How to Improve the Email Open and Conversion Rates: 21 Actionable Tips

Email is the most widely used type of communication between professionals and with leads and clients. With its help, marketers can easily reach out to them, convert them into paying customers, and keep them engaged. 

However, to make your email marketing campaigns more productive, every professional needs to know how to write good emails. In this article, you will find 21 actionable tips that will help you improve the email open and conversion rates. 

How to improve the email open rate

The open rate is the ratio of opened emails to the total amount of sent ones. This data gives you a general idea of how many people find the email subject line engaging enough to open it and see what is inside the message.

There are three things that influence the email open rate: the From line, the subject line, and the preheader. Here’s how you can improve them. 

The From Line

The From line is seen close to the subject line that makes it extremely important. According to a SuperOffice research, 69% of people open the email when first looking at the sender’s name. The From line is the first thing displayed in the inbox and you need to keep in mind 4 main things:

Tip 1. DO write the “From” line

The sender’s name is vital as it informs your audience that the email sender is reliable and worth their time. Moreover, just think of how unprofessional you will look if the recipients see something gibberish in the From line.

Tip 2. Be a person

Sending emails should be more about a person-to-person communication and to achieve a personal email relationship with your audience, you need to have an individuality. Including your sender’s name in the email’s From line will help you create that personality. Make the recipients believe that you are a real person not a machine: write your personal name in this part of the email.

Tip 3. Be professional

Make your email sender’s name look professional by including vital information like the brand you represent. An email with a From line such as Smith from or [email protected] can make your copy appear formidable and more professional. It will help your audience have a connection with you as a person and inform them that there is actually someone behind the brand reaching out to them.

Tip 4. Be short

Be specific and get right to the point. Keep in mind that email providers have a varying limit of character count displayed in the inbox. As you don’t want your name to be cut off without being fully shown, ensure that your sender’s name is as short as possible (Google displays 20 while Yahoo only 14 characters). 

The Subject Line

47% of recipients decide on whether to open the email or not based on the subject line only and 69% report spam just when they look through the subject line. Stunning, yeh? So there’s sense in paying time to it, and a few tips below will make it easier for you to compose them.  

Tip 5. Keep your subject line short and intriguing

Too lengthy subject lines are cut off by email providers, especially on mobile views. Considering that 54% of all emails are opened on mobiles, the subject line should not exceed 30 characters to guarantee that people will see it correctly and won’t miss a thing. So insert the most valuable words at the beginning of the subject line to be sure the recipients see them. 

Tip 6. Personalize the subject line

Personalizing your subject line is one more method of improving the email open rate. Go beyond just using the recipient’s name and incorporate tokens such as language, location, age, and interests. Retarget your audience based on the offers they viewed without purchasing and include them in the subject line.

Tip 7. Use power words

Power words transform a boring and dull subject line into an irresistible and attractive magnet. They are effective in burning a feeling of excitement or urgency that consequently inspires action. Power words establish the hierarchy of needs by holding them to a particular deadline which creates meaning, value, and demand. 

Tip 8. Avoid spam trigger words

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see the words free, discount, don’t lose your chance, etc. in the email subject line? Personally, I think ouch, spam again! and delete the email not even opening it. 

In addition to that, there are many spam triggers that activate spam filters and cause an email to end up in the spam folder instead of the recipient’s inbox. So you need to know these words. This will help you not influence both the email deliverability and open rate in a negative way.

It is always a good idea to use a professional email subject line analyzer to come up with catchy and unique subjects that will definitely bring attention to your message.


Email preheader is a snippet of text gotten from the body of the email that supports the subject line and points out crucial parts of the email. You see it right in the inbox next to the email subject line. 

Quite often, you can see something like “Click here to view in browser”. Is that ok? Doubtfully. The preheader is another thing that influences the recipients’ decision of whether to open the email or not.

Tip 9. Don’t make it too long

Keep in mind that about 75% of subscribers check their email on mobile devices. This moves us to the conclusion that the email preheader should be between 30 to 55 characters to ensure that it is visible on both mobile and desktop email clients. 

Tip 10. Make the preheader calling to action

About 24% of email subscribers decide whether they want to open an email after going through the preheader. Incorporating a call to action or a sense of urgency in your email preheader will increase the possibilities of your email being opened

How to improve the conversion rate: the email content

Hurray! Your sender’s name, the subject line, and the preheader were persuasive enough for the recipients to open the email. My congrats! Now, what do your subscribers see when they click on it? To not lose face, keep in mind the tips below.

Tip 11. Be relevant

One of the greatest mistakes marketers make is that they do not know for sure whether their email is necessary to the recipients. To avoid this digital marketing mistake, analyze the market, think of your audience, and find out if they need your offer. Otherwise, there’s no sense in writing your email at all. 

