5 Actionable Tips for Improving Newsletter Open Rates

Increase your Newsletter Open rates by just following these 5 actionable tips. Enhance your brand visibility by reaching a large number of email subscribers.

I want to start this article with a simple yet more effective line which is "Email Marketing is not dead".

I know of the fact that many digital marketers in the industry think that the email marketing is not an effective way to target the audience. In fact, these days a lot of people also say that "No Body open an email". 

As far as my experience in the marketing industry all these talks about email marketing are nothing just a speculation of myths. The Real truth is, email marketing is the best way to put your brand out front among your audience. If email marketing is done right, then it can be a turning point for any business or brand.

So, in this article, I am telling you the exact 5 actionable tips by following which you can increase your newsletter open rates by not doing much of an effort.

Before I begin, here are some industry insights on the newsletter open rates by the subscribers from different industries. The following data is taken from MailChimp, one of the most popular newsletter management service providers globally.


Steps to increase Newsletter open rates

Industry (Top 5)

Open Rate

Industry (Bottom 5)

Open Rate



Beauty and Personal Care


Arts and Artists


Marketing and Advertising




Vitamin Supplements








Daily Deals/E-Coupons



See the full list of industry wise open rates as of Feb 2017 here.

Now, that you have a complete idea about the global newsletter open and click through rates, I think you are now in a better position to understand where does your email marketing campaign stands among them.

If you are having a newsletter open rate around 20% that means you are winning over the average brands whose newsletter open rate are less then 20%. If your newsletter open rate is less than 20% then you do not need to worry because you can follow the 5 effective ways that I am just going to tell you in this article following which you can increase your newsletter open rate.

So here we go.

1. Always Explain Better

A good subject line can be a turning point in your email. If you do not know, then I must tell you that your email subject line in itself can increase the chances of its open rates. A good email subject line always based in the two most important things that are Attention & Interest. 

Boring Subject lines never increase the CTR of your email. Your email subject line has to click the mind of your reader in the first go. Write what he/she wants to read and in short write for your customers.


2. Connect With your Audience

What do you do when you receive an email from your friend or your family? You open them wasting no time, why? Because you can easily make a connection with the email coming from their side. The same strategy you have to use while sending your Newsletter.

You have to connect with your audience. Before opening any email, a reader first checks whether he/she knows the identity of the person sending the email only then your email gets to open up. So it is very important to connect with your audience by your real name.

3. Mobile-Friendly Format

According to the study done by the BlueHornetr, 67.2% of people use smartphones to check their emails on a day to day life. Many brands or business are switching to the mobile format or in other ways mobile compatible emails. But that doesn't mean if your email format is mobile friendly, then it will increase your click-through rate, no, to increase your open rate, you still have to put a well-structured subject line.

If you look at the subject line displayed on the mobile screen, then you will find it only shows up to 20-25 characters, what will happen to the rest? It gets cut off due to the email formats especially in the mobile. So you have to make sure that you clearly explain your main idea in initial 20-25 characters.


4. Laser Target Your Customer

Guys, take my word and never buy email lists! This is the most common mistake that leads to low open rates. Why? Because the people you are sending your precious newsletter are possibly not even interested in it at all. Yeah, that's true!

Always build your own email lists using services like Aweber, MailChimp, Sumo etc. Embed a user-friendly form on your website and ask your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter for things that they might be interested in.

When such users subscribe to your newsletter, you already know that they are interested to receive emails from you. This is called Laser Targeting in email marketing terms.

On the other hand, when you just a buy an email list of hundreds and thousands of random people, you might end up selling chicken nuggets to a vegan!

Affiliate Marketing businesses are using this method to get high Open Rates and eventually get maximum conversion into sales. In fact, individual affiliate marketers like Neil Patel, Phillip Lyons, Darren Rowse have build empires just upon good email lists.

So, if you want high open rates, then you now know what to do and what NOT to do.


5. Control Mailing List Health

It is good if you are building a laser targeted audience through your email list building, but it's not the only thing that will make you ahead of others and increase your chances of newsletter open rates.

You need to understand the concept of hard bounce and soft bounce. A hard bounce is defined as when you send an email to your subscriber and it didn't reach to the email because you have put the wrong email is called hard bounce.

A soft bounce is defined as when you send an email to your subscriber and it didn't reach to him/her because of server issue, then it is called as the soft bounce.

In soft bounce scenarios, most of the email service providers provide the option to resend an email. My advice to you always has a look at all the soft bounce emails and resend them at the same time to maintain the health of your email list.

Final Words

There are a lot of other factors also that affect the newsletter open rates but first and foremost you have to get the above 5 things right in your email marketing campaign. I am sure you will see a significant difference in the open rates as well as the click-through rates.