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    Community Manager

    How can I increase the open rate of my email marketing campaigns?

    I'm new to running a business and promoting my business. I've tried a couple of email marketing campaigns and I need tips on how to increase the open rate. Thanks!

    RachelM - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
    12 REPLIES 12
    Super User I

    There are plenty of articles floating around with all sorts of advice about best time-of-day, or best day-of-week to send, or optimal message length, or .... But I think one key motivation to opening marketing emails is because the reader knows (or suspects, or hopes...) that there will be something OF VALUE in that email. And not just of value, but of value to THEM, personally.

    So what are items of value? My clients who have the best open rates routinely include in their emails:

    • Coupons
    • Announcements about sales or special deals
    • Actual helpful and relevant information for readers (tips, tricks, hints, links, whatever -- could be something that helps readers save time, save money, learn about a relevant topic/activity...)

    Unfortunately, coupons may not work for all types of businesses, but once readers know that you wil have something in it for THEM, they will be more likely to open the next message.

    And along with that, the subject line really needs to mention something about that item of value.

    I agree with WebDiva. My most successful emails are the ones that include a coupon or incentive. I'm a hypnotist and trainer so my contacts are mainly clients, students and graduates. Incentives can include a coupon to receive a counseling or coaching session with me at a discount, free mp3 download - things like that.


    And the subject line should be catchy. I believe in having fun no matter what I'm doing, including promoting my business. One of the largest percentage of opens I had for a mailing was when the subject said: If you're perfect and completely content with your life - do NOT open this email!


    Can't beat fun!



    I'm also a strong believe in the value of how your template/creative looks like. Since emails are a "quick decision" engagement, there needs to be compelling copy and creative to make you open and click through. I'm a huge fan of the emails. Despite their frequency (which I think could be dialed down a bit), I never ignore the emails and I tend to read every bio within them. What I enjoy about the emails is that it comes from their community manager, so it has a level of personality attached to it.  I also enjoy the airbnb emails...because they follow the same strategy as


    I haven't executed email marketing yet on waggle, but I'm planning to take a similar approach. Does anyone have any creative examples of their successes (as discussed on this thread).




    Life with dogs, perfectly curated

    Totally agree with this. The open rate is directly related to how much the people you're sending to want/need what's in your email, and you've got just a few words (in your subject line) to get their attention. It's really, really hard....The other thing is to make sure you're avoiding words that tend to trigger spam filters. These change all the time but I've noticed that when I use "free" or "coupon" in the subject line my open rates go down...probably because more of my messages are getting filtered as spam.

    Erika Kerekes, Founder & Condiment QueenNot Ketchup Gourmet Grilling Sauces
    Advocate II

    First off you must build your subscriber base and try to stay away from buying emailing list, becasue a lot of the list you buy may bring you a few results, they may also put your email address on a spam list were it will be blocked by the major providers like, google, yahoo, and hotmail.. Not sure if I am answering your question but I am going to go into details on how I build my own subscriber list it wasnt easy to get going but its growing daily now.


    I stated off with buying a Godaddy domain name and putting up a landing page, giving away FREE ebooks that I written. The subjects that are in my newsletters will be stuff like, daily IT issues, Android development problems I run into.. why? because a lot of people love to read about other peoples issues.. it works out great.. I stated off with about $50 in a Google Adwords account that was given to me for "Free" and I placed ads about my newsletter.  I received about 40 subscribers in the first 30days nothing big but when those 40 subscribers stated to share my newsletter content to there friends I ended up with 90 more subscibers at the end of the secound month and so on... My point is you must write great content weekly, it dosent' matter if its a programming issue you ran into with your website or a issue with your computer system as long as you provide what the solution was you're readers will keep coming back for more...


    How to Increase your open rate? try adding a catch phrase to your subject line like "Losing Subscribers" belive it or not I used this subject line and receive a open rate of 74.2%, I sent it too all of my subscribers and written a newsletter on how importand it is for them to open and be apart of not just a newletter but a community. I explaine to my subscribers that when they didn't open our newsletter we considered it as losing a value subscriber.  The entire newsletter was on how important  our subscribers are to us.  Now when a subscriber signup for our weekly newsletter the first Newsletter is on how important they are to our success.  it seems to be working out great becasue our open rate is up to 76% I know it will never be at 100% because that just dosent' happen in real life. 


