How to Increase Email Open Rates for Your Newsletter (10 Tips)

email open rates

A
re you wondering how to increase your email open rates? If your open rates are lower than you’d like, this article will share tips on how to improve them. 

When you start a new blog, creating an email newsletter is the best way to build a connection with your readers. Plus, you can send your latest blog posts, discounts, and other important information straight to their inbox. 

But, it can be frustrating to put hard work into an email newsletter that very few people are opening.  

And if people aren’t opening your emails, that means that they’re not checking out any of the valuable stuff inside. 

So, let’s take a look at some tips to help you increase email open rates for your newsletter. 

But first, let’s learn more about email open rates…

What is Open Rate? 

Open rate is a term in email marketing that measures the percentage of subscribers that open a specific email. 

The email open rate calculation is as follows: 

Number of Emails Opened / Total Subscribers × 100

So, if you sent an email to your list of 100 subscribers and 40 subscribers opened it, your open rate would be 40%. 

What is a Good Email Open Rate?

According to email marketing benchmarks from HubSpot, the average email open rate across all industries is 20.94%. 

average email open rate hubspot

But, don’t worry if your open rates aren’t as high as this, especially if you’re new to email marketing.  

Instead of comparing yourself to competitors, it’s better to compare yourself to your previous campaign. 

For example, if your previous email marketing campaign had an open rate of 5% and your newest campaign has an open rate of 10%, you’re making great progress! 

Now that you have a better understanding of email open rates, let’s look at how you can improve them.

10 Tips to Increase Email Open Rates for Your Newsletter 

1. Qualify Your Subscribers

If you want to increase your open rates, you have to think about how you get subscribers in the first place. 

You don’t want anyone and everyone to join your email list. You want to qualify your subscribers to make sure they’re interested in you and your brand. 

For example, if you run a giveaway campaign to get more subscribers and the prize is an iPad, lots of people will sign up. But, many of those people won’t be interested in your newsletter because they only signed up for the chance to win the prize. 

Instead, you should offer a relevant lead magnet. 

In the example below, the American Bird Conservancy created a popup with OptinMonster to offer exclusive ‘Bird of the Week’ profiles to new subscribers. 

lead magnet example

People who subscribe from this lead magnet will continue to open future newsletters from the American Bird Conservancy because they’ll be relevant to their interests. 

2. Create a Compelling Subject Line

When an email lands in a subscriber’s inbox, one of the first things they see is the email subject line. 

email subject line

So, your subject line needs to capture the attention of your subscribers and make them want to open the email. 

Here are some tips for crafting killer subject lines:

  • Use Curiosity: Try email subject lines like “I can’t believe this just happened…” to make subscribers curious about what’s inside. 
  • Be Direct: Use direct subject lines like “How to Make $5000/Month as a Freelance Writer” to tell subscribers exactly what they’ll get. 
  • Add Numbers: Studies have shown that using numbers in subject lines increases email open rates. 
  • Insert Emojis: Emojis add a little fun and draw eyes to your subject line. 
  • Use a Conversational Tone: Don’t be too professional with your subject lines. Write them in a conversational tone like you would when speaking to a friend. 

To make sure your email subject lines are powerful enough to get opened, you can also use IsItWP’s free email subject line tester

email subject line analyzer

Simply type in your subject line and hit the Analyze button. 

The tool will then give your subject line a score on factors like word count, character count, words that increase email open rates, words that decrease opens, and more. 

subject line score isitwp

Try to aim for a score of 70 or above for the best results. 

3. Offer Amazing Content

If you want to increase email open rates, the content inside of your email newsletter needs to be valuable. 

Because if your subscribers are happy with the content you send them, they’ll be more likely to open your emails in the future. 

On the other hand, if subscribers find that the content isn’t interesting or helpful, they’ll stop opening your emails altogether. 

Here are some awesome newsletter content ideas your subscribers will love:

  • Link to one of your best blog posts
  • Offer a free ebook
  • Promote an educational webinar
  • Share behind the scenes photos
  • Give out exclusive deals and coupons

4. Make it Personal

You might be tempted to write your email newsletters in a business-like format in order to appear professional. 

But, if your emails are written too formally, it can actually drive your subscribers away. 

For example, a formal phrase like “Our valued customers can download this complimentary report on blogging statistics” sounds stiff and cold. 

Instead, you should write to your subscribers like you’re talking to a friend. 

A friendly phrase like “You gotta check out this free report of mind-blowing blogging statistics” sounds much more personal. 

