Email Open Rates

I don’t know about you, but there is one metric most entrepreneurs consistently watch. We track them and consistently try to improve them. What is this metric, I am speaking about? It is our email open rates. And if you aren’t tracking them, the time to start is right now!

It is for good reason that we are tracking this important metric.  If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, then they can’t read about what you offer.  Your subject lines can make or break your email marketing strategy.

Your offer could be:

  • Your newest coaching program
  • Your VIP Day availability
  • Your latest must-have tool discovery
  • That epic blog post you just wrote
  • Your newest product
  • Announcement of your upcoming book launch
  • Coupons

The trouble is, you only have about two seconds to entice a reader to open your email. Even worse, you have to do it in ten words or less! If they don’t open the email then they can’t see your offer, right? What if your subject line is too spammy and it ended up straight in their spam folder? You definitely don’t want that to happen.

Yikes! That can cause some stress! It’s a pretty tall order, even for seasoned copywriters. But relax, take a deep breath, because there are some tricks you can use.

Be Ambiguous

If you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve no doubt seen those “click bait” headlines that say things like, “She adds this to a box of Wheat Thins and I’m drooling!” I am hoping you are not really drooling. If you are, sit back from your keyboard! So, what is the reason headlines like that work? Because we can’t help but want to know what “this” is that she’s adding to her Wheat Thins. The possibilities spin in our head. Is it sugar? Salt? Peanut butter? We imagine what “this” is, but in the end, we just need to find out, so we click.

You too can employ the same technique! Substitute the word “this” in the subject line for the actual thing you’re writing about, and you’ve got instant enticement. Done!

For example: “I have been working on this for months!”

Use Numbers

Another simple strategy for creating must-read content, Numbers.

7 Hidden Benefits of Waking Up at 5 am”

3 Unlikely Ways to Close the Sale”

5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring”

The reason numbers work so well in subject lines is because we are self-absorbed and curious. We simply have to know; do we already use those three ways to close the sale? If we are using all three, then we are a marketing wonder! And if not, we have learned something. Both are compelling reasons to open an email. And in either case, we walk away feeling good, and that our time was well spent. The information is short and sweet and can most likely be used immediately to get results.

Use Power Words

Just as with all writing, choosing power words is key.

They are far more effective than settling for their weaker counterparts. What if these two subject lines appeared in your inbox, which one are you more likely to open?

“WordPress Makes Better Looking Websites for Non-Designers”


“Create a Gorgeous Website—Even if You’re Not a Designer”

They say the same thing, supply the same information. However, the first is weak, while the second is far more interesting. Really, be honest, didn’t you read that second one with pizzazz, even as you read it silently? I know I did.

Tips for Subject Lines

When it comes to email subjects, here are a few more tips to keep in mind if you want to up your open rates:

  • Keep it short – no more than 10 words at the very most, and fewer if you can.
  • Test everything! Use your auto responders split-testing functionality to see which subject line styles perform best in your market.
  • Run your subject line through a subject line tester – Coschedule has a subject line tester that offers feedback on your subject line. Check it out at
  • Use personalization, but sparingly. Occasional use of your reader’s first name can be a powerful technique. Personalized subjects can have a larger impact on your campaign as well. You’ll also get more clicks, fewer unsubscribes, higher customer satisfaction, and more sales. (Source:

In Conclusion

The bottom line, if your subscribers aren’t opening your email or they are marking your email as spam, they’re not buying! Take these tips and make your subject line pop and watch your open rates soar. Remember, improving your subject line is the single most important thing you can do for your email marketing campaigns!

If content marketing feels overwhelming to you, let me help you! Sign up for my short self-study course Content Repurposing Workshop: Don’t Rewrite, Reuse by clicking here.

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