Exactly How I Increased My Email Open Rate By 300%

If you are building a list, this will be one very interesting post to read. It’s from my personal experience and I know the same method will help anyone who tries it. So I encourage you read thoroughly so you don’t miss a point!

As an online entrepreneur, one of the things you must do is build a list. That’s your surest source of traffic. When Google penalties knock, your list will never fail you.

Unfortunately, some bloggers and online businessmen are yet to start building a list. One of the mistakes I made from the very first day I started blogging is that I didn’t start with building my list.

Well, in this post, I’m not giving reasons why you should start building a list. I’m writing to those who have a list but are suffering from very discouraging rates at which their mails get opened.

Let me underline here that different industries have different email open rates. Depending on the size of your list, 8% open rate could mean a lot. A friend just told me he has averagely 30+% open rate. However, his list subscribers are below 200.

If you have 20000 subscribers for instance, 8% open rate of course will be 1600 subscribers. What about doubling that rate? 3200 visitors to your site each time you mail will be crushingly interesting.

For the most part, I have had 100% click through (CT). That means 100 subscribers who open my mail will end up clicking the link to visit my blog.

NB: I recommend you try out this free subject line tester

I use Aweber and that seems to be the most excellent autoresponder with features you don’t find elsewhere.

If you are wondering where to start email marketing, try aweber for $1 only. You are free to cancel your subscription any time. You can use it for 30 days, build a list and export it before your $1 subscription expires

Before I explain how I specifically tripled the number of mails that got read after I mailed my list, let’s look at some basic ways to get more subscribers to open your mails;

  • Let them willingly sign up to your list
  • Deliver what you promise
  • Your  subject lines should be catchy and not misleading
  • Avoid unnecessary promotional mails
  • Adjust your message until the spam rate is 0%
  • Ask your subscribers to add your address to their email address book
  • Don’t use a free email (yahoo, gmail, etc) as your “From” email
  • If a subscriber replies to your mail, don’t neglect it. If you do this, the next time you mail him, he may simply discard your mail.
  • Don’t send messages that are off topic.
  • Etc

Improving my email open rate with AWeber – 300% Increase


email open rate

One of the things I do after publishing a new post is send a mail to my subscribers to announce the arrival of a new blog post. This strategy is used by many of us bloggers and it works well to keep our blogs warm.

After I published this post, I mailed my list. The following day, I was not quite excited with the open rate. 9% out of about 300 subscribers?  I thought that was too down the earth. I looked deeper into Aweber and found something I want to share with us today.

Before I share with you what I did, I however found out why the open rate was that low;

  • Some of my subscribers go straight to my blog after they receive a mail from me.  They don’t bother reading the mail.
  • Some go to the posts through a shared article on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc)

These are some of the reasons a handful of my readers don’t open some of my mails. They read my posts even before the mail to my list ever gets to their inbox.

I also discovered my post titles and email subjects are not always so different. Maybe if I make these components so different from each other, the open rates may change 😉

“I love you guys for being so loyal and I promise to be up to the task ;)”

Ok so what did I do to have more subscribers open and read my mails?

The first mail I sent had 9% open rate (from the image above)

That means 91% did not open the mail.

The second follow up mail had 27% open rate

NB: This second mail was sent only to the (91%) portion of subscribers that did not read the first mail.

Total list subscribers 389

9% of 389 = 35 subscribers opened the first mail

38935 = 354 subscribers did not open the first mail

I sent another mail to the 354 subscribers who did not read the first mail

27% of 354 = 95 subscribers opened the second mail

Therefore, 35495 = 259 did not open both mails

So a total of (35+95 = 130) finally opened my mails.

Looking at these figures, you’ll find out that I did something extra and had 95 more subscribers open my mails. I could do the same thing and get more out of 259 to open the read the mail

What was it that I did?

Using Segments to get more to open the mails

You got it!

Aweber gives us the excellent possibility of segmenting lists based on so many different set of conditions.  This feature enables me to send a mail only to subscribers who did not open a previous mail. Interestingly, I can also resend a mail only to those who opened but did not click the link in the previous mail.

Aweber, you deserve a cup of coffee from me!

So let’s see how you can resend another mail to your subscribers who did not open the mail you sent last time.

While on the sent mails listing page, click to view the stats of the specific mail you want to get more to open;

aweber email open rate

1  = Click the Unopened tab
2  = Click “Send Directly to These Subscribers” green button

Enter the Segment name on the next window and click “Send to segment now”

You’ll be taken to the new message form where to compose another message to be sent uniquely to these subscribers who did not open the last mail.

Please  note!

You cannot really tell why they did not open that last mail – maybe it went to spam or it was just simply disregarded. Therefore, you have to be creative in the re-launch message and change the subject line.

