Emerging Trends and Best Practices for Increasing Email Open Rate


With the average person receiving nearly a hundred emails a day, it’s no wonder that more companies are struggling to boost their email open rate.

Let’s quickly go through a few email open rate stats to set the stage.

Average Email Marketing Open Rates

The average email open rate across all industries in 2021 was 21.5%, according to the 2022 Email Marketing Benchmarks Report. This is up 3.5% from 2020.

The average email open rate for non-profits, associations, and public service entities is 27.86%, while the average open rate for schools (K-12) is slightly lower at 26%. 

A good open rate for email marketing campaigns typically falls between 17% to 30%.

There are several techniques you can follow to increase your average email open rate significantly. By following emerging trends and best practices for increasing email open rates, you can get your message read by more people and ensure that your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

This article will explore some of the latest tactics marketers use to boost their open rates above the industry average. It will also help you keep your emails safe from the spam filter.

Personalize Your Subject Lines

When it comes to email marketing, one critically important aspect can make or break the success of your campaign: personalizing your subject lines. But how do you personalize your subject lines? 

Let’s explore some essential tips for ensuring your subject lines stand out and get noticed in an inbox full of other emails.

  • Stay away from generic sales pitches or offers. When you include personalized tokens such as a customer’s first name, company name, or location, you create more relevant and connected emails.
  • Research the interests of your specific customer segment. Craft unique email subject lines based on your unique customer’s needs. This helps you create highly-targeted emails that stand out from the crowd, improving your email click-through rate.
  • Use personalized words or emojis. Using words like ‘exclusive’ or ‘just for you” in your subject line can also help make it more enticing for readers to open the email. Utilizing emojis is another excellent way to capture attention quickly, so experimenting with different symbols may also be beneficial.

Make the Most of Preheaders

Preheaders are a few lines of text appearing just after the subject line in your email inbox. They provide readers with a summary of an email’s contents before they click to open it. Preheaders can easily grab people’s attention and increase open rates if used correctly.

Here’s an email example from Google with a preheader:

But how exactly can you make the most of preheaders? First and foremost, think about what information will make people want to open your emails—this could include promotional offers or discounts, exclusive content, or something as simple as informing readers what type of content they’ll find inside.

Remember to keep your preheader short and sweet regardless of the message you choose to use. Aim for somewhere around 50-60 characters so it doesn’t take up too much space on the screen.

Another vital element to consider when crafting a good preheader is language. Try using incentivized words like “exclusive” or anything else that might pique someone’s curiosity.

On top of this, avoid generic phrases like “click here” or “find out more,” as these don’t add any value for potential readers.

Finally, don’t forget that preheaders give you the perfect opportunity to test out different messages until you find one that works best for your audience —so don’t be afraid to experiment.

This means trying different combinations of words and phrases to see which ones impact your rate benchmarks most. A/B testing is a great way to do this since it will allow you to track which versions are performing best so that you can adjust accordingly over time.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

Optimizing your emails for mobile devices is vital if you want to increase your email open rates. Mobile devices are widely used and have become a significant part of our daily lives.

In fact, according to Litmus, nearly 42% of all emails are opened from mobile devices. 

Optimizing your emails for mobile devices doesn’t just mean making sure they look good on different screens. It also means ensuring there are no technical issues and that the email can be easily read and interacted with on any device.

Ensure all images load correctly, the text size is legible, links work properly, and buttons aren’t too small or hard to click. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure the content is formatted in a way that flows nicely across different screen sizes without breaking up and becoming difficult to read.

It is also essential to consider personalization when optimizing emails for mobile devices. Personalization ensures your emails get opened and makes them more engaging and effective overall.

With personalization techniques such as dynamic content and segmentation, you can tailor an email’s content and design based on the recipient’s interests or demographic data like age or location. This helps ensure that each recipient receives an email explicitly tailored to them so they will be more likely to engage with it instead of just deleting it outright.

Finally, you must test all aspects of your emails before sending them out to catch any possible issues before they become fatal mistakes. Test everything from links, images, subject lines, send times, etc., across various platforms (email recipients) to see how things turn out. 

Leverage A/B Testing

A/B testing is essential for any email marketer looking to increase their open rate. By running A/B tests, you can quickly and easily identify which elements of your email campaigns are working and which may need some improvement.

First, it’s essential to understand precisely what A/B testing is. In short, it’s a process that involves testing two different versions of the same thing to determine which one performs better. For example, you could test two subject lines of your email marketing campaign and see which one gets more opens.

