I have recently found a really good thread about email open rate optimisation. I thought, I’d make some notes for me and for future generations. Then, I also added some other ideas from my experience. Enjoy!

So you got yourself a subscriber

The first part of the optimization process should be about taking care of the subscriber just after he joined our list. The initial mail is extremely important. What we want to do is welcome the new subscriber, so that he knows that we care. On the other hand, when sending the initial mail, we also want to make sure that our future mailings will appear in his mailbox as well! How to achieve that?

1. After the subscription, send a welcome mail with a confirmation link. Make sure to prompt the user to confirm the subscription, after he fills in the form on the webpage. This way, you make sure that your mail won’t end up in spam (even if it does, the user will find it and unspam it).

Gmail promotions tab2. Ask your subscriber to add your email to the address book. This way, you make sure you will hit his inbox in the foreseeable future and:

  • not hit the spam folder,
  • not hit the promotions tab in Gmail.

Here is how a user can add your mail to his address book in Gmail:

  • 3 grey dots > Add to Contacts List
  • if in promotions: 3 white dots > Move to > Primary
  • if in spam: 3 white dots > This is not spam

Acknowledging the user with this simple instruction can help you convince him to actually do it.

3. Remember to ask your users for a reply once in a while. When they reply, you are very likely to hit their inbox in the future.

What about a good title

Second part is about experimenting with the right email title.

4. Remember to use descriptive titles, so that the user know what kind of value you are providing.

5. On the other hand, experiment with your own personal brand. From time to time, introduce yourself in the title i.e. „Janet from Your Business co.”

6. Remember to try different tactics with your titles and A/B test them.

For example, try:

  • using emojis vs plain text titles
  • personalised titles (user’s name) vs introducing yourself (point 4.) vs descriptive title summarising the content

7. After these kind of experiments, always save their results. Then, segment your users according to their preference of title form (with emoji, personalised etc.). Having those segments, you can send emails with different titles to particular groups of users, increasing your chance of having the mail opened!

8. Experiment with the time of the week/day in which you send the mailings. Different users read emails at different times, so you need to find the time that works best for your case. You can also try to segment your users, so you send your newsletter at different times to different segments.

What to do with users that are not opening your mails?

9. Use them as a segment to which you send the experiments listed above. If the rest of the users is reading your mailing, why mess with that?

10. If they still don’t open your mail – unsubscribe them. Send them one last mail and ask them if they still want to receive messages from you. If they won’t reply in 10 days, delete them from you mailing list.

Hope these 10 easy tips will help you reach more people with your mailings! Feel free to share any feedback or other tactics in the comments!

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