For the most part, you’re surely going to have many more to open the re-launch mail.

That’s it!

So let me know what you think about this little trick to triple open rate.  Leave your comments below and share this post on social media.

36 thoughts on “Exactly How I Increased My Email Open Rate By 300%”

  1. Hey Enstine,

    I haven’t used this feature of Aweber although I probably should. For the most part I have a pretty high open rate although it has slacked off from time to time. Some of what I share isn’t the most interesting to some people on my list so I know that’s really the reason.

    I did learn some time back to make your subject lines curious so that they’ll want to click through to see what it is. Never use the same as your post. I hate to put anything in the subject line that is totally misleading so that’s the only thing I have not done and probably never will.

    I think the next time I have a lower open rate I just might try this. Thanks for sharing this with us and I’m sure you just helped a lot of people out.


  2. Its to good learn more about the features of Aweber. Its a popular autoresponder and I see it is tool that gives email marketers a reasonable power of control. The improved user experience makes it possible to have an increased open rate!

    This comment was left in kingged.com – the content syndication and social bookmarking website for Internet marketers where this post was shared.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor


  3. Hey mate,

    Great write and thanks for sharing this. I find it pretty great tutorial indeed!

    Love the fact that you utilize the open rates. Basically, a second email is good but doing too many is bad. Might just get ‘unsubscribed’ instead.

    My suggestion is do it on your ‘sale’ or ‘top’ posts and the rest will follow.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Of course! We don’t know exactly why some subscribers don’t open our mails. Bombarding them with repeated mails may end up kicking them off

      Thanks for adding your voice

  4. Hey Enstine:

    Another totally excellent and highly informative post! Like you, Aweber is my paid autoresponder as well.

    And you expertly demonstrated how a savvy and extremely knowledgeable marketer can and should utilize one of the many features available in Aweber to increase their overall rate of return using email.

    Even though a savvy offline marketer could use this exact same proven strategy. Granted, it’s going to take more money, tracking and time.

    With a quality paid autoresponder service Aweber or as Tim Bonner pointed out (Get Response), you can and should strategically use automation, to systematically improve your results.

    This is another excellent example of effective follow up marketing execution at work! Thanks for sharing and leading by example! Definitely glad I read this one! And will share it too!

  5. AWeber is indeed #1 email marketing service, GETRESPONSE is nest one.
    Pretty nice tips, open rate not necessarily brings you money in my opinion, just views, lots of views and content marketing, your power of writing can bring you conversions, leads…

  6. Great tip Enstine,
    I am heading over to try this now
    I have not retried an email before. Perhaps I will also lose subscribers, but I figure the ones who leave are not that keen anyway!
    Thanks for the tip

  7. Hey Einstein,
    This is interesting information, and I’m sure your efforts can help anyone who wants to start or grow an online business. With billions of blogs and the web that come from all over the world, it would be difficult for an online entrepreneur to maintain the loyalty of readers / visitors the site.
    Build a list of customers, then periodically send e-mails to them is one way to increase the positive relation between the two. When we start to build a network of relationships through e-mail, of course we need to take care of credible support. I think it’s a positive message of your article.

  8. Hmmm,

    This is a true casestudy of what tracking and testing can do for you! I’m sure there are many people using aweber who despite seeing those features never cared to really see what they can do about it 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. I’m sure this can replicated in most other email platforms.

  9. Well to be honest I never tried aweber till yet and I think I must give a try to it once. Your case study seems really promising and worth trying.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hey Enstine,

    This is a clever idea! I had a hard time understanding how to segment on AWeber, but this gives me a clue of how to go about it! I usually get about 9% open rate but lets see how this strategy improves it! Thanks for sharing and you have a great rest of the week!

  11. Personally I get a bit annoyed when I get the second email. I find this to be very pushy. I didn’t open the email the first time because for whatever reason it didn’t appeal to me. Getting a follow up email to say hey you didn’t open my email just irritates me.

    • Good to see you around again Angel. I’m so excited and thanks for your input

      Yes, some people just don’t want that. However, like I said, there are a couple of reasons why the first mail was not opened. For some people, it went to spam. For others, they didn’t find it interesting. Coming up with a follow up mail only gives some more subscribers a chance to get what’s inside 😉

      BTW, I love the reviews on your blog. Stepping over to it now 😉

  12. This is definitely a great feature of AWeber Enstine.

    Now I’m with GetResponse I’m glad they have this feature too!

    The other thing that GetResponse have is that you can automate this process.

    So, you can set up an autoresponder to send an email the following day or whatever time you choose if someone doesn’t open your email.

