How to Improve your Email Open Rate and Drive Sales

Email marketing is an effective, yet delicate science. When used properly, it can leverage sales, generate new customers and help in their retention. 44 percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email, according to But one word can be the difference between driving a sale or not.

Everything starts with relevant content that helps your email stand out with your target audience. You need to identify the right audience with a compelling reason to open your email. Then, when they open it, you want them to have a clear, defined call to action. But it all starts with the open.

How to improve your email open rate and drive sales

Here are three tips to utilize when planning your next email marketing campaign.


According to, 35 percent of consumers open (or don’t open) an email based solely on the subject line.

That’s why you need to grab their attention, and quickly. Having a subject line that piques the interest of whoever’s inbox it lands in significantly increases the probability of that person walking through your door or pushing submit for an online order.  

Be funny. Be witty. Be smart. Be anything but boring. Avoid saying exactly what it is you want the consumer to do right in the headline. Tease it a bit with something that evokes an emotion with your target.


With all the data that’s available to be analyzed from email sends, you need to customize your consumer’s experience with email marketing. You can segment your audience based on age, gender, location and engagement with your content. That is more than enough information to make sure a message rings true to the recipient.

On a related note, a series of reports show, “Emails that include the first name of the recipient in their subject line had a higher clickthrough rate than those that don't.” If you have the capability to auto populate the recipient’s name into the email, do it. Everyone likes hearing and seeing their own name, which could translate into buying power.

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This debate rages on in the email marketing world, but there is data to backup the theory that plain text emails are better for clicks and opens than HTML, which is Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects. According to, “Having an HTML email does not hurt your deliverability as long as you have two things: a properly coded HTML email and a plain-text version.” For some, that can be a big if.

Hubspot did a research campaign focused on the debate between plain text and HTML. In almost every instance, readers said they preferred HTML emails. But then they sent test emails. “In every single A/B test, the simpler-designed email won. The emails with fewer HTML elements won with statistical significance,” the report said.  

Email marketing is a simple, yet effective way to get your message across to a large amount of people, as long as you do it right. Making sure your email has a catchy subject, the correct content and it is designed with your audience in mind can guarantee you some clicks, opens and eventually build your business and help you meet your sales goals.

If you would like more tips and insights on developing a successful email marketing strategy, please contact our digital marketing specialists:  

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