    Start a landing page find FREE stuff to offer your subscribers, people love truly Free stuff not that so called FREE 30day stuff, but stuff that may cost you a few bucks but offers value to your subscribers.


    if you can give me more details on how your newsletter looks like maybe I can give you some pointers if you need it..       

    Great answer, lots of learning points! Once you have a landing page up are there any other options beside Google AdWords? I don't think they show you to link to a squeeze page now?
    Helper VI

    I used to have this problem when I used to run a game server...  What I've learned is that the best way is to build my own mailing list.  I start with my current clients then give them incentive to invite or add people who they know might be interested with what I offer(game).  It's kind of like word of mouth.  This way, I get a mail list what has a good quality and not just quantity... Sending emails to random people has almost 0 return rate.  I give my current clients(players) incentives to invite their fiends by offering them free items or a week  of free subsciption for every new players they successfully recruit.

    ~Jan Mykhail Hasselbring Web Administrator @
    Helper IV

    A real story from one of our customers -- Resa's Pieces


    They use Mad Mimi to send emails, one of GoDaddy's acquisitions. They used Mad Mimi for years before GoDaddy bought them because the email composition engine is optimized for easy reading. But a technically correct email with a gret opt-in mailing list, right subject, great content, personalized for the recipient is all table stakes for a good email.


    A great email is something I call contextually relevant. What I mean by this is that the email marketing campaign takes into account the business model and natural timing cycles of the business in question. In this case Resa's Pieces was a community music organization and they built a mailing list of members of the organization (now at 150) who spread the word. This is the core of the list. The rest of the list is previous patrons who have sponsored or bought tickets to previous events. At some point they transacted with Resa's Pieces essentially and provided clear opt-in to receive future announcements.


    The organization has fund raising events throughout the year but the biggest is in June. The most successful email blasts surround the timing coming up to the event. Instead of bombarding the audience with monthly reminders throughout the year, Resa's Pieces waits to announce "save the date" emails about 4-5 months before the concert when the dates are set. Then they announce when the online system will open (Apr 1 this year) and then finally the big "reveal" -- when tickets/sponsorships are availabel to buy online.


    These emails have regularly had 50% open rates or greater with 10-15% click through rates. They are some of the best campaigns we ever ran. Another interesting thing they learned was that each email can have at most 1 call to action. Anything more busy reduced the interaction with their emails. So all their emails now essentially have a bit of a text, one beautiful graphic and a call to do something ("save the date", reminder when tickets go on sale, buy tickets now, there is 2 weeks left, tickets SOLD OUT, wait list availability). This type of messaging is clear and to the point and makes it easy with recipients to make a snap decision of what do without making them process a lengthy email.


    This approach may not be contextually relevent for you business, but that's sort of the point. You must make your email marketing support the business model of your business and ensure it is aligned to what you do and how you do it. There are lots of mechanics to creating mobile-friendly, well written and beautiful emails. But that's not enough I don't think. The rest has to do with making the emails relevant for the type of business you run.



    Here are some examples of a few recent emails:


    Alex Sirota, PMP - NewPath Consulting - Schedule some time with Alex
    "At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Helper VI

    I've never tried it but my previous employer once told us that including the recipient's name on the subject line also helped
    ~Jan Mykhail Hasselbring Web Administrator @

    Almost all of the email services like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Mad Mimi have a tool to test your subject line relevance and readability to some degree.  Make use of these tools.  We've change subject lines based on the suggests and seen 10% increases.



    Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

    @RachelM wrote:

    I'm new to running a business and promoting my business. I've tried a couple of email marketing campaigns and I need tips on how to increase the open rate. Thanks!

    A/B test your email headlines to small groups of your best users (high dollar value customers or power users) that will help you know what the best of the best like. Another tool I use to test headlines and marketing language is on my exit pop up. I run A/B tests to continue to learn what language works for my new audiences.  This consistently keeps my language evolving. Check out the pop-ups and even our email marketing at we are helping people split and share season tickets.


    Also, think about building hub/spoke pieces of content that you can use that content in your email marketing. This will keep people excited to read and OPEN your emails!