Increasing Email Open Rates

Recently, I sent out a list of marketing tips and takeaways to my email readers, and as always, I got a flurry of feedback (which I love).

Occasionally, I get readers who challenge me on certain points and usually tell me that some other “guru” told them the opposite.

That’s cool, but I’ve been doing this for 20 years and have stats and experiments to back up my tips.

Will all of my tips work for you?


You have to test because what works in my niches might not work in your niche.

Make sense?

For example, I got a ton of feedback on the tip below:

4. Acquiring just a prospect’s email address on an opt-in form might increase conversions, but long-term statistics indicate that having the ability to personalize an email message will get higher open rates.

Now, the above tip, I’ll argue until the cows come home and I have recent stats to back me up.

We’d been emailing to a list of 30,000+ buyers/prospects in another niche and open rates had dipped below 3%.

Horrendous, I know.

That’s when I had to step in and figure out the heck was going on.

One mistake I noticed my team was making was not personalizing the emails. I always try to personalize any emails I send because when people see their name in the subject line, it just does something to them.

Even though they know it’s just a placeholder.

So, I went through the database and made sure every contact had their proper name in the first and last name fields (it was an epic mess from a previous import).

Yes, it took some time to fix, but when I emailed out the same list again, with their first name in the subject line and in the email copy, look what happened to open rates (turn on your images to see the image below).

Open rates

Open rates shot up from 2.89% to 15.32%.

That is a 5X increase in the number of people who saw the latest email message.

Now I can’t attribute this solely to the personalization of the email because it had a different subject line and different body copy that could have avoided spam filters, but I’m sure it helped majority.

Have a dead list you want to resurrect?

Personalize your emails.

Want to build a better relationship with readers?

Personalize your emails.

Want to make more income from email?

Personalize your emails.

I know that cleaning up email contacts and doing tedious things like replying to individual emails (when you engage your readers) is not exciting.

But it pays my bills and more.

Best wishes,

Gauher Chaudhry