Tip 12. Be professional

Define the conversation tone from the very first words and stick to it throughout the email. It all depends on your niche and specialization profile. Anyway, you need to be polite, address people by their names, and surely, greet people. Hi or Hello, Dear friend or just the name, it’s all up to you. But remember that politeness and nurturing are the main characters of a real professional. 

Tip 12. Be personal

Email personalization is without any doubt one of the quickest and most effective methods of influencing the person’s ego. It rewards your email campaign efforts with a median ROI of 122%. Ensure you have all the necessary data on your subscribers and leads so there will be no personalization variables.

Tip 13. The email length

Avoid unnecessary words in your email content and keep your email as short and direct as possible. Avoid any fluff and be deliberate on what you offer and the action to be taken. Long emails are confusing, the reader can lose the thread of a conversation, and will simply delete the email. And in fact, no one has time to read long emails. A trick in keeping your email short and captivating is to use attention-grabbing summaries and a link to content where the topic is disclosed.

Tip 14. Don’t use multiple colors and fonts

Using colors in email can trigger different emotional responses from your audience that may have either positive or negative impacts on your brand. It is important to use colors that clearly define your brand and avoid going overboard. Use a combination of no more than three colors. Ensure that the colors you settle for complement your brand logo and website. 

Additionally, the proper font can appeal and keep the attention of your readers. Using fonts that are too crowded, difficult-to-read or the wrong size can be confusing to your reader. And lots of various fonts make the email look non-appealing.

Tip 15. Avoid gendered language

Gender-neutral language is just the thing every professional needs in a quickly-developing world. The most ideal method of referring to your recipients is by using alternative words that address both genders or gender-neutral pronouns. Replace he or she with who, they or just the name of your recipient if appropriate. It is important to avoid gendered language because you want to speak directly to your recipients without leaving anyone out.

Tip 16. Be patient with emojis

Considering that most emails are opened on mobile devices, emojis in your email copy can be effective. They save space, trigger emotions, are easy-to-use, and evade the recent stringent spam filters. 

However, when including emojis in your email copy, always remember to keep the sense relevant to the email content. Use them to draw attention to specific issues and evoke a definite emotion. 

However, not everyone is favorable to emojis in emails. Statistics show that 30% of subscribers don’t like seeing these characters in their emails so analyze first whether to use them or better avoid negative results. Also, don’t forget that some email providers do not recognize emojis and may transform them into text smileys or just plain squares.

Tip 17. Don’t use too many attachments

Email attachments are one of the specific methods of attracting customers. They make your emails valuable and lure the subscribers to open them. However, email attachments in cold emails can result in the blacklist of your domain name. Limit the number of attachments to guarantee high email deliverability and avoid rejection by email servers. Keep your message below 100kb and 10mb for attachments.

Tip 18. Optimize your email for mobile

You are already aware that people mostly check their emails on mobile devices, and that the emails designed to fit only PC may appear awful on mobiles. Use simple and clean images without too many designs and make sure your template is responsive so that it fits any screen. Avoid cluttering links and long paragraphs and use buttons for CTAs instead of links.

Tip 19. Add an email signature

Added to an email, signature makes it appear professional as it contains your important information such as name, website, and email. It provides your recipients with additional information about you without running a search. 

According to the statistics, 52% of emails come with a signature with 75% of them have contact information (60% include a landline phone and 70% include a name). Also, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism.

Tip 20. Insert only one clear CTA

The CTA, call-to-action, is one of the most important elements in every email as it pushes your recipient to take a specific action. It may be tempting to use more CTAs in order to increase engagement with your brand but it won’t provide results. Your subscribers may get confused with too many CTAs so there should be a balance between simplicity and option. Include just one CTA and if there is a need to have more, leave them for further emails. 

Tip 21. Be credible

Last but not least, you need to have solid credibility as a brand. You can achieve this by offering a simple and stress-free unsubscribe link or a preference subscription form. This option not only allows you to obey the CAN-SPAM Act but also makes it easier to customize what they will receive and when.

Final chord

An email is a masterpiece, and every copywriter, marketer or sales rep needs to know how to write it in the best possible way. 

To improve the email open rate, you need to know what influences your subscribers and motivates them to open your message. These are the sender’s name, the subject line, and the preheader. And to improve the conversion rate, you need to concentrate on the email content. 

Anyway, you need to be professional whichever part of your email you are working on: be short and to-the-point, don’t overdo with emojis and attachments, be human and personal.

The best of the email marketing strategy and content wouldn’t meet anything if you have a bad quality email database, as your emails wouldn’t get delivered in the first place. It is vital to ensure your email lists are kept clean all the time, the best option is to validate emails right at the source i.e. when your prospects/users enter their email address into your forms. Also, email bounces over a longer period of time can end up hurting your sender reputation making your future emails go to spam, all the more reason to ensure you maintain a good quality list.

And the final tip: keep an eye on your working day and stay focused to write the best content!

Helen Holovach is a copywriter who is passionate about email marketing and research. In her free time, you can see her sitting by a campfire and singing to a guitar. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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