For example, here are two different but similar headlines you might test:

  • “Discover the Benefits of Low-Cost Travel”
  • “Enjoy Affordable Vacations with Our Deals”

You could also test two different body messages with the same subject line to see how they perform. You can quickly hone in on what resonates with your audience and get higher open rates. 

You’ll see a higher return on investment by running multiple A/B tests on various aspects of your emails (subject lines, body copy, images, etc.).

The best way to run effective A/B tests is by ensuring that each test has measurable goals and outcomes. This will give you a good indication of whether or not a particular element worked better than another one – or if there was no difference.

You should also ensure that you don’t make too many changes at once; otherwise, it will be difficult to pinpoint exactly what affected the results. 

Time Your Emails Strategically

Timing your email campaign strategically can be the difference between an email that is opened and one left unread. Understanding when to send your emails is key to ensuring they reach their intended audience and get read.

For example, some research has shown that the best time of day to send emails is at 1:00 in the afternoon, as people are more likely to check their inboxes.

It’s also important to remember the time zone you are sending your emails to. If you have a global customer base, tailor the timing of your emails according to each region or country.

Also, bear in mind different holidays and days off – while some countries operate on a Monday-Friday work week, other countries may have different days off due to religious holidays or national holidays. 

For example, if you’re sending emails to customers in the US, keep in mind that US federal holidays will affect when your emails get opened and read.

Segment Your Email List

Segmentation divides your email list into smaller subgroups based on specific criteria, such as demographic data or purchase history.

By segmenting your list, you can target different audiences with more tailored and relevant content, boosting subscriber engagement and click-through rates. For example, suppose one of your segmented lists consists of customers who frequently purchase a particular item from your store. 

You can leverage that data to create super personalized subject lines that are likely to generate an open. This data can also be used to personalize the email content itself. These promotional emails will end up:

  • Increasing the chances of email recipients opening your future emails
  • Providing users with content that’s relevant to their interests
  • Creating a better customer experience.

To ensure success with segmentation-based campaigns, you must carefully analyze all available data and create clearly defined segments before launching emails. Every segment should have its unique characteristics determined by factors like gender, age group, or location so that you can create targeted messages for each one effectively.

And always keep an eye on how segments respond to emails over time. If they show signs of waning engagement, then it’s time to refine those audiences using new or different criteria.

Incorporate Interactive Elements into Emails

Interactive elements in an email campaign can be a great way to draw in more people and increase your email open rate. In addition, adding interactive elements can help make emails more interesting and engaging for the recipient, thus increasing the likelihood that they’ll open your emails in the future.

For example, the outdoor apparel company Patagonia uses interactive elements in its email campaigns. In one of their recent emails, they included a map that allows customers to see their worldwide footprint (see screenshot below). This helps create an engaging customer experience and encourages them to better understand Patgonia’s global impact.

In addition, using interactive elements makes it easier for recipients to provide feedback on your emails. This could include anything from rating a product to giving their opinion. 

Finally, interactive elements like gamified opt-in forms can boost click-through rates above average industry benchmarks. When you incorporate interactive elements into an email, users are more likely to engage with the email. They may then click your CTAs because they feel invested in what’s happening. 

Utilize Social Proof

Social proof works by utilizing the influence of others around us to make decisions. When we see that other people have already taken an action or opinion that we’re considering, it can influence our decision-making process. It leads us to feel more comfortable taking the same action or having the same opinion.

Regarding email marketing, utilizing social proof in your emails can effectively get more people to open and engage with your email messages. This could include using customer testimonials or highlighting how many people have already done something in the email subject line. 

For example, it can be helpful to incorporate positive reviews and ratings from customers into your subject line and the email body.

Moreover, incorporating social proof into emails can create FOMO (fear of missing out). Seeing that other people are already engaging with content or taking advantage of your opportunities could push email recipients into taking action so they don’t miss out on something great.

In addition, according to BigCommerce, 72% of consumers say testimonials help them to trust businesses even more. If websites can experience better performance with social proof, so can emails.


Improving your email marketing metrics doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Following these emerging trends and best practices ensures that your emails are engaging and relevant to your audience.

Higher open rates can be achieved by segmenting your list, incorporating interactive elements into emails, and utilizing social proof. All these strategies can help improve your email deliverability and have the desired effect. So go ahead and try these tactics out today and watch your open rates soar.

About the author

Nicholas Prins

I'm the founder of Launch Space. We work with global companies helping them scale lead generation through SEO and content marketing. Head over to the homepage to find out more.

By Nicholas Prins