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Email Marketing: Optimizing Open Rates

W4 | W4 / April 20, 2018

Email marketing remains high on the list of effective marketing tools, particularly with automation and personalization. Your tailored messages however will not be read if users delete your mails unopened. These five tips help you to optimize open rates.

Average email open rates differ from industry to industry according to recent research. That is why we cannot give you a definite benchmark. In general, you can be satisfied with open rates of about 20 percent. Everything above 30 percent is a cause for celebration. You can realistically aim for these benchmarks if you consider a few tips:

Before subscription

Be transparent about the type of newsletter users subscribe to and how often you send it out (weekly, monthly etc.). By showing them the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter, they will anticipate the first email. You also avoid misunderstandings: you do not need people in your email list that have no real interest in the content.


A generic info@ is not trustworthy. Use a concrete, easily identifiable address that lets users know who is writing.


Keep your email list clean. Make it easy for users to unsubscribe and make sure that they are deleted from the list before you send out the next mail. Marketing automation tools do this automatically. If you do not do this, users might mark your mails as spam. Also remove hard bounces from your list. Hard bounces are usually caused by non-existent email addresses. If the rate of hard bounces is more than ten percent, it could negatively affect the deliverability of your mails in the future.

Subject & teaser

The main tool to make users want to read your email is the subject line. Try to make them curious about the content of the mail. However, do so in less than 50 characters (your subject line will not be fully displayed in most clients otherwise). When writing the subject line, try to avoid negative constructions as well as words commonly associated with span mails. Moreover, most clients show a preview text of your mail. If you do not enter a specific preview text, the client will display the first few words of your mail. Try to summarize the content of your mail and tell readers the benefits of reading it using two sentences tops.


Every user prefers reading texts that reflect their interests. That is why you might want to use personalization already in your subject line.

Tags: E-Mail Marketing

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Sarah Wilhelm
Sarah Wilhelm
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