Case Study: How To Increase Your Email Open Rate By 8%

If you are like me, your email open rates were totally knocked off kilter about a yearish ago when Google added the social and promotional tabs to their email platform. (I know that me just bringing it up is making some of you want to scream!)

I personally saw a 5% open rate decline meaning a huge chunk of my active subscribers weren’t opening my emails anymore. OUCH!

Instead of sitting around pouting about it (like many business owners did) I decided to take control! So what I did was I made it a goal to increase my open rate by 5% by the end of the year to get back up to the open rate % where I was before.

After a lot of testing and tweaking (and figuring out what worked and what didn’t) I managed to pull off an 8% increase and my email list is more active than ever! SCORE!So today I am going to case study what worked to increase my email open rates. Put these into place and see how they work for you too.

1) Stellar Subject Lines: The number two thing that will get someone to open your email is your Subject line. (Number 1 is their relationship to you.)T his means that your subject lines need to be damn good!

I spent a year testing different types of Subject lines and this is what I found.

  • Subject lines that sound like something your friend would write to you get higher open rates (Example: Trying to get in touch…)
  • Subject lines letting the reader know they are getting a case study get higher open rates (Example: CASE STUDY: How I turned $6.99 into $16,500 using this easy FB Ads trick)
  • Subject lines that speak to specific results get higher open rates. (Example: Everett just closed two 100k deals…)

ACTION STEP: Sit down and brainstorm 10 subject lines you can use for each category above (30 total). This will be your start to creating a subject line swipe folder you can go to at anytime so using great subjects lines becomes super easy – especially on the fly.

2) Talk To Your List Like You’d Talk To A Friend

Too many entrepreneurs talk down to their community in an effort to convince them they need your offering to pull them up.

Let me ask you this… do you want to be talked down to?

Probably not!

My solution to this is to write your emails as you would be writing to a friend who would be an ideal client for you. You may not say some of the things you were originally going to include that may hurt your relationship with your list – and in turn your open rates.

When I write my emails I pretend I am writing to my friend Carrie who owns her own fitness studio and is constantly investing in herself and business to up level her success. I write the email to her and then reread it to make sure it truly has the right tone and language.

ACTION STEP: Pinpoint 1 friend who is also an ideal client and start writing your emails as if you are writing to them. Then watch the connection and engagement with your list start to soar.

3) Case Studies

People love case studies because it creates the picture in their mind that this success is also possible for them AND gives them a mini plan to follow to get there.

Take this email for example. Aren’t you learning some awesome ideas you can use to increase your open rates?

ACTION STEP: Make a commitment to send out at least one case study to your email list a month. YES! you can include this in your ezine as your featured article (just like I’m doing now!)

4) Be Vulnerable

It might be scary or hard sometimes to put yourself out there in a bigger way, but when you are vulnerable with your list and show them a different human side to you and your life, they will feel like they better know like and trust you, and you will see your email open rates slowly increase.

A few weeks ago I sent an email to a list I built about the three lessons every entrepreneur can learn from Joan Rivers, weaved in a few personal stories, and the feedback was incredible. So many emails came in about how that was my best email yet (and a few even said they liked me before, but the email I wrote now made them LOVE me and what I’m about).

ACTION STEP: Get comfortable with sharing your story and opening up to your list. Trust me… they will love you for it! And it will start to show over time as your open rates begin to rise.

5) Time Matters

The number one question I get asked most about email marketing is when should I send my emails?

It’s a smart question because the time (and the day) you send them truly matters, especially when it comes to your open rate.

BUT I can’t tell you when to send them to your list because depending upon your industry, ideal clients, and who you are, the best time to send your email will change.

What I did here to find that most responsive times was to test different days of the week and times of the day that we send our emails to see which times got a better open rate response.

ACTION STEP: Survey your list and ask them when they prefer to receive emails, pick the top three times, and test them for a month each to see how time and date affects your email open rate. This is the best way to gain clarity on this topic because the numbers never lie


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