Email Newsletters: How to Get the Best Open Rates

Email Newsletters: How to Get the Best Open Rates

Email newsletters are a staple of many marketing strategies. In fact, some studies suggest that for every £1 a marketer spends on email marketing, they can expect to see a massive £36 return. 

Yet so many email newsletters are destined for the same fate – landing in an unchecked junk folder, being quickly deleted or simply never being opened. 

What does this mean? 

It means that good marketing emails can have a huge ROI, whilst the majority of newsletters are subpar and are unlikely ever to be read, let alone return a profit. 

Getting your emails opened is the first step in generating profit from email marketing. After all, it doesn’t really matter how compelling your email is if it never gets opened. In this guide, we are going to walk you through everything you need to know to increase your email open rates. 

What Impacts Open Rates? 

Before you can start improving your email open rates, you need to understand what impacts them. It is easy to assume that your subject line is the only thing that matters – although it is certainly crucial to open rate success, it is just one of many elements. 

Here is a list of everything that needs to be considered: 

  • Send Time
  • Subject Line
  • Preview 
  • Sender (known, unknown, junk, reputation for good emails/offers etc)
  • Recipient 

We will now explore each of these in more detail…

Send Time 

Getting your timings right will have a huge impact on open rates. An analysis of several email open rate studies by CoSchedule found the following times are the best for increased open rate success: 

  • 10 am – late-morning send times were the most popular in general across all studies
  • 8 pm to midnight – perhaps surprising, studies found a later send time produced better results, possibly due to reduced distractions during these times
  • 2 pm – later in the day can work well for open rates as people check out of work and seek distractions 
  • 6 am – this is a good time to catch people for their ‘morning catch up’ with emails and admin

In reality, studies such as those that produced the findings above should only be used as an indicator of when you should be sending your emails. This is because each individual business will find differing results depending on many factors unique to their situation.  

If you have built a relatively large audience you can test the best send times by sending the same email to different proportions of your list throughout the day. You will then be able to assess the results to identify the best send times for you. 

Subject Line 

With increasingly chaotic inboxes, we have become accustomed to quickly filtering out emails that bring little value to us. 

Your email subject line is your first opportunity to capture your audience’s attention and prove to them that your email is worth opening. A great subject line can follow several formulas, these include:

  • Providing value (e.g. ‘Fancy 50% off today?’)
  • Creating intrigue (e.g. ‘Is this of interest?’)
  • Using shock (e.g. ‘This product really sucks!’)

Which type of subject line is best for you will depend on your unique business situation. However, it is crucial to avoid boring or standard subject lines in order to stand out from the crowd.


Email previews are an often overlooked but important part of email open success. Although previews aren’t typically as pronounced as a subject line, they do offer marketers an opportunity to further sell their email to the recipient. 

Use your preview to expand on your subject line. For example, you may create a short snippet of the email and highlight the value that it contains or use it to generate further intrigue in what you have to say. 

TIP: Use an ellipsis (three dots, like this: …) at the end of your preview to create a natural flow into opening the email to read more.


Another incredibly important, but often overlooked, aspect of increasing open rates is who the sender is. If the recipient recognises and trusts the name of the sender, they are a lot more likely to open the email. 

This is why branding is so important. Building a positive brand around your business name will allow people to quickly recognise who has sent the email and compel them to open it. In addition to this, you may also choose to send your marketing emails from a well-known and respected individual in your business, as this can drastically increase open rates.


The simple fact is, that if people want to receive your email newsletter, they are much more likely to open it. So, how you collect data for your mailing list is a crucial part of increasing open rates. 

When building your list, ensure that you are completely clear and honest about the type of content you will be sending out in your newsletters. You may also want to include details on the frequency at which people can expect to receive emails from you. 

This will help you build an audience of individuals who are likely already engaged and excited about your brand – drastically increasing the chances that they will open your emails. 

Increase Email Open Rates: Summary 

We can see that there are several factors that must be considered when seeking to increase your email open rates. Although the subject line is a crucial part of this mix, it is far from the only thing that can be improved in order to boost email marketing success. 

Use the tips we have highlighted in this article to find new ways to increase your email marketing ROI. 

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