(not subject lines) 6 tips to higher email opens

You ask: “how to get more email opens?”

Most answer: “great subject lines”.

Me: “meh, let’s use something else”.

1/ Give subscribers the right expectations

Are you going to send me emails on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?

On my opt-in form, I mention they’re going to get daily emails.

This eliminates surprise — the subscriber doesn’t feel bombarded with my daily emails. If they don’t want daily emails, they wouldn’t have subscribed.

Now they’re expecting daily emails from me.

Expectation = higher email opens.


2/ Stop caring for subscribers’ wallet

How many times have you opted in to someone’s list, only to get bombarded with sales emails every day?

They don’t care about your well-being. They only care about your wallet. Poop them 💩!

Yes, of course you need to sell. But not in the beginning of your relationship.

Send value-packed emails that are beneficial to their lives. Give tips to help solve their problems. Expect nothing in return. This kind of mindset will make them appreciate and trust you.

Then they’ll look forward to hearing from you (i.e open your emails). Then heeding your advice. Then buying from you.


3/ Make your emails fun (and interesting)

Most emails are boring. Including yours.

Check your inbox and I’d bet you can count with fingers how many are interesting.

Boring = no one opens your emails.

Don’t just provide value. Provide them in a fun way.

Let’s face it. You’re not going to create the best content. There are other people more talented than you.

You just need to stand out from the crowd. And a great way to do that is to ENTERTAIN your subscribers and make your emails fun. So that they look forward to opening them.

Stories are a good way to entertain. They don’t have to be long.

E.g. I want to let readers know they shouldn’t be “flying blind” in business. That they should know their metrics.

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4/ Your from name

I still see people representing businesses who use their personal name as the “from name” when sending emails.

I have no clue who these guys are. But when I opened their emails, they turned out to be employees of businesses that I recognize and have previously engaged with.

Unless you’re using your personal name as the “storefront” of your business, use this combination:

[First name] at [Brand]


Welly at BirdSend

(ohhh and don’t just use [Brand] because it sound so “corporate-sy” — people don’t open emails from corporations, they open emails from other humans)


5/ Your from email address

I’ve seen people use a free email address to send out emails. WTH?

If you’re using a free from email address to send out emails, your emails are more likely to end up in the spam folder.

Why? Because anyone (including spammers) can get their hands on a free email address effortlessly. This means inbox providers can’t verify who the sender is — whether they’re a spammer or legit person.

Rather than taking risks, they’ll just mark your emails as spam.

Use an email address from your domain to send out emails instead. Not only will it go well with spam filters, you’ll also look more professional.


kimberly [at] salesupnow [dot] com
kimberly [at] gmail [dot] com


6/ Good email service provider (ESP)

An ESP’s job is to deliver your emails to the intended recipients’ inbox.

Not the spam/bulk folder, but the inbox — we call this “inbox placement”.

Not one single ESP (even the biggest ones) can deliver emails to the inbox 100% of the time. What you want to make sure is the majority of your emails do not land in spam.

If you’re sending high-volume emails (more than 50k/week), you could install SPF and DKIM records into your domain host to boost your results.


7/ Good subject lines

Most people would immediately think about subject lines when it comes to improving their email open rates.

However, as you’ve learned above, it’s not the only way.

I cover about subject lines in this post.


Wrapping up

Do these to improve your email open rates:

  1. Give subscribers the right expectations
  2. Be beneficial to your subscribers
  3. Make your emails fun (and interesting)
  4. Use [first name] + [brand] as your from name
  5. Use your own domain for your from email address
  6. Use a good ESP

About the Author

👋 My customers (Content Creators) send 30M emails/month via BirdSend. They save 80% in email tool expenses every month while still enjoying high email opens.

Welly Mulia

Enjoy the post? You'll probably like my daily emails too. Why not join 3,123 other Content Creators by taking my 7-day email mistakes challenge and see which mistakes you're making. Most importantly, you'd get to correct them.