Tag Archives: CTR

How to increase your email open rate in 5 easy steps

5 steps to improving your email open rate

5 steps to improving your email open rate

How to increase your email open rate?

Do you know what is the average email open rate?

How many people are likely to open your emails when you send out an email marketing campaign?

Different industries have different email open rates, according to this Smart Insights report.

The overall average is 29.55%, according to the above link, which is quite high than what I expected.

This MailChimp report on the same topic shows that the average email open rate is 21.33%, which is a lot less then what the Smart Insights report says.

But MailChimp must have used its own servers to get data because it is an email marketing company.

Since MailChimp is an email marketing company, and it has used its own servers to derive data, I think they have more reliable data for different industries.

You can see the tabular data on both the links that I have included above.

How to improve your email open rate?

I would like to make an interesting observation.

According to the MailChimp report, agriculture and food services industry has an email open rate of 23.31%.

Emails from government have an open rate of 28.77% because most of the time they carry useful information that people need.

Hobbies related emails enjoy an open rate of 27.74%.

Religion related emails are close at 27.62%.

In the table, the lowest email open rates seem to be for daily deals and coupons (15.06%) and e-commerce (15.68%).

One would expect that daily deals and coupons emails may enjoy a higher open rate, but it seems people pay more attention to the emails that are close to their hearts rather than emails that simply offer discounts and lower rates for products and services.

What is email open rate?

Before learning how to improve your email open rate, it is important to know what it means.

Your email open rate is the percentage of recipients who open a specific email out of the total number of subscribers you have in your mailing list.

Mathematically, it is the number of people who opened email divided by the total number of emails you sent in a campaign, multiplied by 100.

Email open rates screenshot

Email open rates screenshot

Hence, if your email open rate is 25%, it means for every 100 emails that you send, 25 are opened.

You learn how to increase your email open rate – is it enough?

Not necessarily.

It is one of the factors.

It is one of the most important factors, in fact.

Unless someone opens your email message, how is he or she going to respond to it?

Hence, your first priority is to make sure that the maximum number of people open your email when you send out your email marketing campaign.

The second factor is the CTR – click-through-rate.

Every email campaign has a CTA – call-to-action.

It may be a “Buy” button.

It may be a “Download” button.

It may be a “Contact us now” link.

Whatever you want your recipients to do after they have gone through your email, is your call-to-action.

How convincing your message and call-to-action are, decide your CTR.

Now we come to the main topic of the post:

How to improve your email open rate

As I have written above, before something constructive can happen to your email marketing campaign, it is very important that maximum number of people open your emails.

The process of improving your email open rate is long-term and short-term.

The long-term process is improving your reputation to such an extent that when people encounter your email in their inbox, they immediately open it.

The short-term process is giving compelling information through the subject line, email extract, and even the name from which the email has come, to reassure people and make them open your email.

Listed below are 5 tips that can help you increase or improve your email open rate.

1. Optimize your subject line

After the name of the sender, it is your subject line that people read without opening your message.

Your subject line tells people why they should open your message.

If your subject line doesn’t inspire people, they won’t like your email message.

Your email will remain unopened.

Your email open rate will decline.

No matter how great your offer is, unless people read your offer, they are not going to be able to take its advantage.

Your subject line is like the main headline of your blog post or web page.

You may like to read: 8 types of headlines you can use in copywriting

Just like the headline, if your subject line fails to impress people, they won’t read further.

Never use your subject line to mislead people into opening your message.

You may be able to increase your email open rate for the time being, but once people begin to mistrust you, even if you are sending them a genuine offer, they won’t believe you.

According to this Optinmaster blog post, 47% email recipients open an email based on the subject line.

69% email recipients on the other hand mark an email as spam based on the subject line.

Hence, your subject line can be a double-edged sword.

Be mindful of what words you use in your subject line.

Defining the best subject line can be a tricky business.

There are many words that can get your email marked as spam, especially words containing “money”, “Casino”, and “meet singles”.

This Hubspot blog post contains a list of 394 words that can get your email message marked as spam, so, try to avoid them.

You can use AB testing to arrive at the best subject lines.

Define two subject lines with careful consideration.

Then send 50% of the emails using one subject line and 50% using the other.

After a couple of days, your email marketing service like MailChimp will give you the data on how many people opened your emails for those subject lines.

Then choose the subject line that performs better and create an improved version of it.

Then again sent 50% of the emails with one subject line and 50% using another subject line.

After a few AB testing phases, you will be able to arrive at the best subject line to use to increase your email open rate.

What defines a good email subject line that can help you improve your email open rate?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Personalize your subject line
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Start telling a story
  • Create suspense or another strong emotion
  • Ask a question
  • Create a mystery

2. Use segmentation to improve your email open rate

Most of the contemporary email marketing services these days provide you the facility to create segments based on user behavior.

