Two of the most nagging problems email marketers have to deal with are their campaigns’ open and click-through rates. These are important metrics in measuring the success of your email marketing efforts.

There are several reasons that these metrics may fall and affect your bottom line. One of the most common reasons is that your emails are going to people who have not opted in or who have been inactive for a long time. If you don’t segment your list and focus on engaging subscribers, then your campaigns will suffer. You should also make sure you’re sending content that is relevant and useful to your subscribers, as this will boost engagement.

A lack of personalization is another common problem that can prevent your campaigns from performing well. If you make sure to include a personalized greeting and other relevant details in each email, people are more likely to open it and read its contents.

By addressing these issues, you can help ensure that your campaigns are more successful and engaging for your subscribers. When people open and click on your emails, it builds trust and encourages them to stick around as loyal customers. So, take the time to optimize each campaign for maximum success!

In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways that you can improve your email open and click-through rates to help ensure the success of your email marketing campaign. But first, let’s determine the difference between these two metrics.

Email open vs. click-through rates

How to improve your email:

open rates

click-through rates

Email open vs. click-through rates

The terms click-through rate and open rate are often thrown around when it comes to email marketing. Although you know that they are important for your campaign, you might still get confused about their differences. To help clear the confusion, let's first discuss open rates.

📧 The open rate of your email marketing campaign refers to the number of people who have opened your email and looked at it. You can assume that your target audience read the content of your email, but you can't be sure about how long they looked at your message.

💌 Now that you know about open rates, you might be asking "what is click-through rate and how does it differ from open rate?" Basically, your click-through rate is a measurement of how many of your recipients have clicked on any link you included in your email. The clicks your email receives can be equated to the number of people who opened and read your email and were enticed enough to click through to your landing page.

You can measure your click-through rate using this formula:

CTR = [number of clicks / (total emails sent - bounces)] x 100

Learning about and monitoring the open and click-through rates of your emails can be beneficial to your campaign because they can tell you if your strategy is working. This will enable you to make the necessary adjustments to your message to ensure that you get the most out of your emails.

📈📉 When it comes to the relationship between these metrics, anything is possible. You can experience having low email open rates but still have decent click-through rates. This can happen when only a few people are opening your emails, but a majority of them are actually reading your message and clicking on the links included in your email. When this occurs, it might mean that you should focus on making your emails more attractive when they’re in your recipients’ inboxes and work on your email open rates.

How to improve your email open rates

Having low open rates means that you might find it challenging to nurture your existing customers. This can affect not only your sales but also your brand image. To help you out, here are some tips to improve the open rates of your emails:

Keep your email list fresh

To ensure that you're sending your emails to interested and engaged recipients, you need to check if your email list is updated. Removing inactive subscribers, whether they changed their emails or are simply not interested in your brand anymore, will help you keep your subscriber list from going stale.

One thing you can do to achieve this is a Reachability Check (available in Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder). Before sending an email into the unknown, confirm that your chosen audience segment consists of the users that can actually receive your email. If some of them can’t, you can try reaching them via other available messaging channels such as push notifications and in-app messages.

Check email subscribers' reachability - Pushwoosh

You should also spot inactive subscribers by looking at user engagement with your emails over the past six months. If they haven't engaged with any of your messages within this (or your chosen) timeframe, you can consider them inactive and remove them from your mailing list.

📨 However, you can also try to re-engage with them by sending a win-back email. This message should contain a last-ditch effort message asking users if they want to stay subscribed to your list. If they don't respond within a given period, you can purge them from your mailing list.

There are several subject lines you can use for your win-back email. Most email marketers even inject humor into their subjects to catch the recipient’s attention. Here are some of the phrases you can try:

  • “Do I bore you?”
  • “Is the love gone?”
  • “It isn’t you, it’s me.”

Practice email segmentation

Another way to ensure that you have high open rates is by practicing email segmentation. You can divide your email list into different categories like geography, gender, and interests. Doing so will make it easier for you to send relevant content to your target audience and encourage them to open your emails.

Even higher relevance can be achieved with behavior-based segmentation when you track users’ engagement with your messaging and purchase history and then send them tailored communications. You can go as far as segmenting your target audience based on the specific products they bought from your business. Based on this data, you can target your customers with replenishment reminders or offers for repeat purchases. This will help you maximize CLV and get the best ROI from retention marketing.

😎 The most effective and advanced trick: segment your audience based on RFM (recency, frequency, and monetary) criteria and send tailored emails to each segment’s specific needs.

RFM Segmentation is now available in Pushwoosh! Besides the feature itself, we’ve developed some communication scenarios for each segment. Check them out in the blog post.

Send your emails at the right time

The time you're sending your emails may be affecting your average email open rates. Therefore, you should plan the time and day you send your messages to your subscribers.

Based on a survey done by WordStream, the best time and day to send out your email marketing campaign messages is every Thursday between 8 and 9 AM. This can provide you with an additional 25% open rate.

Meanwhile, you shouldn't send out your emails on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. According to WordStream, this can result in an under 5% open rate for your campaign.

Work on your subject line

Your email's subject line is the first thing your subscribers see when they receive your message. So, if you want them to click on your email and read it, you need to ensure that your subject line is catchy enough.

