15 Tips to Improve Email Delivery and Open Rates


As an email marketer, you have two immediate goals to turn subscribers into customers. First, your email has to land in an inbox – not the spam folder. Second, subscribers have to open your email.

To help accomplishes these goals, here’s a list of 15 tips to improve email delivery and open rates:

1. Create a sense of urgency
Use words that encourage subscribers to take action immediately. Phrases like, “limited-time offer,” “don’t miss this deal” and “time is running out” are good examples. Here’s an urgent subject line:

Urgent Subject Line Example

2. Avoid spam words
There are certain words that send up a red flag and cause an email to land in the spam folder. Avoid using gimmicks, don’t make promises that seem to good to be true and avoid any kind of messaging that asks for personal information.

3. Don’t use all CAPS
Using capital letters in your subject line can trigger spam filters. Overuse of punctuation like !!!! can cause the same problem.

4. Resend unopened emails
When an email isn’t opened, consider tweaking the subject line and resend it to give subscribers another chance to open it.

5. Test delivery times
Try to avoid the data that suggests the best times to send emails. Evaluate the data you’ve collected and make the best decision for your list.

6. Segment your lists
Break your list up by buying habits, demographics or purchase cycle. Segmenting creates relevance and that encourages people to open your emails. Learn more here.

7. Personalize your “From” name
Personalization builds trust. CrazyDude@gmail.com doesn’t inspire much confidence. Consider using your first name and your company name in the “From” name, like Bob@ABCCompany.com.

8. Send emails at different times
If your open rates aren’t where you want them, look at your data and try to send emails at different times.

9. Clean up your list
It’s a good idea to clean your list every six months or so. Remove the email addresses that bounce back. Cleaning your list also gives you an opportunity to segment your list at the same time.

10. Treat your subject line like a headline
Great subject lines follow the same principals news headlines use to attract attention. Write something short and interesting that captures the point of the email.

11. Test your subject line
Give your open rates a boost by testing your subject lines. Use A/B testing to compare two subject lines, and let your audience decide which one is best.

12. Get personal
Personalize the subject line with a subscriber’s name, add a personal message and segment emails to ensure relevancy. Continue the personalization in the email, like this example from an airline that uses the subscriber’s name in the email text:

Personalized Email Example by Flight Centre

13. Use a spam checker
Before you hit send, run your email through a spam checker to make sure there aren’t any problems. Juvlon offers a spam checker that provides a spam score and alerts you of potential delivery issues. You can make changes before you send the email to increase your delivery rates.

14. Check your email reputation
If your emails have poor response rates, or if subscribers have reported you for sending shady emails, your email reputation could be damaged. If that’s the case, your delivery rates will suffer. See what your reputation is with this tool.

15. Avoid over saturation
If your open rates are below industry average, you may be sending too many emails to your subscribers. Ease up on the number of emails you send and see if your open rates improve.

By following these 15 tips, you can improve your deliverability and open rates – two things every marketing wants.