How to Improve Your Email Marketing Open Rate

improving average email open rates

*Please* open my email?

So you have yourself a weekly newsletter – you have some subscribers, and you don’t mean to brag, but you also have some pretty rockin content.

But, there’s a small problem.

Problem? All of that sounds pretty good to me – what more could you want?

Higher open rates.


Your rockin’ email marketing content doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves if no one is opening up that email. What can you do about it?

What’s Average for Email Marketing Open Rates?

First, let’s do a health check – what’s your open rate compared to what’s normal?

(Not sure what your open rate is? Make sure you’re using an email marketing service provider to send out your emails – they’re able to track this information for you).

So what’s normal? The short answer: it varies.

The long answer?

First, Check out this chart from MailChimp to see what’s normal for your industry. Aweber adds that the size of your list can affect this number as well – suggesting that as your list grows list owners start to lose their connection with the individuals opening the emails and start to treat them as a group.

Then, log in to your to your email marketing reports (simply “reports” in your MailChimp Dashboard) and check out how your open rate compares. Could it use some room for improvement?

Maxing Out Your Email Newsletter Open Rate

There are a bunch of factors that go in to getting and maintaining an envious open rate. Go through the following checklist and see if you have any room for improvement.

  1. List Quality
    Did the people on your list actually opt-in to your list or did you add them because you thought they’d find it useful? (This includes people who filled out your contact form or may have worked with you but didn’t necessarily sign up) Opt-in is part of anti-spam law compliance but it also makes for a better quality list who actually *wants* to hear what you have to say!
  2. Delivering On Your Promise
    Did you tell people you would send something out every other Thursday but you actually send something out 3 times a week? Did you tell people you’d be giving pet care tips but you actually write on anything from your favorite restaurants to a steady stream of other people’s content and your affiliate links? (Note: Any of this content could be OK to share – you just have to make sure people are signing up for what you’re actually delivering on. Make sure your opt-in boxes are clear on this.)
  3. From Name
    Do people recognize who you are? Is the From Name your newsletter comes from one that’s associate with your website?
  4. Email Subject Line
    Is it intriguing? Are you avoiding spam filters by staying away from ALL CAPS, and other spam filter signals?
  5. Exclusivity
    Do your subscribers receive exclusive content that doesn’t appear anywhere else? If a subscriber can’t get your email content anywhere else (and it’s pretty awesome content), you’d better believe that’s going to increase the chance they’ll open it.

How does your email marketing compare? Any room for improvement? Implement what you can, test, see what works, adjust, and repeat :)

Your Turn

Do you have any tips for improving your email newsletter open rate? Did you find this article useful? Let me know in the comments!

photo credit: opensourceway via photo pin cc

2 Responses so far.

  1. Great tips Liz! As my list grows my open rate goes down. Is that normal?

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