Whether your interest is in getting a bigger response from your email list, or merely getting more of your regular emails read – with poor open rates it doesn’t matter how compelling your arguments are, or how good your offer is.

So what can you do to get more people to open your email?

1. Trustworthy Sender Name – The Sender Name (“from”) may be even more important than the subject line. In many email programs Sender is shown much more prominently than the subject line. So make sure that your Sender Name is familiar to the recipient, or at least trustworthy. That means: to the point, not salesy, and not too generic.

2. Trustworthy From Email Address – Email addresses related to your domain name will look more trustworthy than a gmail or yahoo email account. It is also important to keep the “from” email address consistent in case of repeated emailing; people will trust a new email address much less than one they have seen (and perhaps researched) before.

3. A Good Subject Line – Of course the Subject line is of great importance. Once you got the recipient to trust the Sender, you will need to convince them that the contents of your email are worth reading. That they will be missing out on something if they decide not to open it. What the Subject Line has to say, though, is hard to predict. Different circumstances require different subject lines, as do different audiences. Know your audience, write something that they would be interested in (rather than something that you would like to push) and split-test different Subject Lines to find out which one worked best – so you can start your next emails a little more educated.

4. Compelling First Paragraph – Some email programs show the initial words of the email too. Or people may have a “Preview Pane” where they can quickly scan an email’s contents. Make sure to make your initial sentence(s) count as these may very well decide whether your email gets opened or not.

5. Personalization – People will be much more interested in your emails if you mention their name – especially in Subject Lines. This makes the email look custom crafted for the reader, and therefore more relevant. Open rates and click-through rates (from links mentioned in the email) will go up dramatically if you personalize your emails.

These are just a few ways to improve your email Open Rates. It all comes down to building trust, crafting emails that are reader-centric, and testing.

Nardo Kuitert

Nardo Kuitert

Digital Marketing Consultant

As a Digital marketing Consultant Nardo is helping businesses making more of their online presence by optimizing their trust factors for better conversions.

He wrote the On The Web column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce from 2006-2016.

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