Isn't it frustrating when you spend all that time crafting and sending your emails, only to have them ignored, disposed of, or worse…. not even opened?

With the amount of email that people are bombarded with daily, it’s become a battle just to get your emails opened.  Here are a few steps to improve your chance of having that email opened.  We could call them the “Two G’s of Improving Email Opens”, but we don’t…

Get it in the inbox.

The most important thing you can do is make sure that your email reaches the recipient’s inbox.  As SPAM filters get tighter there are always new test that might cause your email to be flagged as SPAM and heading for the Junk folder.  For example, using the words “Buy”, “Buying”, or “as seen” in the subject of your message could prevent your emails from being delivered, or be putting them directly into Junk.  SpamAssassin has a list of tests that it checks to determine whether to mark your message as SPAM.   If you sell “enhancements” and you’re reading this for tips, sorry, but there’s a 99.9% chance your email is going to Junk.

Picture to Text ratio in your email can also affect the chance of your email making it to the Inbox.  Take a look at the list, make sure you don’t fall into any of the negative categories and if you do, change it.

Grab (and hold) their Attention.

The subject line is your recipient’s “first impression” and can set the tone for your email.  Studies have shown that 93% of recipients have already decided whether an email is relevant by reading the subject line (while that stat isn’t true, we’re 98% sure it could be).  Mailchimp conducted a study on subject lines to find trends in subject lines and link them to open rates.  They also list some words that won’t trigger SPAM traps but should be avoided .

In general, subject lines should be kept short (5 words or less) and be relevant to what is contained in your email.  Avoid overly promotional language in your subject.  You might be really excited about your product and your email, but it doesn’t mean your recipient is.  There’s no need for exclamation marks either, subjects don’t need to be shouted.  Depending on the recipient a little intrigue and mystery can also prompt an open.  If you’re curious by nature, then you might very likely open an email with the subject “Bananas” versus one with the subject “Yellow Fruit Version 1.0 Available Now.”  The key is to stay away from the obviously negative subject lines and most importantly to track your performance.  Try some different subject lines and build up measurable data to drastically improve your subject lines and open rates based on more than just “fluff and feelings”.

Another important thing to notice is that many devices and applications give a preview of the message along with the subject, so the recipient may also be reading the first sentence of your email when it comes into their inbox.  Take care with your first sentence like you would with the subject.  Avoid promotional language, links and pictures at the beginning of your message since the preview of them definitely won’t increase the odds of it being opened.


Make sure to track what you do so you know what's working and whats not.  Scan through your inbox, Junk and Deleted Items and looks for trends.  What do you delete and why?  You'll most likely identify a few things that alert you to obvious SPAM and some that peaked your interest and made you open the email.  Remember, Recipients are people too, and will tend to operate much like you.