Low email open and click-thru rates are more than just poor performance metrics. These metrics are a direct reflection that something is seriously wrong with your business’s email marketing campaign. Crafting email content that is relevant and useful for customers takes time and resources. It’s understandably frustrating when customers fail to click-thru to your target landing page – or worse – fail to open your email all together.

While benchmarking your performance against competitors is key for

analyzing your email program’s health, average is no longer “good enough.” In fact, given today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, anything below average should be seen as a “red flag”. Here are three sure-fire ways to boost email open and click-thru rates.



#1: Keep your subject lines to 50 characters or less

The likelihood that your email will be opened is determined in part by the perceived value that you deliver in each message, and this “value” is found in the subject line:

  • 35% of email recipients report opening an email solely because of the subject line

  • 69% of email recipients have marked an email as spam solely because of the subject line

Crafting the perfect email subject line is part science and part skill. In general, the best performing subject lines are 35 to 50 characters (the optimized length for smartphones).


#2: Segment your lists.

The right message for a new sales prospect is very different from the right message for a long-time client. List segmentation makes it easy to send the right message to the right client at the right time. Segmentation improves click-thru-rates by delivering a targeted call-to-action that is specific to your client’s needs.


#3: Optimize for smartphones.

Failing to optimize emails for smartphone consumption might mean your messages are going straight to the trash folder. Optimizing your message size is also important; an email of 40KB will load much faster over a cell network than a message of 300KB. As a rule of thumb, keep messages to 50KB or less and compress all images for faster load speed. Watch out for “truncation”, which occurs when lengthy messages are cut off because of size. Since many recipients won’t click-thru to read the full text, keep the most important content at the beginning of your message.