6 Tips for Successful Email Marketing to Increase Open Rates

At first it was phone calls, then a voice mail… now it’s our email that is overwhelming us. We receive so many email updates on a daily basis that some people are just trying to manage projects on a daily basis – our inboxes have become valuable real estate. We get emails from our neighbors, our family, our dentist, and every online store we’ve ever shopped at. If you’re marketing your company or business through email, how can you stand apart? How can you encourage people to open and read your emails?

Writing great emails is one way to show that you honor people’s inbox space and their valuable time. We have learned some ways to get people to read your emails and not immediately hit the “trash” button.

Here are some tips on how to utilize email for your business!

Sell the Sign-Up

This may seem like a no-brainer, but getting people to sign up for your emails is the first step in email marketing. You want your clients to trust you and be excited about your emails. Explain what you’re emails will be (sales, promotions, updates) and what they will not be (such as spam or irrelevant information). Also, explaining how frequently you send out emails can be a major selling point. Do you send out newsletters weekly or monthly? You can prevent doubts and reconcile hesitation by communicating to your consumer that your emails will have quality content. During this process, make people feel welcome and recognize they are a part of your company by using a catchy phrase. For example, send a follow-up email for their subscription saying, “Welcome to the team!” or “You’re now a (Business Name) Member!” This will demonstrate to your clients that you don’t send emails out to just anyone and that you want them on your email list.


Unsubscribe is the worst-case scenario, however, you need to provide it as an option. Make sure your “unsubscribe” option works and to take clients or customers off your email list, if they choose to unsubscribe. We all know how annoying it is to continue to receive emails after you have asked to be taken off a list. To protect your company’s reputation, be sure to respect these requests. Also, having an unsubscribe option will allow your emails to be on what is often called a “clean list.” Basically, it will prevent your emails from being marked as spam because people will see they have the freedom to receive your emails.

Timing is Key

Timing is crucial with any form of communication, and this also goes for email. You don’t want your email to get lost in your client’s inbox. Let’s be honest, the further down in our inbox an email is, the more likely we are to delete it. It seems less relevant. According to a study done by email marketers GetResponse.com, “Subscribers’ top engagement times are 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. with up to 6.8% average open rates and CTR.” People tend to check their email first thing when they get into the office, and before or after their lunch break. Send out your emails early in the morning or mid-afternoon to maximize chances of them being opened. Also, know your clientele. For example, are your customers mothers who tend to check emails early morning or late at night? Or maybe you are marketing towards college students who check their email during school hours. Do you have customers in different time zones? Thinking about when your clientele will be online will help determine when you should send out emails.

Get Response Photo

photo from getresponse.com infographic

Quality Content

Creative Subject Lines

Creative, yet simple subject lines are crucial to writing and sending great emails. A great subject line will make an email, whereas a bad one will send it straight to the trash. First, keep it short and sweet! Clarity is really important when it comes to subject lines and we recommend 30 to 50 characters.

Secondly, there are trigger words to avoid so that your email doesn’t get labeled as spam (either by spam filters or by the reader). A few words to avoid are ‘free’, ‘apply now’, and ‘fast cash’. It’s also wise to stay away from symbols and characters.

Subject Line Screen Shot

Too often our subject lines look like this. Avoid the cheesy, sales-pitch style and get creative with subject lines.

Check out these lists below for more words and phrases to leave out:

It’s always a good idea to make subject lines personal. Directing your email to your audience will improve your open rate. Include their name, if possible, or use pronouns like “you” or “yours.” Phrases like “We’d like to invite you…” and “An update just for you…” grab attention compared to the typical sales-pitch subject lines.

Awesome Visuals

Graphics, photographs, and videos take emails from good to great. This tactic is becoming more popular these days and it’s effective. Intriguing visuals will allow your email to pop amongst text-heavy ones. What is the message you are conveying? A photo or video may be more effective than paragraphs of text. People don’t want to read a novel when checking their email. Implementing visuals is also a great way to provide variety in your email updates or promotions. Send out a letter-style, text dominate email one week and an email with a photo collage the following week. Your email readers will appreciate a variety in the content they receive.

Call to Action

Lastly, elicit a response from the reader. As a marketing tool, be sure to think of email as an ongoing means of communication. Don’t dead-end the conversation with a one sided email.

There are many ways to go about adding a call to action. Some common ones are by adding click through links, social media icons, or a ‘contact us’ button. For an effective call to action, focus one specific way you want the reader to respond. If you include too many options, viewers may get lost and be prevented from taking any action. Do you want them to call you back or visit your website for more information? Lastly, create a sense of urgency and use action words.

There is much to be said about what to do and what not to do when it comes to emails. At Designflair, we get excited about email marketing and understand it’s important to business! Fill out our contact form today to find out more about our marketing services.


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