Skip to main content
Marketing Strategy

5 tips to increase email open rates

By July 9, 2024No Comments

Cutting through the noise of recipients’ inboxes can feel like a never-ending battle, navigating constant algorithm changes and email domain security updates. But with the right strategies, you can increase marketing email open rates.

The Clarity Quest team assembled this list of five sure-fire tactics to make your marketing emails a must-read in your prospects’ inboxes

1. Don’t waste readers’ time

You know what they say: the average adult has the attention span of a goldfish. So, if you want your audience to open your email and read the included content, you need to make it easily digestible.

Use lists or offer downloadable content that readers can reference on their own time (bonus: this will also help grow your leads funnel). Your readers’ time is important, and they want to know in advance what they’re getting into.

A great way to showcase this in your email subject line is by making it extremely obvious that the content included isn’t going to consume a lot of the reader’s attention.

Numbers stand out against words in subject lines. “3 ways you can increase email open rates” is a great example of that theory in practice. The 3 will catch readers’ eyes over the written variant, three. And people like numbered lists because they’re easy to scan quickly.

According to Jay Schwedelson’s presentation, The Secret to Getting More Email Opens NOW, at MarketingProfs B2B in 2021, subject lines promoting list content increase open rates by 34%, and subject lines starting with a number increase open rates by 24%.

2. Change the way you promote your webinars

Webinars are making a comeback and for many different reasons. Live webinars give the audience the opportunity to connect with the host and engage with the business, bringing a human element to the brand and creating a connection—putting a face to a name, so to speak. They also allow the prospect to ask relevant questions without committing to a sales call during the decision-making process.

By identifying in your subject line that there is an upcoming [WEBINAR], you are telling your readers there is a high-value opportunity within, whether they are registering or receiving the recorded version. This is a highly converting subject line tactic. Be sure to include a concise title highlighting the topic; under 10 words is best.

Do this:

Not this:

Jay also mentioned that using the word “exclusive” in the subject line can potentially increase open rates by 21 percent.

This tactic can also be applied to other resources, like [Guide] or [Blueprint], for example, and it can be successfully applied in the preview text.

3. Make your subject lines less self-serving

Your audience cares more about themselves than you. That doesn’t mean you can’t send content that promotes yourself or your company but frame it in a way that serves the reader.

Personalize your subject lines, and we don’t mean just adding [FIRST_NAME]. Find creative ways to target your readers based on their job title, addressing frustrations they relate to. Another tactic is region-specific subject lines.

You should consider the data you collect regularly and how you can repurpose it for personalization efforts in the future.

According to Jay’s research:

  • When promoting third-party content that features yourself or your company, excluding any mention of your brand can increase open rates by 28%.
  • Personalizing by mentioning a job title/function in subject lines can increase open rates by 37%.

4. Fear of missing out (FOMO)

No one likes to miss out on a good thing. Whether you are sending out an invite or a valuable piece of content, two to four days later, you should send a follow-up email featuring a FOMO subject line.


  1. “Did you catch the great article we shared # days ago?”
  2. “DON’T MISS this really great guide on how to tame wild cats”.

Check out Jay’s thoughts on FOMO subject lines and how to use them leading into the new year.

5. Sender from name and email

When choosing who your email sender will be, it’s important to keep in mind a few factors. Are you sending a newsletter or a blog notification email? Or maybe it is sensitive corporate communication. Deciding if your sender should be from a human or a company can be difficult.

When to send from a human:

You are sending a marketing communication email. This includes newsletters, blogs, important company updates and any awareness communication.

When to send as the company:

You are sending sensitive corporate communication. Examples would be related to data security, mergers and acquisitions, etc.

It is important to remember your sender builds trust and recognition with recipients so try to keep the human sender the same. Using someone who is widely recognized socially in your industry as a thought leader is a great place to start.

Boost Your Email Marketing Efforts

Need help crafting your email marketing campaigns? Enlisting the help of a health tech marketing agency is a great option. Our team of content marketing experts is ready to help.

*Statistics courtesy of Jay Schwedelson’s presentation, The Secret to Getting More Email Opens NOW. The research was conducted by his company, WorldData.

Note: This blog post was originally published on November 5, 2021, and has been updated to reflect new information. 

Melissa Foote

Author Melissa Foote

More posts by Melissa Foote