6 Essential Ways to Improve the Open Rates of Your Marketing Emails

Services for Real Estate Pros with XL Technologies, LLC The Maker of eCampaignPro

Are you tired of sending out email campaigns that aren’t being opened or receiving any engagement? Furthermore, are you wondering what you can do to increase open rates for future campaigns? Email marketing still has one of the highest engagement rates and returns on investment of any marketing tactic. While there are many factors that contribute to producing the best possible open rates, the key is standing out from the crowd. 

Here are 6 essential ways to improve the open rates of your marketing emails:

1. Create an engaging subject line:

Statistically, the subject line is the most important line in the whole email. In fact, 47% of recipients open an email based on the subject line whereas 69% report email as spam solely based on the subject line.

The subject line of your email should tell the recipient what’s in your email, not try to sell your email. 

Here are some ground rules to follow:

Keep your email subjects simple. The less complicated, the better.

Be personal. Adding the recipient’s name in the subject line can raise the likelihood of the email being opened by 22%. Don’t use spam trigger words. Including words like "sale", "free", "money", "income", "mortgage", "opportunity", "pre-foreclosure.”, etc. is likely to decrease your open rates.

You should try and limit your subject line to 50 characters or less. More than that and it may get truncated upon delivery, or unreadable on mobile devices. 

Offer appropriate incentives such as discounts or other incentives to give users a reason to read the email. Furthermore, don't be afraid to look at open rates for different subject lines and compare results.



Don’t use Lots!!! Of!!! Punctuation!!! or CAPITAL LETTERS, as this can feel like the sender is not only screaming at you, but this also conveys the impression that you are not being completely honest. Avoid exclamation points, dollar signs, percent signs, question marks, slashes, dashes, commas. Be open, tell your users what your email is about, and don’t be deceitful.


Need more help with your subject lines? Read my post on

The Best Practices For Writing Marketing Emails.


2. Send at the right time

Timing is key--, especially in email marketing. Be confident that you’re sending your emails at the best times, taking into consideration their message, audience, and intention. You can figure this out through testing or studying your industry's open rates to see what the results tend to be.

3. Use the Appropriate Opt-in Method.

Popular email providers strongly advocate for the utilization of the double-opt-in method, as it requires subscribers to affirm that they want to receive messages from you consciously. Plus, it also gives you proof that the recipient voluntarily subscribed.

Alternatively, many other options can work with a single opt-in. Nevertheless, it’s important to make sure that whatever opt-in method you use makes it explicitly clear to the recipient what they signed up for. For instance, automated thank you emails are an excellent method to remind consumers that they’ve just signed up to receive additional information from you.

4. Don’t Buy Leads.

This one is pretty straightforward. Companies that try to buy large numbers of leads to jumpstart their marketing plans will find their open rates quite low. In fact, most email service providers don’t allow the use of purchased leads anyway. Furthermore, the chances that your email will end up in a spam folder or reported as abuse are much higher. They frankly aren’t worth the risk. A more effective approach is to grow your email list is by using genuine marketing approaches to obtain genuine subscribers.

5. Set Clear Expectations.

Honesty is the best policy. When subscribers sign up to receive your information, it’s important to be not only straightforward with them about what you’ll be emailing them, but also very transparent. If they sign up for a newsletter, and they receive coupons or other promotional materials instead, your open rates will plummet fast.

By being clear from the get-go about what you’ll be sending and how frequently, the more confidence you’ll form with your subscribers, and the greater your open rates will be. If you choose down the road that you intend to send out added kinds of content, you can simply let existing subscribers know, and ask them if they’d like to sign up.

6. Be Human.

People like interacting with people rather than robots and spam filters are more inclined to see an email from a company as just promotion, which in turn is more likely to end up being deleted. If your emails look like they’re being sent from a person vs. a company, they have a stronger chance of being opened.

To recap, start with a great subject line, and be sure to follow the steps provided to dodge the spam filter. Never buy leads, and always utilize the relevant opt-in methods based on your audience. From there, it’s all about being transparent and human with your subscribers, as well as delivering timely and appropriate information on a consistent basis. 

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