emai list open ratiosYou know what would be a big marketing mistake? To assume that email marketing is dead.

  • Email marketing still gives a high ROI. According to the Direct Marketing Association, it yields an estimated 4,300% ROI!

  • Emails convert better than social media. A study done by McKinsey showed that emails are 40 times better at attracting customers than Facebook and Twitter.

  • People are still signing up for emails and 95% of people who sign up for emails are actually interested in reading them.

Emails make sense simply because they are looking for information and interesting offers.

However, there is no point of conducting an email marketing campaign if your emails have a poor open rate. You need to maximize your email marketing, increase the open rates, and improve sales. So, how do you do that?

I sell T-shirts

For this post, let’s use an example of an e-commerce company that sells T-shirts, to help with the explanation.

1. Avoid Spam

Source: talklocal.com

First step of improving your email open rates? DON’T SEND THE MAIL IN SPAM!

45% of all emails are spam, hence, there is a very high chance that your email can go into the spam folder. In order to increase the chances of your email going into the junk folder, here’s what you can do:

  • Avoid uppercase text

  • Avoid punctuations like exclamation or question marks in the subject

  • Don’t create an image email with no text

  • Do not use the word ‘test’ in the subject

The best way to prevent my emails from going in the spam folder is for me to get their permission. Like:

  • When users themselves give me their email addresses for my sales update mails

  • When I send out a confirmation email with a confirmation link

  • When they click on the link and confirm

Take this email screenshot, for example.

Screenshot 2016-01-29 at 6.37.03 PM.png

Plus, it’s a great way to ensure that they are really interested in my emails.

2. Go HTML

Move to HTML emails. Here’s why.

  • It does not get caught by spam filters.

  • Opening and reading of emails are much easier across all devices.

  • Even if the image doesn’t load, the reader can still see the text.

  • You have accurate metrics.

Andre Chaperon tried this and saw his open rates jump up by 20%.

3. Optimize the Email

An email can be opened across multiple devices – laptops, tablets and phone devices. On each device screen, the email looks different.


Optimize the preview text for viewers. The preview text is a snippet from the email. It includes the sender’s name, subject and a text line from the email.

  • Change the text line: If you don’t want the first line of your mail to preview as a text, you can change it.

    For example, the first line of an emailer my T-shirt company sends is:

Hey Sam, time to save your time shopping and pick a T-shirt.

However, I wish my preview text to be:

The Great T-shirt Discount Sale that you can’t miss!

How do I do that? Add a little code to the line that I want as the preview in the HTML text:

The Great T-shirt Discount Sale that you can’t miss!

  • Font: The Gmail app on Android and iOS are quite different as they follow a different design philosophy. Gmail iOS app may show your email font larger than it should be. This can make reading awkward. You’ll have to make changes to the HTML code. Find this piece of code in your HTML mail text and change the font size.


<div style=”display:none; white-space:nowrap; font:20px courier; color:#ffffff;”


<div style=”display:none; white-space:nowrap; font:15px courier; color:#ffffff;”

  • Character amount: iOS Gmail app showcases 90 characters of the preview text, while Windows showcases 40 characters of the preview text. This is something that you have to keep in mind.

4. Be a Strong Brand

Become a brand that is identified by everyone. Enhancing your brand name is something that will be noticed by people and email clients alike. When you have a brand name, your mail can be trusted by people and they’ll open it. Furthermore, Google will notice the increase of your brand’s online presence and recognize that your email is not spam.

Depending on the type of customer you’re targeting, you can also play around with the style and tone of the language you’re using in your subject line and preview text. While you use the above techniques, try out two or three different emails to see which one works. This is called A/B testing and really allows you to plan and implement your future email marketing campaigns.

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