customize your email header and footer within your Constant Contact account. 


3. Find the best time to send (and be consistent)


There are certain times of days when your readers are more likely to open and read your emails.


One of the easiest ways to find the best time to send is to segment your list into 2-3 equally sized groups and send the same copy of your email during different times of the day (morning, afternoon, and evening). Try this test for a few different mailings and keep track of which version gets the highest open rate.


This will take a little extra time, but over the course of a few weeks, you should have a strong indication of when your readers are most likely to open.


To help you determine the best day/time to send, we analyzed a collection of Constant Contact customer mailings. You can use this chart to identify a good time to send, based on the results of others in your industry.


4. Get to know your audience


You may know and understand the needs of your customers, but how much do you really know about the people on your email list?


Do you know what topics they’re interested in? Do you understand why they joined your email list? Do you have a good understanding of what questions they’re asking and how you can help address them?


Understanding your email audience is critical to getting the results you want from your email campaigns. When you learn more about your list, you can start to target your contacts with more relevant information.


Here are three ideas to help you do it:


Survey: S