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Email Marketing
9 min

27 Powerful Email Marketing Tips to Improve Open Rates in 2021

The best inbound marketing practices involve contacting those who willingly wish to hear from you. But once you have climbed this hill, there are other mountains to scale – mountains like open and click-through rates.

So how can one navigate this terrain without falling into the treacherous ravines of spam folders? We have compiled a list of the most effective email marketing tips for 2021 – to help you steer clear of the rut.

Tip #1: Implement the Double Opens Strategy

When it comes to email marketing, persistence is the name of the game. And no, we are not talking about spamming here. We are talking about the “Double Opens” strategy.

Remember those email subscribers that did not open your email in the first round of the campaign? Resend the same email to them but with a minor modification – a new and improved subject line! You could also experiment with different send times, optimized emails, and so on until you witness improved open rates. 

However, wait for 3 to 5 days before resending any email.

Tip #2: Write a Compelling Email Subject

In this digital age, everyone judges a book by its cover. And in your case, this “cover” is your email subject line. Hence, it would be unsurprising to know that nearly 35% of email receivers open an email based on the subject lines alone.

Tip-#2--Write-a-Compelling-Email-Subject

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So if you wish to bump up your open rates, here are few catchy themes for you to try:

  • Cut-to-the-chase/No-nonsense
  • Funny one-liners
  • Cliffhangers
  • Clickbait-y titles
  • Emotional
  • FOMO/Scarcity
  • Personal

Keep testing your subject lines to know what works for your target audience.

Tip #3: … And Don’t Ignore Those Preheaders

An excellent subject line is just half the battle won. The second half is all about preheaders.

Unfortunately, email marketers often overlook this high-potential field.

The result? A well-worn-out line welcomes the email subscribers: “Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view it in a web browser.”

If you want readers to open your emails, then craft your preheader text in a way to complement and supplement your subject lines. And of course, optimize the subject line and preheader using preview text before you hit the send button.

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Tip #4: Add Contextual CTAs

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As a marketer, your blood, toil, and sweat lie in the CTA that you incorporate into your emails.

So don’t be afraid to add the CTA in multiple locations throughout the email. This CTA does not necessarily have to be in the form of a dedicated button but can be a text link or a clickable image.

And while we’re on the subject, here are a few good ideas to make your CTA more impactful:

  • Use power words to customize the CTA.
  • Choose pictures and colors to highlight.
  • Add alt text to your CTA buttons.
  • Place at least one CTA above the fold.

Tip #5: K.I.S.S. – Keep It Short & Simple (Silly!)

Whether it is your email copy or your subject lines – less is more. 

Does every word add value to the content? If not, then remove it. Keep repeating this cycle and editing your emails until you have extracted maximum juice.

Tip #6: Add Value in Every Email

Ask yourself, what is the reason why someone has subscribed to your email newsletters or read your blog post?

The answer is simple – you offered them something of value.

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Similarly, if you wish to boost your open rates, your email should offer something valuable, relevant, and tangible. Upon the receipt of your email, your email clients will wonder, “What’s in it for me?” And if your email can deliver a justifiable response, then “Open Sesame” it is!

Tip #7: Include Sender’s Name

Email Tip #7- Include Sender’s Name

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Sending out emails from [email protected] or [email protected] is so 2020.

One of the hottest email marketing tips of 2021 is to include a real person’s name in the sender field, along with a non-generic email address. It lends authenticity to the email and helps you form a personal connection with your email clients. 

Tip #8: Nail Your Timing

When it comes to marketing, timing is everything.

And as a beginner, you can rely on general practices for maximizing open rates, like:

  • Best Days: Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.
  • Best Time: 10am, 8pm, 2pm, 6am.

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However, these marketing tips will only help you gain initial traction. Eventually, you will have to carry out tests to narrow down the best days and times for sending your emails.

Tip #9: Focus on Personalization

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Sure, you may be sending out a few thousand emails per day, but you don’t have to let your receivers know that! 

Consider this fact: nearly 71% of consumers believe that personalization could be the determining factor to influence their decision to open and read emails. So ditch those email templates and put in the effort to personalize your emails. 

In fact, go beyond adding names to the subject. Elevate your game by offering promos and discounts on birthdays, subscription anniversaries, etc.

Tip #10: Write a Killer Email

We have talked about the impact your email subject lines have on open rates. And while you may have perfected the art of subject line writing, do you have an email copy to follow it up?

Getting the receiver to open your email is a short-term goal. In the long run, you want to engage the reader and keep them curious enough to open all the successive emails. And you can achieve this goal by writing awesome content – Every. Single. Time.

Tip #11: Be Human

Humans want to interact or do business with other humans.

The above line means that even the most transactional emails must come across as an email from another individual. So put aside all that corporate lingo and indulge in some friendly banter instead.

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Tip #12: Add a Touch of Humor

Adding humor to your email copy is the quickest way to form an instant yet powerful connection. Fortunately, rich media and content formats like GIFs and memes have made it easier to achieve this feat even through emails. So you don’t necessarily have to be a stand-up comedian to strike a chord amongst your subscribers (although it would help if you were one).