For example, MailChimp allows you to create segments based on

  • People who opened your last email message within a range of days.
  • People who have been opening your messages for the past number of campaigns.
  • People who have opened your email message at least once in the past 25-50 email campaigns.
  • Regions from where people open your email messages the most.

And so on.

On some instances only segmentation can help you increase your email open rate almost by 40% (source).

Who are more likely to open your email message?

Someone who has already opened your messages in the recent past or someone who has never opened your messages?

Certainly, someone who has been responding to your messages is more likely to open them.

What is the use of segmentation if it reduces the size of your email list?

Remember that people who are not opening your messages are anyway not going to open them.

Why waste bandwidth on those people?

They may have subscribed to your mailing list due to whatever reason, but now they are no longer interested in hearing from you, and maybe too lazy to unsubscribe.

But if you use a service like MailChimp, you pay for every message that you send, whether that message is opened or not.

Therefore, segmentation doesn’t just help you increase your email open rate, it also reduces your email marketing costs.

3. Find the optimal time to improve your email open rate

Whether your email is opened or not also depends on at what time the recipient receives your email message.

Sometimes people can be too busy and even if they want to open your email message, they have no time.

At certain periods of the day they are deluged with email and even when they are interested, they end up ignoring your email.

Just as your email marketing service tells you how many people open your last campaign, they also tell you at what time they mostly opened it.

You will need to spend some time to gather such data and hence, it is a long-term process.

You may have to analyze 10-15 campaigns and gather the data in an Excel sheet.

You will need to find out on which days people open your messages the most and at what time they open your messages the most.

After that, try sending your email messages on those days and at that time.

For example, if the optimal time for you to send out your email marketing campaign is on Thursday at 10 AM, you can schedule your email marketing message accordingly.

Your email marketing service should be able to send out the message based on the recipient’s time zone.

This can be one of the best ways to increase your email open rate.

4. Request your recipients to add your email to their “whitelist”

20% emails don’t reach the inbox of your recipients (source).

Spam settings are the culprit.

Some spam settings are set by the user and some are set by email services like Gmail and Outlook.

I have seen that even legitimate messages that have got nothing to do with email marketing, are directly sent to the spam folder sometimes by the Gmail feature of Google Workspace.

Emails can be manually added to the whitelist.

When people are subscribing to your mailing list, politely remind them that they should add the email ID from which they will be getting your messages to their whitelist so that the messages are not redirected to the spam folder.

Also use double opt-in to subscribe to your mailing list.

In double-opt in, they must click a verification link that is sent on the email ID they initially submitted to your subscription form.

They will be able to click the verification link only when they open the email message from you.

Once they open your email message for verification, your email ID is automatically added to the whitelist.

5. Regularly engage your email recipients

This is one of the sure shot ways of improving your email open rate.

When people don’t receive your messages regularly, they tend to ignore your messages.

If they get in the habit of opening your messages, it can significantly increase your email open rate.

If you want to know how to improve your email open rate, consistency is the key.

This is a long-term process, of course.

If you regularly send valuable information through your email messages, your recipients will grow to expect your emails on certain days or at certain times.

Once they begin to find value in your email messages, they will eagerly open them.

Although, how successful your email marketing campaigns are depends on multiple factors, one of the foremost factors is the email open rate.

If they don’t open it, they won’t read it.

If they don’t read, they don’t click your call-to-action button.

If they don’t click your call-to-action button, it brings down your click-through rate.

Hence, the most important step towards executing a successful email marketing campaign is, to improve or increase your email open rate.

Continuous scrolling on Google may improve the click-through rate

Google is rolling out continuous scrolling on mobile search

Google is rolling out continuous scrolling on mobile search.

Google is introducing continuous scrolling on mobile search. What does that mean?

When you search something on Google, look at the first page where it lists around 10 links with descriptions. After that people need to click or tap on the next page.

But the SEO track record of the second page is not very good. Search results appearing on the Google’s second page get less than 1% CTR. A major chunk of clicks are consumed by the links appearing on the first page.

In fact, appearing among the top results is so important that the first link that appears in the search results gets 25% clicks (source).

Consequently, whoever wants to improve his or her search engine rankings, wants to appear on the first page because not many people go to the second page.

Nonetheless, Google has discovered that when people are searching on the mobile phone, the check out up to 4 pages.

Besides, it doesn’t make any sense to make people click the next page when they can simply scroll through all the listings. Let them scroll as much as they want, I would say, even on the desktop. There is no UI logic of dividing the search results among different pages.

There may have been a psychological reason a few years ago when people were mostly using the search engine on their desktops, but on mobile phones, people don’t mind scrolling.

