Clean Up Your Email Marketing Strategy for Better Open Rates

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for businesses to connect with their audience and drive conversions. However, achieving high open rates can be a challenge – it often requires revamping your email marketing strategy.

The success of your email marketing campaign relies heavily on creating compelling content that resonates with your audience. When subscribers eagerly anticipate your emails, they are more likely to open them.

In this blog post, we will share valuable insights and effective email marketing strategies to help you boost your open rates and engage your subscribers.

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing,

We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently

Optimize Email Opens

Create Compelling Content

Part of achieving high email open rates lies in creating compelling content that resonates with your audience. When subscribers are excited to see your emails, they are more likely to open and engage with them.

To achieve this, consider the following tips:

1) Craft Value-Driven Substance for Your Emails

Strike a balance between promotional:

Leveling Up newsletter - promotional aspect


…and value-based emails:

Leveling Up newsletter - value-add aspect

Instead of bombarding your subscribers with constant sales pitches, focus on providing valuable content that educates, inspires or entertains them.

For every four to eight value-focused emails, you ought to include one that incorporates a promotional offer or call-to-action. This approach builds trust and establishes your credibility as an authority in your industry. If you periodically deliver value, you will be all the more likely to keep your audience engaged and eager to open your emails.

Alternatively, you can include a small promotional section, say at the bottom of the newsletter or email, but fill the rest with valuable information for your subscribers.

2) Write Curiosity-Inducing Subject Lines

The subject line of your email serves as the gateway to capturing your audience’s attention. It is the first impression you make and plays a crucial role in determining whether your email gets opened or ignored.


To stand out in crowded inboxes, it’s important to craft subject lines that ignite curiosity and compel recipients to open your emails.

Here are some strategies to create compelling and curiosity-inducing subject lines:

  • Avoid Generic Phrases: Steer clear of generic subject lines that offer no specific value or intrigue. Provide a sneak peek into what recipients can expect inside, leaving them curious and eager to find out more.

Examples: Instead of using mundane phrases like “Newsletter Issue #5” or “Weekly Update,” focus on highlighting something unique or intriguing about the content of your email.

Email subject lines

  • Emphasize Benefits or Solutions: Consider incorporating the benefits or solutions your email provides into the subject line. Highlighting a valuable outcome or solution to a problem your audience may have can generate curiosity and encourage them to open the email.

Examples: instead of a subject line like “New Product Announcement,” try “Discover the Game-Changing Solution to [Problem]” or “Unlock the Secrets to [Benefit] with Our Latest Release.”

  • Create a Sense of Urgency: Utilize urgency in your subject lines to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) or time sensitivity. By emphasizing limited-time offers, exclusive access or time-bound opportunities, you can spark curiosity and drive recipients to open your email promptly.

Examples: “Last Chance to Save 50% – Ends Today!” or “Exclusive Invitation: Join Now Before It’s Gone!” are great examples of compelling the user to take action quickly.

  • Pose Intriguing Questions: Asking thought-provoking questions in your subject lines can instantly captivate your audience’s curiosity.

Examples: “Are You Making These Common Marketing Mistakes?” or “Want to Know the Secret Behind Our Success?” are gripping and captivate the reader into seeking an answer that they believe will be contained in your email.

  • Personalize Your Messages: Tailoring subject lines to individual recipients can make them feel special and encourage them to open the email. Include their name or specific details relevant to their interests or past interactions with your brand. Personalization adds a personal touch and increases the curiosity factor, as recipients are more likely to engage with content tailored specifically to them:

Remember to A/B test your subject lines to determine which ones generate higher open rates. Analyze the data, measure the effectiveness of different approaches, and refine your subject line strategies accordingly. Crafting curiosity-inducing subject lines is an ongoing process that requires experimentation and a deep understanding of your target audience.

Dive Deeper: How to Use Personalization to Increase the Impact of Email Marketing

3) Authenticity Should Always Be #1

Humanize your emails by sending them from a real person within your organization rather than a generic email address. Use your name and include your photo to create a personal connection with your subscribers.

People prefer engaging with individuals rather than faceless entities. By adding a personal touch, you establish a sense of trust and authenticity, fostering a stronger relationship with your audience. This personalization can lead to higher open rates as subscribers feel more inclined to open emails from someone they perceive as a real person.

In fact:

The open rate for emails with a personalized subject is 18.8%, compared to 13.1% for unpersonalized emails.

Moreover, it enhances the overall customer experience and builds a positive brand image.

As always, remember to consistently analyze and optimize your campaigns based on email marketing analytics and metrics to refine your strategies further.

Optimize Your Email List and Delivery

In addition to creating compelling content, optimizing your email list and delivery is crucial for maintaining high open rates. Implementing the following strategies will help you ensure that your emails reach the right audience and maximize engagement:

List Scrubbing

Regularly evaluate your email list to identify subscribers who are not actively engaging with your content. These non-openers can negatively impact your email deliverability and reduce your open rates.

Email platforms like Gmail and Outlook prioritize engagement when determining email placement. If a significant portion of your list consists of subscribers who don’t open your emails, it can have a negative impact on your email deliverability.

By regularly scrubbing your list and removing non-openers, you improve your sender reputation and increase the likelihood of your emails landing in recipients’ primary inboxes.

Subscription Confirmation

Give your subscribers the opportunity to confirm their interest in receiving your emails. After someone signs up for your newsletter or email list, send them a confirmation email that requires an action to verify their subscription. This process, known as double opt-in, ensures that your list consists of engaged and interested recipients.

Including a confirmation step not only validates the authenticity of the subscriber’s email address, but also gives them control over their subscription. It allows them to easily unsubscribe if they no longer wish to receive your content, which helps prevent spam complaints.

You should also include an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every email:

Unsubscribe link in email

By respecting your subscribers’ preferences, you build trust and maintain a healthy email list with higher engagement rates.

Segmentation and Personalization

Segmenting your email list based on various criteria, such as demographics, interests or past interactions, allows you to tailor your content to specific groups of subscribers. By sending targeted and relevant emails, you increase the chances of recipients opening and engaging with your content.

Personalization goes hand in hand with segmentation. Addressing subscribers by their name and customizing the content to their preferences creates a personalized experience. Personalized emails have a higher chance of capturing attention and driving engagement because they make recipients feel valued and understood.

Dive Deeper: 7 Segmentation Mistakes That Are Costing Your Business Money

Email Deliverability Monitoring

Keep a close eye on your email deliverability metrics and monitor any potential issues. Pay attention to bounce rates, spam complaints and inbox placement rates. These metrics provide valuable insights into the health of your email list and the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Maintaining a good sender reputation is crucial for email deliverability. Ensure that your emails comply with email marketing best practices, such as using a reputable email service provider, avoiding spam trigger words, and adhering to anti-spam regulations like CAN-SPAM or GDPR:


So long as you proactively monitor and address any deliverability issues, you will be able to get more reach out of your emails and maintain high open rates.

Final Thoughts on Getting Better Open Rates

While it takes time and experimentation, employing these simple principles which we’ve laid out should vastly improve your open rates and drive better engagement.

Remember to focus on creating valuable content, utilizing curiosity-inducing subject lines, and maintaining authenticity in your emails. Additionally, optimizing your email list and delivery by regularly scrubbing your list and seeking confirmation from subscribers can greatly enhance your email marketing success.

If you’re ready to get better email open rates, Single Grain’s marketing experts can help!👇

Optimize Email Opens


Repurposed from our Marketing School podcast.

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