Email Inboxes Give You Three Distinct Opportunities To Engage Your Readers

Email newsletter open rates have increased 19% this year. To push your open rate above the average, pay attention to the three opportunities you have as a marketer to capture the attention of your email subscribers when they scan their inboxes.

Let’s look at each of these opportunities and discuss how to make the most out of each.

3 Ways To Increase Email Newsletter Opens

1. The Sender Name

It may seem that your subject line is your first interaction with your email recipient. But actually, the “from” line comes first. Most businesses default to their company name to tell recipients who the email is from, but it’s worth at least considering something more personal or specific to a particular campaign.

Email marketing software allows you to change how the sender name appears in inboxes for each email you distribute. You might find that an email sent from a person (e.g. Laura at Breezy Hill) performs better than the business name alone.

If you are sending a group of emails centered on a particular campaign or initiative, changing your from line to illustrate that the email emanates from that campaign could give the campaign more gravitas.

A non-profit might choose to send an email about a particular fundraiser using a fundraiser-specific from line: “United Way Virtual Fundraiser,” for example, instead of just “United Way.” The sender name can be changed again after the campaign ends.

Under the right circumstances, a unique and targeted sender name can give your emails a special boost.

2. The Subject Line

It’s a good bet to assume your contacts are scanning their inboxes quickly, whether on their phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops. Your subject line will get a split second of their time, so being concise, direct, and action-oriented is the key.

Verbs that inspire readers to learn more are more effective than descriptions of what is in the email. Think about the how and why of the email rather than the what.

Use these top 10 best keywords in your subject lines to help increase open rates:

  • Free
  • Today
  • Last chance
  • In stock
  • *Month* (the current month)
  • Tomorrow
  • Available
  • New/fun/free

You can also add fun and different elements that grab users’ attention. Exaggerated spelling, like “We have sooo many offers!” and emojis can grab users’ eyes and make them want to learn more. Be sure to use these tactics sparingly, as it can come across as insincere if you use more than one exaggerated spelling and more than 2 emojis.

3. Scheduling Your Newsletter

Monday used to be the worst day to send an email, but it has shifted into the “get things done and be productive” day of the week. Try shifting your email newsletter to Monday mid-morning to attract the attention of your audience as they’re kicking off their week and going through the weekend’s emails.

Friday has become the worst weekday to send newsletters, as you are trying to compete for the attention of people suffering from burnout at the end of the week.

Switch to a condensed email schedule, sending out 4 emails over the course of 2 weeks, instead of 2 emails over the same time frame. You will be able to grab people’s attention and hone your audience to those genuinely interested in learning about your products or services.


Remember, small details are what make or break your open rate. Make use of offers that expire, rewards, and address pain points. With careful consideration of these three inbox opportunities, you can bend the open rate curve in your favor and increase your email newsletter opens and readership.

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