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Tip #13: … Or Include Numbers

If humor is not your forte (or it is not “on brand”), other practical email marketing tips to improve open rates would be through the use of numbers. 

For starters, numbers cut through the wall of text to instantly grab your attention. Next, it quantifies an otherwise vague promise (think “Save Money” versus “Save 25%”). And finally, the use of concrete statistics lends credibility to your email.

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So if you have interesting figures and statistics, consider including them in your subject lines and email copy.

Tip #14: Develop a Unique Brand Voice

Email clutter is digital noise. And if you want to stand out, you would need a distinctive brand voice. Unfortunately, that does not mean asking Morgan Freeman to read out your feature or product list!

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To develop your brand voice, you first need to list the traits that best define your line of work and the nature of communication that you wish to have with your email clients. Then flesh out this personality by outlining the best practices to follow while sending emails. Finally, ensure that all email copywriters understand this brand voice and replicate it in every communication.

Tip #15: Reward Your Readers

Retaining customers is number one in email marketing tips 101.

The email subscribers who open your emails, click-through, or even share its contents are your greatest brand ambassadors. Find ways to reward them for their time, loyalty, and engagement using special discounts and offers.

Tip #16: Make Your Content Scannable

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Time is money, and attention is an invaluable yet dwindling asset. Your email might have caught someone as they scroll through their phone during breakfast. 

So while you write a brief email copy, also ensure that it is scannable and skimmable. Format the content to offer visual breaks and use short, simple sentences to drive your point home.

Tip #17: Introduce Automation

Introducing automation is one of the most well-loved email marketing tips.

Email marketing automation offers you the opportunity to forge deeper customer relationships through streamlined communications. In turn, you will receive higher open rates, especially in the case of transactional emails (which is 4 to 8x more than traditional emails).

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Once you automate your marketing efforts, your team can focus more on content creation over welcome or abandoned cart emails.

Tip #18: Build Your Email List

First things first, never, and we mean NEVER, purchase a mailing list.

This “hack” will only result in abysmally low open rates and could result in the suspension of your email service provider (ESP). In its place, grow your email list organically and follow the opt-in best practices to comply with global standards (more on this later).

Tip #19: Maintain Email List Hygiene

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Since we are discussing mailing lists, it is worth mentioning that it requires regular upkeep. It is believed that one in every five contacts becomes obsolete, outdated, or unusable with each passing year. So cleanse your email list periodically by analyzing email clicks, monitoring the hard and soft bounces, and verifying older email subscribers to avoid denting your sender reputation.

Tip #20: Conduct Regular A/B Testing

Different email subscribers may react differently to the same email. And this is why split tests matter!

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A split test or an A/B test is the holy grail that offers personalized email marketing tips for you. It eliminates all the guesswork from your marketing campaign and adds certainty. Use it to regularly find ways to improve your marketing skills and rack up those open rates!

Tip #21: Maintain Consistency

Brand voice consistency isn’t the only thing that should remain consistent. Every element of your email marketing campaign should fit like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. As such, the subject lines, email copy, social media handle, and even landing pages should all align with each other to deliver as per the receivers’ expectations.

Tip #22: Segment Your Mailing List

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Remember when we said that you need to offer relevant value at the right time? If you have wondered, “how do I achieve this?” then here is your answer – segmented emails.

Segmented emails support targeted content marketing, which, in turn, will boost your open rates.

Tip #23: Make Room for Mobile Users

Optimize your emails for mobile devices – this is one of the hottest email marketing tips of the decade!


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Email open rates in mobile devices have increased by 33% between 2010 and 2015, and these numbers are expected to skyrocket as we transition into a multi-screen, multi-device world. So, optimize and preview text before every send.

Tip #24: Find the Perfect Send Cadence

Our email clients often ask us, “how often should we send emails?”

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to answer this question. These numbers may change depending on the industry. That being said, 16 to 30 emails per month could land you in the open rates sweet spot. However, remember that quality will always beat frequency.

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Tip #25: Put Your Readers First

Would you be interested in reading about a brand that talks non-stop about itself? Some of us cannot even stand such individuals!

You may act like marketers but always think like email subscribers. Draft your email copy in such a way that it focuses on the readers’ pain points or benefits than what your company offers.

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Tip #26: Develop a Re-Engagement Campaign

Re-engagement campaign by Duolingo

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Re-engagement campaigns are one last attempt at winning back your clients with low open rates before scrubbing their email address off your mailing list. Believe it or not, but 12% of inactive subscribers opened a win-back offer!

Tip #27: Play By the Rules

When we talk about compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks, we don’t just do it so that you can avoid spam filters. We suggest it because it affects your open rates. While working with FabHotels, we successfully demonstrated a 100% increase in email open rates by building a domain reputation from scratch. 

Essentially, all you need to do is follow the basic internet etiquette, and the rest will follow.

Tip-#27--Play-By-the-Rules

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Final Thoughts

Email marketing has been around for years. However, only a small percentage of email marketing experts have managed to tame this wild horse. The above email marketing tips can offer you slight leverage as you embark on the journey of learning and mastering the art.

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