4 Sending Habits That Will Boost Open Rates

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Testing ways to increase open rates is one of an email marketer’s constant plights. Subject lines, send times, and list quality are all factors that come into play when a recipient decides whether or not to open one of your emails. Below, I’ll outline four tried and true methods that are guaranteed to boost your open rates.

1. Allow Subscribers to Choose How Often They Hear from You

Once a new subscriber signs up, the last thing he or she wants is to be immediately inundated with emails. If you send a daily newsletter, we strongly recommend you allow your subscribers to choose how often they hear from you in order to avoid sending your list emails they won’t open. The lower your open rates, the higher the chance that you will start to have deliverability issues. Plus, this behavior could increase your unsubscribe rate — so, it’s in your best interest not to bombard your subscribers with emails.

Sometimes, subscribers may not select the frequency they would prefer, so it’s important to include a default setting. Instead of making the default frequency daily, consider making it weekly or biweekly. To start, you can test setting the default to daily and keep an eye on your open rates. If they are low, try changing the default setting to a lower frequency.

2. Send to an Engaged List

I’ve mentioned the importance of list cleaning many times before, but it’s worth reiterating that sending to an engaged list is a key aspect of boosting open rates. To identify who in your main list is engaged, create a segment of subscribers in the list that have opened at least one of your emails in a certain amount of time. Six months is a good rule of thumb.

Instead of continuing to send daily or weekly newsletters to subscribers who haven’t opened an email in over six months and joined your list over six months ago, send these unengaged subscribers a different, tailored series of emails. This could mean funneling them into a win-back flow, or even sending them a series of targeted campaigns to re-activate them (try running a contest, for example).

3. Personalize Subject Lines

MarketingSherpa reports that personalization in subject lines leads to around a 30% increase in open rates across all industries, with consumer products seeing an increase of 41.8%. Personalizing subject lines is a simple step that delivers huge results. Personalization can include mentioning the recipient’s name in the subject line, or even referring to a product a customer recently purchased.

When brainstorming ideas for subject lines, try sticking with options that work with or without personalization. This way, you can A/B test the personalized subject line against the generic one and see how personalization resonates with your unique audience.

4. Send by Time Zone

Klaviyo makes it incredibly easy for users to send email campaigns based on a recipient’s time zone. This allows you to avoid sending emails to your subscribers in the middle of the night, or at an otherwise inopportune time. Sending emails to your subscribers at a time that is convenient for them is a quick, simple step you can take to boost your open rates and increase engagement.


While some of these tips mean sending fewer subscribers fewer emails, they will ultimately boost your open rates and make you a better, more considerate sender overall. High open rates help you establish your sending reputation and add legitimacy to your business, so it’s important that you don’t simply mass blast your entire email list. Klaviyo makes it easy to target engaged subscribers, personalize emails, and optimize send times. What’s more, you can A/B test any of the above tips to see how they impact your individual open rates.

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