By writing more personal newsletters, your subscribers will be able to form a stronger connection with you, making them more likely to open your emails. 

5. Send at the Right Times

To improve your open rates, you also have to consider what time you’re sending emails. 

For example, if you’re sending email campaigns in the middle of the night, most of your subscribers aren’t going to open them. And by the morning, your email might get buried by other messages in their inbox. 

So, you need to send your emails at a time when your subscribers are most likely to open them. 

How do you know what the right time is? 

According to this infographic from CoSchedule, the best times to send emails are at 10 am, 8 pm, 2 pm, and 6 am. 

coschedule best times to send emails

You can test out different times with your email list and see which works best for you. 

6. Be Consistent

When you create an email newsletter, the last thing you want to do is leave your subscribers hanging. 

Let’s say you send out a couple of good newsletters in your first week. Then, you don’t send another newsletter until months later. Your subscribers will never know when to expect an email from you and they might even lose interest. 

That’s why it’s important to be consistent with your email newsletter. 

If your subscribers know that you’re going to send them one newsletter every week, on the same day and time, they’ll come to expect your messages and be more likely to open them. 

To stay on track, we recommend creating a content calendar to plan and schedule your newsletters in advance. 

7. Segment Your Email List

Earlier, we talked about how your newsletter content needs to be interesting and helpful to your subscribers. 

But, not all of your subscribers are going to be interested in the same thing. 

That’s where email segmentation comes in. 

By segmenting your email list, you can send emails that are super relevant to your subscribers. The more relevant an email is to a particular person, the more likely they’re going to open it. 

For example, Adidas segments its email list and sends out two different email campaigns. The women’s fashion email is sent to female customers and the men’s fashion campaign is sent to male customers. 

segment your emails to increase open rates

With the best email marketing services like Constant Contact, Sendinblue, Campaign Monitor, and others, you can easily segment your email list based on factors such as: 

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Purchase history
  • Preferences
  • Interests
  • Stage in the sales funnel
  • And more

8. Avoid Spam Filters

Spam filters are programs used to detect unsolicited, unwanted, and virus-infected emails and stop them from getting to a recipient’s inbox. 

If your email newsletter ends up in the dreaded spam folder, there’s a good chance nobody’s going to read it. 

Here are some best practices to improve deliverability and keep your emails out of the spam folder:

  • Make sure all recipients have opted-in to receive emails from you
  • Show subscribers how to whitelist your email or add you to their email contacts
  • Use a reputable email service provider
  • Avoid using spammy words like free, buy, discount, cash, clearance, etc. 
  • Don’t use misleading email subject lines
  • Never use ALL CAPS
  • Include your physical address or P.O. box
  • Add an easy way for people to opt-out of your email list

9. Use a Professional Email Address

Another thing that will keep you out of the spam folder is to avoid sending emails from a Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo account. 

Not only will this get your emails flagged for spam, but it makes you appear unprofessional as well. 

Instead, you should use a domain email address.

For example, an email from [email protected] in a recipient’s inbox looks more recognizable and trustworthy than an email from [email protected] 

You can get a domain email address through the web hosting service you used to set up your blog. 

If you haven’t set up your website or domain email yet, we recommend using Bluehost. You get 60% off hosting and it comes with a free domain name, free professional email address, free SSL certificate, and more. 

10. Keep Your List Updated

There are likely people on your email list that haven’t opened or read your campaigns in months. Some of these people might have changed their email addresses or they’re just not interested in your content anymore. 

The fact is, these inactive subscribers are bringing down your email open rates. 

So, what do you do about it?

To keep your list fresh and updated, you need to periodically remove inactive subscribers from your list. 

Anyone that hasn’t engaged with your emails in the last 6 months or more should be unsubscribed. 

But, before you remove them, you can try to win them back with a re-engagement campaign. 

In this example from YNAB, the re-engagement email reminds the recipient that they haven’t checked their account in a while and encourages them to sign in by providing a link. 

send reengagement email to increase email open rates

You can also simply ask people to reply to the email if they’re still interested in receiving content from you. 

If the recipient doesn’t take any action with the re-engagement email, then you can remove them from your list. 

When your list is full of engaged subscribers, your email open rates are bound to rise. 


With that, we’ve come to the end of this article. We hope it helped you learn how to increase your email open rates. Now, you can tweak your campaigns to get better results for your newsletter. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out our guide on how to make money with email marketing. It’s got all the tips you need to run a successful email campaign that converts.  

And don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter for more helpful blogging tips!

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