| Marketing Strategy 6 Min Read

As a marketer, nothing stings more than spending a ton of time crafting a beautiful, informative, well-researched email, and sending it out to your database, only to discover later that many of the people you’ve sent it to haven’t even opened it.

So why does it happen? How can you improve it?

First off, you’re probably wondering what a good open rate is, and the answer is, it depends on a lot of things.

But as a general rule, depending on the industry, most marketers will agree that a good average open rate is between 15-25%, but I personally think even those numbers are low.

Ultimately, if you have numbers that low, it means that you’re not taking enough care of your database; you’re probably focusing on the quantity of it, not the quality of it, and that makes all the difference.

Here at Artifakt Digital, our average open rate for our newsletter, The Artifakt Advance, is 40-50%, and our average open rate across all of our emails (as of right now) is 72.12%. Those are considered really good numbers, but personally, I still think there’s room for improvement there, so we continually work towards inching those numbers up.

So if one of your goals is also to increase the open rate of your marketing emails, here are some of the things we’ve learned.

Always Focus On Quality, Not Quantity

The number of email addresses in your marketing database doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of those email addresses that matter.

Think about it this way: would you rather have 10,000 email addresses from people that don’t really care about you. or 100 email addresses from people that are highly engaged in you, your brand, and your business?

A lot of marketers focus on building their email marketing database, but few ever take the time to audit it; and that’s a problem when it comes to building a quality database. The fact is, you should be auditing and cleaning up your email list on a regular basis.

For our email marketing database, we routinely unsubscribe people that are disengaged with our content because there’s really no point in sending them anything, even if they’ve asked to receive it.

Just by focusing on building a quality-based email marketing list alone, you can improve your open rate on your email considerably.

Make People Interested Right Away

When it comes to getting people to open your email, your subject line and preview are really important. After all, it’s the first thing the person receiving it will see, so it obviously plays a huge in role in whether they’ll open your email or not. A well-written subject line and preview text:

  • Easily identifies who it’s from.
  • Summarizes what it’s about in an interesting way.

With most email marketing platforms, you can even test a few variations of your subject line and preview so you can see which ones your audience responds to better through your open rate. It pays to experiment a little to see what works and what doesn’t work for your specific audience.

The fact is, without a great, well-written, concise subject line and description, most people are likely to ignore your email, which will lead to a high number of disengaged contacts and ultimately, a low open rate.

What Are You Offering Them When They Signup?

What information did you present to someone to get them to sign up to your marketing database?

A lot of people just say: sign up for my newsletter… but they forget the ‘why’. Why would I want to? What’s in it for me? What’s going to happen when I give you my email address?

Take a look at our signup page for our newsletter, The Artifakt Advance, right here. In my opinion, it works because it’s really clear what it is, why you should sign up for, what will happen when you do, and even that you can easily opt-out later if you want. The page uses transparency to build a lot of trust with the audience right away.

When people sign up for something they actually want to get, they’re much more likely to open, read, and engage with your marketing emails.

Send it Like a Human

If someone isn’t opening your email, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested in what you have to say; it’s also possible that they never even knew they received in the first place. And that can happen if it ended up in an Googles’s promotions tab.

So what makes an email end up in a promotions tab anyways? Anything that makes Gmail think you’re sending a marketing email.

To increase your odds of not ending up in the promotions folder, try to make it look like you’re an actual human sending an email, rather than a marketer.

Basically, the less fancy your email is, the less likely it will end up in the promotions folder. By avoiding lots of images, URLs, and fancy HTML coding, you increase the odds that Gmail believes that you’re a real person.

Quality is Key

If you usually send a marketing email to your database towards the end of each month, and one month, you find yourself struggling with coming up with informative, useful for content, then don’t send anything at all. It’s better for you to ensure you’re only sending emails that actually provide value to ensure you keep quality up.

In the end, I firmly believe that it really just all comes down to quality: both the quality of the email addresses in your database and the quality of what you’re actually sending them.


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