Want 60-70% Open Rates on Your Emails? Here’s How I Do It


This is a guest post by Andreas of London Cyclist.

He contacted me asking if he could share how he’s achieved increased open rates for his email marketing campaigns. I think you’ll enjoy his story and advice.

Take it away, Andreas! -Justin Premick

Listening in awe to a highly accomplished blogger about how she built her email list, I only had one burning question in my mind.

When the presentation was over, I eagerly worked my way through the crowd and asked: “I’m getting email open rates between 60-70%… what can I do to get it higher?”

The blogger looked at me a little shocked.

It Turns Out 60-70% Constitutes a High Open Rate

She sat down with me and we pinned down the key things that were contributing to the success.

Four of these you can easily implement in the next hour, while the last one will take a little longer.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend you use email open rate as your only key metric, it’s one of those things that as email marketers our eyes can’t help drifting towards.

Here’s how I maximize mine.

Find Your Perfect Time and Stick To It

Through testing I’ve found the perfect time to send out my emails. Now, I stick to it religiously.

To achieve the same result, try split testing your emails and seeing which one receives the highest engagement.

Once you’ve found the perfect time, deliver on it consistently. This way subscribers come to expect it. Most of my subscribers get to work, flip open their email and grab a cup of tea while they read my newsletter.

Use The Headline and First Sentence Effectively

We all know a well written headline will tempt someone to open an email. But did you know there’s a another key thing subscribers see when they are deciding whether to open your email or not?

It’s the first sentence inside the email. I’m often disappointed to see most email marketers are missing this opportunity to lure people into reading the email.

I typically receive emails where the first line inside the email reads: “Click here if you cannot see this email correctly”. Hardly attention grabbing!

The first item in my email newsletter is my logo. I’ve set the alternative text inside the logo to a secondary headline I use to lure people into the email.

The HTML You Need For This

<a href=”http://www.example.com/” ><img src=”Put the URL of your logo here” alt=”Put your secondary headline here” border=”0″ /></a>

Deliver Exclusivity

My subscribers often receive content that is not available on the blog.

Whether that be an exclusive competition, a new article or something a little bit more personal about me or the site that I wouldn’t share on the blog. This gives subscribers an extra reason to be vigilant about opening my emails.

My open rates often skyrocket when there is content in the newsletter that cannot be found elsewhere.

Draw People Into the Next Email

Another method to make sure people are opening the emails you are sending out is to point out what is coming up next. If one of the topics in your next email strikes their interest then they’ll look out for it. I do this by simply having a “Next Week” section at the bottom of my e-mails.

The Big Secret

The above four techniques can be instantly applied to great effect. The final suggestion takes a little longer.

If you sat me down in a quiet cafe and pushed me further on the techniques that have worked I would lean back, scratch my head and tell you this:

Treat your email subscribers like you treat your best friends. Take an interest in them, learn what their needs and fears are and then create content and products that will suit them perfectly. Then they will always be eager for your next email.

Your Steps to Take for Higher Open Rates

  • Create an email schedule. Deliver emails consistently and make sure readers know when to expect them
  • Make sure the first sentence readers see isn’t “Click here if you cannot see this email correctly”
  • In your next email think about what extra content you can give that hasn’t be seen before
  • Hint towards what content is coming up to draw people into the next email
  • Get to know your audience so you can cater your offers and content to them

Andreas Kambanis started London Cyclist when he saw the need for a place for casual cyclists to meet and exchange tips online. He uses email marketing to sell his own products such as the London Cycle Routes eBook and affiliate offers. You can check out his newsletter here.