Email marketing takes too much time and effort to settle for low open rates. Your open rates show which recipients open your emails and at what rate this happens for each email you send. Open rates on Klaviyo allow you to measure customer engagement and monitor the performance of your efforts. Low open rates can also damage your reputation with email providers, like Gmail and Hotmail, and your newsletter will be more likely to end up in the dreaded junk folder. When a campaign you send results in a critically low open rate, Klaviyo will alert you and prompt you to refine your approach. We’re here to help with that approach, improve your open rates and grow as a brand.

Open rates are important for many reasons – mainly so your subscribers see what you’re sending. Open emails suggest customer engagement and interest in your products. Those who engage with your email marketing are likely to make purchases. Email providers will recognise high open rates which improves your reputation as a sender. You will be less likely to wind up in the junk folder if your open rate is good. So, what makes a good open rate?

Good open rate: 20% or higher
Great open rate: 25% or higher

How to Increase Open Rates

There are five key steps to increase open rates:

  • Create engaged segments
  • Create targeted subject lines
  • Clean your lists regularly
  • Choose the right send time

Create Engaged Segments

Engaged segments inform you which of your subscribers you should target the most. As you refine your segments, you’ll gain insights into how to target them by who meets the criteria you have set. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Create your segment by adding criteria around how recently someone engaged with your emails. Your segment definition should include those in your main list, who either opened or clicked recently or subscribed to your list within the past month. 
  1. Regularly evaluate the segment’s performance and use the time range to widen or shrink your audience to a more engaged group. If your open rates are below 20%, reduce the time frame until you identify your core audience. If your open rates are over 20%, you can expand the time frame to include those who have engaged in your emails in the last 60 days rather than 30. The aim is that you’ll hone in on the most engaged subscribers.
  1. Improve segmentation by adding more specified criteria to your segment. This opens the door for personalised content that is relevant to the customers’ purchase history, location and interests. The more personalised, the higher the chance of email opens. 

Create Targeted Subject Lines

Now you’ve found your engaged segment, it’s time to create targeted emails. Instead of overloading subscribers with generalised content, send content that your audience wants to receive with a clear call-to-action. 

  • Be personal
  • Add call-to-action to the subject line
  • Create a sense of urgency, for example, ‘Sale ends today’
  • Add the recipient’s first name to your subject line
  • A/B test

Send Time

Sending too early in the morning or too late in the day might harm your open rate. Is your marketing relevant to people at work? Then sending early in the day might be useful? Or if you’re advertising holidays or alcohol you may want to send it towards the end of a working day. Your send time should be industry dependent. Using Smart Send Time uses your business’ data to find an optimal send time for your subscribers.

Clean Your Lists Regularly

An essential part of email marketing is cleaning your main subscriber list. Removing unengaged, fake or spam email addresses that collect over time will increase your open rate as there will be fewer profiles that don’t open your emails. These email addresses you remove will improve your open rate which improves your send reputation with inbox providers.

Monitor Your Performance

Monitoring campaigns and keeping track of deliverability metrics that affect open rates is part of good practice. When you identify a dip in open rates, you should readjust your campaigns for the relevant segment. Review campaign analytics after sending a campaign to see how well your emails perform and make adjustments.

With this guide to increasing your EDM open rates, you’re ready to spend time improving your email marketing. If you need more support with email marketing, contact us today.


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