30-Second Summary:

  • Only 21.33% of marketing emails get opened by recipients.

  • Average human receives 121 emails per day.

  • Other email marketing metrics depend on the open rate.

  • Segmented email lists have a 203% more open rate than unsegmented lists.

  • Best time to send email is 10 am – 3 pm weekdays.

  • Best email frequency is 2-4 emails per month.


What’s the essence of running an email marketing campaign if a significant proportion of the list doesn’t open your email let alone read it?

With the average individual receiving 121 emails per day, there’s a limit to how many emails each subscriber can actually read. According to statistics, an average of 21.33% of marketing emails get opened by recipients.

Interesting enough, some businesses are on the upper end of the average, converting more audiences into paying customers through various strategies that are used to optimize email open rates. This article explains what open rates are and reveals the top 10 effective email marketing strategies that can significantly improve your email open rate.

What Is an Email Marketing Open Rate?

Email open rate is the metric that shows the percentage of your emails that actually get opened by the recipients.

Effectively tracking this metric matters a lot to the success of your campaign. For one, it reveals exactly how much of your audience is interested in your offers. It also helps you figure out how to present the offer to appeal to various audiences.

A few other metrics depend on your email open rate. Click-through, for example, can only be possible when recipients open your email. And they can only buy after they’ve clicked through the order link on your email.

Considering this dependency on your email open rate, you need to adopt effective strategies to achieve the highest rate possible. Remember, your bottom line depends on it.

Email Marketing Strategies To Increase Open Rates

You can improve your email open rate and the overall impact of your campaign with these strategies.

Segmenting your email list.

Segmenting your email list makes it easy to create email subject lines and content that suit different groups of audiences. By simply segmenting your email list, you can increase the open rate by 203% and your revenue by up to 760%, according to HubSpot.

You can consider segmenting your list based on the following criteria:

  • Demographics
  • Customer behavior
  • User engagement
  • Abandoned-cart segmenting

With a number of subscribers in these lists, you can create more personalized email subject lines and content. Personalization adds a golden touch to marketing.

Precise timing and frequency

Good timing is crucial to the success of any email campaign. Depending on your audience, you have to choose the right day of the week and time to send out your emails.

Usually, people check their email more during weekdays than on weekends. And they are more likely to open their emails between 10 am and 3 pm. Your email may get lost in the heap of work-related emails flooding people’s inboxes if you send it too early in the day. Send it too late and other emails could push it way lower in the recipient’s mailbox. You want to strike when they are online and most likely around their email apps.

Like timing, the frequency of your email can make or mar your campaign. Too infrequent and your audience will barely remember who you are. Too frequent and you will exasperate your audience, forcing them to flag you as spam for spam bots to gobble up.

Finding the right frequency for your industry is the first step to finding balance. And as you understand your audience better, you can adjust to fit just perfectly. For most industries, 2 emails per month are ideal. On the high side, 4 emails per month are also perfect.

Use stimulating subject lines

This is the single most critical factor that affects your email open rate. Because a subject line is the only thing, except your campaign name, that’s visible in recipients’ notification tray and mailbox, it will determine whether they open it or swipe it off their busy lives.

You can combine this strategy with mailing list segmentation, and create subject lines that can best stimulate each audience segment. This is can have a huge impact on your email open rate.

Build your list organically

Purchased email list is an email marketing epidemic and many marketers are infected. Unfortunately, it is not very helpful to buy a long list of emails.

People are less likely to open unsolicited emails. When your target audience signs up to join your email list voluntarily, they are more likely to open emails from you.


Generic subject lines and email content are less likely to get opened by recipients. With 121 emails sweeping into our inbox, we are very unlikely to show interest in an email that appears to be targeted at a thousand other people.

Adding some customer-specific information can make your email seem more precisely directed to them. You can collect personal information, like the first name, in your mailing list and include it in the email to make it more personal.

Segmenting can also increase personalization since the targets in a given segment may share a few things in common. For one, they all may have abandoned their shopping cart.

You can take personalization a step further by micro-segmenting your list. By segmenting your recipients based on more precise criteria will help you craft emails that speaks to the individual recipient in ways that can’t be ignored.

Acquire new subscribers

There’s no denying that regular emails in the inbox get old. As subscribers get old and used to your emails, they become less likely to open them.

On the contrary, new subscribers are still getting used to the style and allure of your emails. So, they are more likely to anticipate and open them when they arrive.

By actively seeking new subscribers, you could give your email open rate a nudge in the right direction: upwards.

A/B testing

Launching an email marketing campaign can be really exciting with several ideas flooding your mind on how you can increase the efficiency of your campaign. Interestingly, you can’t try all the ideas; at least not at the same time.

To find out which subject line will stimulate your recipients more, you can consider using the A/B testing methodology. You can use this A/B testing to find out which of these strategies will generate the highest open rate. 

To do this, you can divide your mailing list into two categories. With each category, you can test what sending time and email frequency will generate the highest open rate. You can also use A/B testing to find the right subject lines for your email, types of target audiences, and many more.

You can learn more about A/B Testing here.

3 email frequency best practices

It’s difficult to figure out how often you need to email your list. Too seldom may get you forgotten and too often may get you thrown out of their inbox. Therefore, determining the right frequency of your email is a game-changer. It will help you stay in their lives long enough to matter and short enough to not be a bug.

To find a balance in the frequency of your email, you should consider trying these.

● Give your audience a sneak peek at what to expect and give them some level of control.

Usually, impactful email campaigns begin with a breakdown of what the journey will look like to the recipient. This will inform them of the frequency of the emails that will be coming their way. It’s important to ask whether they are okay with the frequency. Feedback will help you create a more personalized and comfortable campaign.

● Use automation for better workflow.

Create email automation based on the feedback you collect from your recipients. Automated workflows also help you keep your list organized. It could automatically segment your list and help you decide who should (or shouldn’t) receive more emails.

● Determine your industry benchmark for effective email frequency.

You can use industry benchmarks to determine what your competitors are doing. Remember that you are competing against them for your audience’s attention. But that doesn’t warrant you spamming your audience. When checking out industry benchmarks, look out for businesses with the highest open rates. It’s a good sign that their recipients aren’t nauseated by their email frequency.

Top email marketing tools to track open rates

From a myriad of email marketing solutions, we highly recommend the following tools for small and growing businesses.


Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing approaches today. However, the success of your campaign is significantly affected by your email open rate. Top marketing professionals focus on this metric seriously because they know that recipients have to open your email to get converted.

There are limited ways to get email recipients to open your marketing emails. These seven discussed in this article are considered some of the most effective strategies in the industry. Consider incorporating them into your campaign. And, most importantly, use an effective email marketing tool with excellent tracking, automation, and segmenting features.