The continuous scrolling feature will definitely improve the CTR of many web pages and blog posts.

If people are abandoning the current search because they wouldn’t go to the second page, even on desktop, they may keep on scrolling until they find something click-worthy.


Do you know you can improve your CTR by 200% by tweaking your title?

Improve your CTR with web page and blog post titles

Improve your CTR with web page and blog post titles

Your web page and blog post titles are very important. I have lost a new client who insisted that I create titles for his blog posts for the same amount he was paying for writing the blog posts. The titles are so important that I charge extra for coming up with them.

Your web page and blog post titles are so important that they come under content marketing and content strategy because they can pretty much define the direction of your entire content marketing approach.

What are your title tags and why they are important?

Although your page heading and title tags can be the same, they can also be different. The heading is something that you enclose within <h1> and </h1>.

The title tag is something that you enclose within <head><title></title></head>.

Both are important. It is your heading, or the headline that hooks people to your web page or blog post when they come to your link. But, on search engine result pages, it is your title tag that matters.

It is your title tag that appears as a hyperlink when people search for your business:

Web page title as hyperlink in search results

Web page title as hyperlink in search results

Your web page and blog post titles are not just important for CTR (click-through ratio), they are also important for your SEO.

Google re-ranks your content according to your CTR. If your appearance in the search results does not attract many clicks, Google lowers your ranking for that link. If it attracts more clicks, it increases your rank for that link.

This blog post on Seige Media gives an in-depth analysis of how to test which web page and blog post titles perform the best through A/B testing, with the help of Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmasters Tools). The writer also says that if you improve your title, you can experience a click-through increase of 20-200%.

Good web page titles can increase your CTR by 20-200%

Good web page titles can increase your CTR by 20-200%

A/B testing, as explained in the above link, can be a time-consuming exercise but it is worth your effort if you really want to make sure that you create optimized web page and blog post titles for maximum CTR.

It basically involves

  • coming up with the best title you can think of in the beginning,
  • publishing your web page or blog post with that title,
  • and noting down when your link begins to appear in the search results.

This is assuming that you are using Google Search Console to track your search engine appearance and your clicks.

Let things happen for two weeks.

Start noting down values such as number of clicks, click-through ratio and impressions for that particular link in the past two weeks.

Then, change the title and resubmit the link. Make sure the link has appeared in the search results.

Repeat the above process after two weeks.

This way you can create a detailed analysis of how various titles perform.

How do you write web page titles and blog post titles for maximum CTR?

Aside from the main keywords in the search terms that you should use within your title, the intent is also very important. What moves people to click your link?

The most commonsensical way of knowing what matters the most to people is, addressing their main concern within the title.

If you are looking for a blog writing service, then obviously something about a blog writing service is going to attract you towards a certain link.

But you are not just looking for a blog writing service, you are looking for a blog writing service that can help your business in a certain way.

This is where longtail keyword optimization can help you. Try to pack as much information as possible without making things too complicated.

“Blog writing service” may get me a good CTR, but “blog writing service for my car repair service” may get me even better CTR.

So, if people have a question, provide an answer. If people have a problem, provide a solution. If someone asks for “how many?”, give him or her “these many”.

Neil Patel suggests that you can use emojis in your titles to improve your CTR. This is something I didn’t know. Of course, if all the links on the search engine result page are without emojis and there is a single link that is with emojis, people will tend to click it.

Neil also suggests that mention numbers when you are creating titles for your blog posts and web pages.

“77% increase in CTR after this” gets more clicks than “awesome increase in CTR after this”.

Be more specific when writing titles

Be more specific when writing titles

This Hubspot blog post on creating web page and blog post titles people cannot resist clicking suggests that you make your titles very specific. For example, if your web page contains an interview, then mention it somewhere in the title. If it contains a podcast or infographic, mention it. The post claims that titles that contain specific information that says exactly what the web page or the blog post contains get 38% more clicks than those titles that don’t.

The Hubspot post also has some rules of thumb on how to come up with clickable titles. Even small things matter.

Some title formats that always work

“How to” titles seem to work quite well, especially with search engine and social media users:

“How I increased my website traffic by 200% with just this simple SEO trick”

The title clearly tells that you are going to reveal what SEO trick you used that increase your traffic by 200%. Such titles draw lots of clicks.

“10 ways you can sell your old mobile phone online within 24 hours”

“Painstakingly learnt 25 content marketing lessons that are 100% failsafe”

“If this method doesn’t give you an 8-hour peaceful sleep, nothing will”

“Why” and “how” seem to do quite well because they trigger a sense of curiosity and also provide some valuable information in a concrete form.


Your web page and blog post titles need to cater to a strong desire, or need. They should also give concrete information. Something like “Get 1500 leads in 3 weeks” will always be more convincing than “Get more leads faster”.