13 Simple Tips for Improving Your Email Open and Clickthrough Rates

April 5, 2022

Even with the best email list, it’s easy for your communications to get lost in your customer’s inbox — or worse, in spam. Not to mention that getting your emails opened is only half the battle. Then you have to get them to click through...

This article will run down 13 of the best and simplest ways to improve your emails' open rates, clickthrough rates, and conversion potential.

Best Practices of Email Marketing

Many businesses use email marketing to promote their products or services, but their ROI varies greatly depending on the quality of the emails. Use these simple but effective best practices so your email open and clickthrough rates climb in the right direction.    

1. Don’t buy email addresses

Purchasing email lists is never generally a great idea. No matter how desperate you might be to start getting eyes on a campaign, purchasing an email list will never get you great results — mainly because the people on the list never agreed to receive content from you.

2. Follow CAN-SPAM rules

This is huge for getting your emails delivered (and out of spam). CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) is an act that was passed in 2003. Essentially, it establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Include your valid physical postal address in every email you send out
  • Give recipients a clear way to opt-out (i.e., unsubscribe) of every email you send
  • Use clear "From," "To," and "Reply to" language that accurately reflects who you are
  • Avoid "no-reply" or similar sender names, which prevent recipients from opting out of an email newsletter if they'd like to
  • Never sell or transfer any email addresses to another list

 All of the rules for this law are available on the FTC's website.

3. Send emails from a real person

Sending emails from a real person versus a company account or donotreply address will increase your open rates. Based on many A/B tests done over the years, recipients are more likely to trust and open emails from a personalized sender name.

4. Email new contacts within 24 hours

Take advantage of when you’re fresh on your prospect’s mind. By emailing your new subscriber within a 24-hour timeframe, such as a thank you, introduction, or offer, you set up expectations and build your brand.

If you don’t have an automated process for this, it's time to start thinking about sales and marketing automation.

5. Create a compelling subject line

The best way to stand out in crowded inboxes is to write irresistible subject lines. The subject line should be compelling to attract clicks, but it should also be concise to fit within the character limit.

[Check out our other article: 5 Quick Tips for Better Email Subject Lines]

6. Keep your emails focused

Everyone is busy. Why add to the clutter? People generally like emails that get to the point and don’t drag on forever. Plus, when scanning through their emails quickly, they're more likely to find your intended CTA before having a chance to click away.

If your email is on the long side, break up the email body copy into multiple paragraphs to provide visual breaks. This makes skimming much easier.

7. Include a call-to-action (CTA) button

The fact is, most recipients will scan through your email. That’s why you need to have one clear call-to-action button in every email.

You'll want to place your CTA in a location where it's easily visible and makes sense for someone to click on it. For example, you might put a CTA to download a free template in an email that describes a situation where you’d use it.

8. Add hyperlinks to your images

Not everyone is going to click on the obvious link or button. Some people will click on your images, especially if they're designed to resemble a sales flyer.

Another example would be inviting readers to download an ebook and including a picture of the ebook cover in the email. Don't just hyperlink the text next to the image telling people to "download it here." Hyperlink the ebook's picture as well.

People are naturally drawn to images much more than text, and you want to give your subscribers as many options to get your ebook as possible.

9. Add text links

It’s always good to include multiple places to click in your email. In addition to your main CTAs and images, consider including a noticeable text link (or two) when applicable, as having more links increases the opportunity for engagement.

10. Optimize for mobile

According to Campaign Monitor, 47% of people use a mobile application to check their email. As more people use their mobile devices to read email, surf the web, and make purchases, the more important it is for marketers to design their emails with mobile users in mind.

Some ways to optimize your emails for mobile:

  • Reduce your image file sizes to increase load speed
  • Create CTA buttons that are larger than 45-57 pixels to account for finger size
  • Use responsive email templates to ensure they look great on any screen

11. Always test your emails

Before you hit that "Send" button, be sure that you test your email to ensure that everything ends up displaying correctly on different screens and email client types. Many email services offer a preview mode for different screen sizes and email clients.

12. Monitor email performance

Find out what works best by analyzing each email’s performance. Find out what type of subject lines are doing amazing versus which ones aren't performing well. Is there a particular layout or CTA that gets more clicks?

Use your email marketing software to run A/B tests designed to show you what your email recipients want out of your communications and lean into the trends you see work better for you.

13. Work with a trusted company

Email marketing can be complicated. It's tough to go at it alone, from designing the layout to writing copy. Finding a marketing agency that can build effective email campaigns will allow you to focus more on operating your business.

Grow Your Business with Email Marketing 

Email is vital for a healthy marketing system, whether following up with leads, sharing special offers, or nurturing customer relationships. However, you won't be able to reap the benefits of email marketing if you're not applying best practices. Follow these email tips to boost your open and clickthrough rates for more conversions.

Get a free marketing consultation with Sales & Marketing Technologies to explore growth strategies for your business!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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