To start, you need to be creative with your subject line. Stay away from generic, boring ones that other companies might use to make sure yours won't get buried in your recipients' inboxes. Instead, you can try the following strategies:

😮 Pique curiosity by asking a question, promising something thought-provoking, or saying something unexpected. Some examples you can try are: “*Don’t Open This Email,*” “Is this the hottest career in marketing?,” and “? a surprise gift for you! {unwrap}”

🔢 Insert numbers that will make your readers more interested in your message. It can be a statistic that aligns with their interest or a discount that they can enjoy on your website.

😄 Use humor to appeal to your readers. You can do this by putting more thought and creativity into your subject lines and creating something your audience will enjoy.

🫶 Choose a friendly tone. You can do this by using the language and style your readers use, especially in a conversation with their friends.

Avoid spam filters

Sometimes, your emails get caught by spam filters no matter how good they are. If you want to achieve good email open rates, you need to address this issue.

There are several things you can do to prevent your emails from being flagged as spam. Here are some best practices that you should follow:

  • Only send emails to people who signed up for your mailing list
  • Use a good IP address when sending out your emails
  • Send your emails through verified domains
  • Keep your codes clean
  • Avoid "salesy" language that is also spam trigger words, such as buy, discount, cash, and clearance
  • Insert your location
  • Give subscribers an easy way to opt-out of your mailing list

Try A/B testing

It's also a great idea to run an A/B testing campaign to achieve a good email open rate. This will allow you to compare two different versions of your email to see which one gets better open rates.

A/B testing involves sending two different versions of your email to a sample group of subscribers and then tracking the results. If you see that one format receives a better open rate, you can use it in your future campaigns.

A/B/N test email subject lines in Pushwoosh

To further pursue higher CTRs in your emails, you can do all sorts of A/B and even A/B/N testing in Pushwoosh, for example, test a series of emails against a standalone email:

AB test one-time email vs series of emails - Pushwoosh

Let your subscribers choose when to receive emails

You can also give your subscribers the option to choose when they want to receive emails from you. They can choose the day, time, and intervals when they want to hear from your brand.

This way, they can receive your emails when they're expecting them. Your messages will then have more chances of being opened.

Add some value to your emails

The goal is to make your audience actually want to read an email from you. If they know something useful awaits them inside, they will be eager to open your message and may even anticipate your newsletter in their inbox.

Such valuable content may take the form of exclusive discounts, relevant educational resources or news that your audience won’t find anywhere else.

Ways to increase your email click-through rates

Once you get your subscribers to open your emails, you should aim to have them click on the links you included in your messages. This will give your brand more chances at conversion and gaining more revenue.

Improve your headline and copy

The best way to improve your click-through rate is to work on your email content strategy. First, you should use at least one to two keywords in your headline and copy to let users know what to expect. Doing this will also provide your subscribers with even more relevant content that they can appreciate.

You can also improve the content of your emails by appealing to your target audience's emotions and needs. Targeting the problems that they're experiencing and offering solutions for them will encourage them to click on the link and read more.

Use CTAs

Direct your recipients on what to do after reading your message by including a clear and compelling call to action at the end of your emails. The CTA you use should be inviting to readers and concise enough.

You can also add a sense of urgency to your CTAs if you're running a limited-time discount or promotion that's set to expire soon. This will make readers take action now, rather than later.

EXTRA: Don’t hesitate to include several CTA buttons into your email — provided, they all call to the same action. We recommend it especially if your email body has turned out to be long, almost reminiscent of a landing page. So that users don’t get lost in the copy and leave with nothing, hook them on time with a well-placed CTA.

Add images and videos

Images and videos can also increase your click-through rate. Adding visuals to your emails will make them more interesting, which can lead readers to click on the link.

You can also embed videos in your emails so readers can watch them without having to click out of your message. This will provide them with more information about your product and brand that can convince them to click through.

Personalize your message

When writing your email to your mailing list, picture yourself talking to an individual person instead of to a group of people. Personalizing your message can make it more interesting, which will encourage readers to click on the link you included and learn more.

You can also add personalization tokens to your emails that will make them more relevant to readers. Tokens like the recipient’s name, location, and interests can make your message more personalized and engaging.

Use humor and write in a friendly tone

Now that you have your recipients open your email, you need to make sure they stay and read your entire message. One way to achieve this is through humor and a friendly tone.

Using humor can make your message more interesting and entertaining to read. It can also help you build a stronger bond with your readers, which can encourage them to trust your brand and buy your products. On the other hand, a friendly tone in your emails will make your message sound more conversational and will give readers the impression that you're talking directly to them.

Send responsive emails

You should remember that not all recipients use their computers to view your emails. Especially if you initially engaged your audience through mobile app messaging (push notifications and in-app messages), your emails may reach them on their mobile devices too. So you need to ensure that your messages are compatible with any size of screen.

To achieve this, you need to make sure that your email has responsive formatting and loadable media. This will keep your content fully readable and clickable, even on smaller screens.

Create great content

Aside from using humor and a friendly tone in your emails, you must make sure your target audience can benefit from your messages. You can do this by creating content that's useful, educational, and entertaining.

Creating great content can also help you build relationships with your subscribers. When they read something interesting, they'll be more likely to click through and learn more about what you can offer as a brand.

Master email marketing by working on your open and click-through rates

Improving your open and click-through rates will allow you to engage with your target audience and introduce them to the products and services you offer. By following the tips listed above, you can increase the chances of readers opening your message, clicking on the link included in your email, and learning more about what you can offer. This will help you take your email marketing to the next level and build relationships with email subscribers that can potentially convert into sales.

Discover all the opportunities that effective messaging can open up for your business. See how Pushwoosh can help: