Increase Email Open Rates - Our 5 Top Tips

It’s not enough to just send email marketing, you need people to actually open the email and read about the thing you’re promoting.

Increasing open rates is usually top of every marketers list, and with good reason. If you can increase email open rates you have a much higher chance of converting to a click through (funny how someone reading the thing you sent them increases their chances of engaging and doing business with you). We’ve compiled our top 5 ways to increase email open rates from your email subscribers, to stop your emails from finding themselves unopened in the bin.

Create a “Friendly From”

The first thing people see when your email slides into their inbox is who it’s actually from. This is your first chance to entice the recipient into opening your email so a Friendly From name is a must, it could be as simple as choosing the department the email is coming from or the subject of the email. The more human and informative you make it the better, for example “Holly Stibbon” would be a great Friendly From name as it contains the name of a real person, recipients are more likely to open if they recognise an individual. “Smart Messenger” is also a good Friendly From as it is the brand name, if recipients have a relationship with your brand rather than an individual, that is what you should use instead. Providing reassurance that the email is from someone they know or a brand they trust and feel safe opening one from will help avoid it ending up unopened and put in the bin.

Email subject line

The next piece of information receivers use to decide whether your email is destined to be opened or binned is the subject line. This is really where you make or break your chances. Your Friendly From has brought them this far so let's not lose them now. You’ve got 6-10 words here so use them wisely - your subject line should be relevant, informative, and intriguing. It’s simpler than it sounds, we promise. Think about what your email is saying and why you would want to open it if it came flying into your inbox. The best piece of advice we can give is to try out several different variations before settling on the final version, the snappier the better. There is some research to show subject lines containing emojis have higher open rates than those that don’t but we advise you to use them sparingly, nothing is worse than an enthusiastic overuse of emojis. Keep your personalised subject line simple, clear, and relevant (without being boring) and avoid sounding clickbaity.


Your pre-header is the small but perfectly formed snippet of text people see before they open the full email so should be enticing enough to make them want more. If you’ve got a great Friendly From and snazzy subject line your pre-header is the icing on the cake, really solidifying the receiver’s decision to open your email before all the others. Typically, the pre-header is made up of the first line of your email so it should complement the subject as opposed to simply repeating it. Keep it accurate, interesting, and snappy. There is nothing people hate more than a juicy-sounding email that actually is completely irrelevant and of no use to them. Those emails get condemned to the spam filter forever!

Take a look at our Email Preheader Best Practice TIps for more ideas.


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Preview pane

The preview pane can be an email marketers’ best friend or worst enemy, if that first peek into your email doesn’t make the reader want to open it fully it will find itself in the bin. Typically, the preview pane shows the first part of your email, including images and links. This is where you really want to outline all the key information contained within. If you’re announcing a product launch or a juicy news article this is the perfect place for that information to live. If your call to action is visible in your preview pane your recipient may well click it and never read the rest of your email. But now they are on your website! Just where you wanted them to be.

Get there quicker

People have signed up to your email list for a reason so there is absolutely no point in rambling on in every email you send them, after all almost everyone is scanning for the good bits. Channel your inner digital marketer and keep your emails as short as possible while still containing all the key bits of information, a lot of people read emails on their phones so endless scrolling is a no go. Instead aim to say as much as possible in as few words as possible and have a click through to read more on your website. What looked great in a word document will almost definitely be too long for a marketing email so be firm but fair when it comes to trimming. Also, if they click to read more you will know where their interests lie and can use this information to send more targeted, relevant information going forward.

With Smart Messenger you have the ability to preview emails while you’re building them so no matter which types of emails you are creating, you can easily see exactly how they’ll look on a mobile devices such as a phone or tablet as well as laptop and desktop computers. We also have a test send function so you can double check everything is as it should be before it is time to send.

So, there you have it, our top tips for increasing email open rates. If you follow our advice, we are sure you’ll see open rates soar. For more information about how Smart Messenger can help you get in touch with our friendly team on 01603 858250.

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