Is an email really an email if it has never been opened? This is a question that every good marketer knows the answer to; it’s not. A potential customer can get a lot of information from a headline, but if that subject line fails to inspire them to open the email, then not only has it failed at its purpose, the crafted email was a futile effort as well.

This is why it is so common for analysts to use open rates as a benchmark for the success of email campaigns. An open rate is a measurement of an audience’s interaction with email marketing, but an email is only considered ‘open’ once the recipient has downloaded and view the images.

An open rate is essentially the level of frequency of opened emails during an email campaign.

“Email service providers (ESPs) calculate the open rate by taking the number of people who open the email and dividing it by the number of emails sent that did not bounce, i.e. failed to reach the recipient,” says Steven MacDonald from SuperOffice .

If a company wants to boost open rates, then here are 8 tactics that can improve the impact of their email marketing.

Avoid Unqualified Subscribers

Some marketers may mistakenly believe that the higher number of sent emails is directly related to an open rate. While it is true that there is greater potential for more emails to be opened, reaching out to unqualified subscribers is not likely to be very effective.

“If you purchased an email list, you can expect open rates well below the industry average. (Never, ever purchase an email list!),” says Mary Fernandez from OptinMonster. “The same goes for lists that were acquired without properly qualifying subscribers.”

Create Compelling Subject Lines

The subject line is the first and most important opportunity to inspire a reader to open an email. A customer needs to be convinced from a quick glance that there is something valuable hidden within the email. The best way to determine the potential of this is by testing.

“A/B testing isn’t just for websites and landing pages — it’s essential for email marketing as well,” states Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur contributor. “Aim for a casual and personal opening line, and test, test, test.”

Be Mindful of the Sender Name

People are significantly more likely to open an email from someone that is familiar. Savvy consumers know that their friends are not sending emails from an account that was clearly established for selling. However, readers are not as certain when a sender name appears as something a little more personal.

“Recent studies have shown that adding a personalized feel to the email can be key in increasing open rates,” says Ashley Zeckman from Top Rank. “Instead of sending the email from instead utilize the first and last name of a company employee.”

If marketers want to boost open rates from their email marketing, then they need to think like customers, not salespeople. It can really be as simple as asking: “Would I read that email?”

If the answer is yes, then an email campaign might be off to the right start.

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