How To Optimize Open Rate In Email Marketing

optimize open rate

How To Optimize Open Rate In Email Marketing



Optimizing is the process of continually improving certain elements of your email campaigns. We looked at A/B testing and how it can be used to improve your emails but here are few tips that can help increase your open rate and click-through rate.

Improve your open rates by using:

  • Well-targeted subscriber lists: For example, the email above from Netflix lets you know that Stranger Things 2 is now available. This is Netflix using a targeted email at all users who had watched season 1.
  • Familiar sender name: By using your companies name, the recipient is more likely to recognize the email and open it. If you regularly change the sender name, this will only confuse the user who will eventually ignore your emails.
  • Effective subject lines with personalization: We covered subject lines in-depth already, but above are a few examples that are all personalized and targeted to an individual.


Click rates are another important metric to optimize. The more people that click in your email, the more people that will have the opportunity to make a purchase.

Above is an email from Aer Lingus, an international airline. Let’s break the email down into parts you can optimize:

  • Simple explicit CTAs: The CTA stands out and explains simply that when you click, you will ‘Find flights’.
  • Multiple links for the same action: They also have another CTA towards the bottom of the email, and even though the text is different, this CTA links to the same landing page as ‘Find flights’. It’s important to have more than one link in your email to increase the chances of a click-through.
  • Offering deals for a limited time: Here they let us know that this is a ‘Flash sale’, which adds the sense of urgency to the email prompting the user to click through in case they miss the sale.
  • Testing different colours: They could A/B test this email by trying a different colour for the flight options. They could test a blue variation against the green and see which drives the most clicks.


Mobile devices are in our lives as both consumers and professionals today and it shouldn’t be considered a “trend”. People now spend, on average, 69% of their media time on smartphones, while 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.

It’s important to recognize the high percentage (81%) of people using their phones primarily for email. If you don’t lead with a “mobile-first” email strategy, the audience you’re trying to reach will be less engaged with your messages.


Optimizing your campaigns for mobile is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s central to driving opens, clicks, and revenue for your business.

The main ways of optimizing email for mobile devices are: 

A.Keeping the flow of mobile all the way to the landing page: It’s not enough to just optimize the email itself for mobile, the landing page a user visits from your email must also have the same mobile experience.

B.Making images and emails lightweight for mobile devices: Internet speeds on mobile devices will be slower than desktop, therefore if your email includes large images a user may become impatient waiting for them to load and leave.

C.Coding for phone, tablet, and desktop: When coding an email, know that the device the email is opened on will vary in screen size and your email must cater for all types.

D.Using reports to identify mobile device opens: This will give you a better insight into your audience so that you can tailor your content to be more desktop or mobile-focused.


Please note: D is not highlighted on the slide. Reports on mobile device opens can be accessed on your ESP.


Jane works Monday to Friday, 9-5, and gets the train to work. You might think that sending her an email while she is on her commute to work the ideal time? Well, it would be if she was subscribed to our mailing list. As mentioned previously, there are laws in place to prevent unwanted emails being sent to someone who has not subscribed so we can’t send her any marketing emails. If she was subscribed, 7-9 a.m would be a prime time to email Jane.

John works evening and weekends therefore sending an email later in the day and weekends is optimal. Also, travel-related marketing material would resonate well.

James, who is a product evangelist, would respond well to product recomendations, coupons, and referring a friend emails. He also works shifts, which makes it more difficult to find the perfect send time. The best solution here would be to test various send times throughout the week, compare the results, and use the highest performing open rate send time.

As you can see everyone will have a different optimal send time so it’s important to segment your audience and regularly test.

optimize open rate

Now let’s see how you can minimize bounces and unsubscribes of your email and how to make sure the email content is relevant and aligns with the recipient’s expectations.

  • Make sure to send content that aligns with your recipient’s expectations: If a user signed up to your subscriber list for a newsletter, don’t send them hard sells for your product immediately.
  • Your subject line should match the content in the email: Always follow through on what you promised in the subject line in the body of the email.
  • Make sure your email cadence and frequency match up with what your recipients signed up for: If a user signed up to receive a weekly newsletter, don’t send the newsletter to them daily or monthly. The above example is from HubSpot’s daily newsletter. I signed up to receive this newsletter daily and therefore have come to expect it. If I had signed up for a monthly newsletter but started receiving it daily, I would unsubscribe. They also give the user the option to change the frequency of the newsletter which we will take a look at later.

After every email campaign, it’s important to monitor the metrics on how the email performed i.e. clicks, opens, complaints and conversions.

Compare the results to previous campaigns as this may show where there is a problem

  • Review campaign open and click dips
  • Understand campaign conversions

If the content of your email wasn’t relevant it may have caused users to unsubscribe

  • Determine unsubscribes and reasons for complaints
  • Monitor for deliverability issues, including bounces

In the last part, we will take a look at is preference centres.

A preference centre is a more advanced unsubscribe page. When a user clicks unsubscribe, instead of instantly removing them from your email lists, you can provide a way for them to change what types of emails they receive and how often they receive them.

Above is an example from HubSpot. When you click unsubscribe, you are brought to this page where you can update your subscription and the frequency with which you receive emails.

Preference centres require more work to build and maintain but help to keep your email list healthier and reduce the number of unsubscribes.


Action Point

I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.



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About Adeniyi Salau 883 Articles
I am an IT enthusiast and a man of many parts. I am a Certified Digital Marketer, Project Manager and a Real Estate Consultant. I love writing because that's what keeps me going. I am running this blog to share what I know with others. I am also a Superlife Stem Cell Distributor. Our Stem Cell Products can cure many ailments.

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