Tips to Increase Your Email Opens and Click-Thrus

July 25, 2017   |   Vol. 16   |   Issue 7
By Tom Beauchamp, MCC, MGI Vice President of Operations

Tips to Increase Your Email Opens and Click-Thrus

Did you know that the average office worker receives 92 emails a day? With this amount of email being sent each day, getting your emails into your members’ and prospective members’ inboxes is just the first critical step to your email program’s success. The next step is to make sure that your audience is engaged, with emails being opened and links within the email body being clicked.

Many factors can influence your audience to engage with your email campaign. For the sake of brevity, I will only focus on a few that can easily be implemented. From lines and subject lines affect open rates—when deciding to open emails, 42% will view the from line, while 34% will choose to open based on the subject line. Personalization and send time can affect both open rates and click-thru rates.

Here are a few tips and tests you can incorporate to aid the engagement of your audience in your next email campaign:

Choose your from line wisely.

  • People open emails from people, organizations, and brands that they know, recognize, and trust. When sending emails, be sure that those receiving it will be able to quickly identify your association. Be careful with frequently changing your from line, as people tend to scan emails in a hurry and may overlook a from line that they do not recognize, especially if you have an existing relationship with them and they have come to expect a specific from line. Up to 43% of email recipients click the Spam button based on the email from name or email address, so choose your from line carefully.
  • Additionally, many email clients partially base deliverability on sender reputation, as well as how many recipients have engaged with the association’s emails. Many recipients also mark emails from trusted sources as “safe senders”, to guarantee delivery to the inbox. If the from line is frequently changed, deliverability could be negatively affected.
  • While you want to keep your from line consistent, running just one or two tests can be insightful in finding the best fit. A few options are your association’s name alone, a lead staff member followed by your association’s name, or a key staff member with their title. Due to the truncation of from lines in some email environments, it is important to keep from lines as brief as possible and “front load” them with the most important or recognizable information first.

Use clear subject lines that tell those receiving your email what’s inside.

  • Subject lines carry a great deal of weight when it comes to getting your emails opened. Subject lines can be written in many forms, such as questions, announcements, or offer-oriented. It is important not to mislead someone into opening your emails. Subject lines where it appears to be forwarded or a reply can be seen as deceiving and have a negative effect if someone feels that they were “tricked” into opening your email. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that, like from lines, subject lines can be truncated in many email environments. The character limit for truncation varies depending on email client, but it is vital to keep subject lines brief and lead with the most important or recognizable information.

Add personalization to your subject lines and email copy when you can.

  • For many email tests we have seen performed at MGI, personalization test results tend to have easily identified differences, with those emails utilizing personalization typically performing better. While personalization is not a new concept by any means, research shows that it can be very effective. “Including a name in the subject line increased open rates by 29.3% across all industries, with consumer products and services seeing a 41.8% boost.” Keep in mind that personalization, in many cases, is only as good as the quality of the data you have. If your email data is not recent (typically, not less than 2 years old) or not standardized, save yourself the time, money, and possible embarrassment and do not attempt to send emails with personalization.

Don’t be afraid to send emails during non-business hours.

  • Open rates and click-thru rates can improve greatly if emails are sent when your audience is checking their emails. If your audience consists of a large number of personal email addresses, rather than corporate email addresses, it’s worth testing to see if sending during non-business hours and non-business days improves your engagement. There are many differing opinions regarding optimal send times and days; what we have found is that there is no hard rule for this, and testing plays a valuable role in determining the optimal send times and days for each audience.

For additional tips, be sure to read our previous Tipster on email marketing here.

Want to know more about improving your email engagement? Please contact Tom Beauchamp at or by calling him at 703.706.0377.

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