    That’s one of the reasons I moved from AWeber to GetResponse.

    Still love AWeber too though :-).

      • GetResponse starts out at about the same price as AWeber Enstine until 500 subscribers and then it’s cheaper.

        It was a no brainer for me to move because I get loads more features for my money.

  13. First of all ,thanks for this great post. It is always important when using email that you can keep your open rates up as high as possibleand it is interesting to know how to improve email open rates. So, one of the first thing to get your subscribers to open your emails is “Subject line” because it is what gets your emails opened. For example if you’ve got a subject line that piques your subscribers curiosity and gets them intrigued , sure they’re goin’ to open and read it .
    Secondly , about using segments to get more to open the mails i think that Aweber probably the best tool for managing mailing lists that exist and with it amost problems will be reduced or solved as Miracle Ayodele said.

    You always come with new stuff keep it up.

  14. Excellent research, thank you. And certainly, as many forget, don’t send those who opened a second mail on the very same subject. Another tip I use sometimes to advantage: when there is information in the mail that is not on the blog/in the post you announce. You have to work toward educating your list to this for a while until it takes hold. But as you wrote, some just don’t open but rather got to your blog immediately. If that’s the sole purpose of the email, then we wouldn’t bother. But we lose some statistics. But when we make it clear and a custom, that our mails contain “insider” information that was not posted on the blog (nor will it be any time soon), then readers have a reason to always open the email. And if you refer to that fact in the blog posts this will increase your subscriber rate. It’s a free newsletter thing with a twist.

  15. Hi Enstine! How are things going?
    I love this feature of AWeber and it’s great for testing different subject lines.
    However, you didn’t mention exactly what it was you changed about the message that enticed people to open it. I’d love to hear the details on that.

    Hopefully you’ll share this secret soon :)

    • Hey Ileane,

      I’m doing great and happy to see you around 😉
      What I did as explained was segmenting the list and mailing to the portion that didn’t open the first email, this time with a different subject 😉

      Have you tried that before?

      • Enstine,

        I’m trying to find out from you exactly what the two different subject lines were 🙂

        I have done something similar with Split Testing which I describe in the post I’ll leave in my CommentLuv link. Hope you get a chance to check it out.

        • Hi Ileane,

          Ok here is the first subject line: Hot information about Gmail {!firstname_fix}
          ANd here is the followup subject that tripled the open rate: Where are you {!firstname_fix} ?

          How about that?

          • Ok I got it now Enstine.
            It seems like your headline has a lot to do with your success. I know that if I saw the first headline most likely I would not open the email because I just can’t imagine anything about Gmail being HOT. lol
            But the second headline gets my attention and make me curious.


  16. Dear Enstine,

    Thanks for sharing this little known trick. However, in my humble opinion, sending another email to a particular segment (who did not open your first email) and getting an increased open rate is not something which can be strictly relied upon. In my opinion, an email open rate depends upon two things :
    (1) How enticing is the title of our subject line and
    (2) How much trust we enjoy with our list.

    Regarding my first point an entire copy writing industry is there to teach us the art of writing great titles. Regarding second point, I believe it is something which needs patience and time to develop. There are a few internet marketers whose email have become a must read for me no matter how frequently/occasionally they send emails. I love their advise, their case studies and their strategies. So no matter what is the title of their email, I open them the moment they arrive in my inbox.

    Just my two cents 🙂

    • Very correct William and thanks for such a brilliant comment
      You notice I didn’t want to write on the obvious things we have been reading around. It’s just about sharing an experience which I know everyone can reproduce.

      However, I broadly mentioned using catchy subjects and earning trust from subscribers. There are many bloggers out there I open their mails no matter the subject line. That’s trust and we should work on that

      Hope to see you again around so soon William

  17. Emails are the doorways o reach upto your targeted audience in the easiest, simplest and quickest manner possible. I am currently trying to build up an email list and your post is definately going to help me out do that.
    Thanks a ton

  18. This is really a great post. I think the reason why people are not responding to the mail was because there are just too many people sending unnecessary mail and so they considered yours also a unnecessary.

    Like Shalu Sharma said, my mail is flooded with so many posts even catchy ones like money making mails etc, but I trash them out.

    But I think with the segments, the problems will be reduced or solved.

    Thanks for sharing Enstine.

  19. Very interesting tip on how to get increased email opening. You always come with great stuff. Aweber is certainly very good and a must have to increase subscriptions. Also sending a lot of emails is not a good idea as most people’s inbox is already flooded with emails and the last thing they want is another one or another offer.

    • Very correct Shalu and that’s why it’s becoming almost hard to succeed with email marketing. However, if well done, there is always success

      Thanks for your contribution and do have a wonderful day

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