Construction Marketing

How to Improve Your E-mail Open Rate (w/ Will Ferrell Gifs)

If people aren’t opening your e-mails it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person… or that people hate your brand. We’re all just tired. We have A.D.D. We are used to feeding our…

Estimated Read Time:  3 minutes


That escalated quickly gif - Will ferrell in anchorman

If people aren’t opening your e-mails it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person… or that people hate your brand.

We’re all just tired.

We have A.D.D.

We are used to feeding our brains on memes and Kanye, and tide pod challenges.

But there are some ways you can get more people to open your e-mails. I’ll explain 3 of the top ways (with Will Ferrell gifs because I know you might have information fatigue as well.)

1. Don’t be afraid to be a bit provocative

No one knows what it means but it's provocative gif

Entice curiosity! If the average person wants to open the e-mail just to at least figure out what it’s about – you’re on the right track.

Examples of somewhat provocative e-mail subject lines:

  • I have good news and bad news… (Invoke curiosity)
  • I was right—and that’s not good for you… (Invoke curiosity)
  • Here’s the REAL reason Amazon is buying Whole Foods (News / Current event focus)
  • Pay it forward (Show Humanity)
  • Re: Frequently Asked Question #1 (Invoke curiosity)
  • Meet me in Minneapolis, NAME? (Show Humanity)
  • Steal these email templates… (Strong value offer)
  • Here’s what happened last Thursday Night (News / Current event focus)
  • Bad news…closing down (Scarcity)
  • 24 Hours Left to Get (Special Deal)! (Scarcity)
  •  [Checklist] Summer content ideas (Strong value offer)

2. You don’t need to be too serious – make it fun, joking & conversational.

I have leather bound books, and my apartment smells of mahogeney

What do people like more – when you use an unnecessarily formal tone or when you sound like one of their friends that could be just sending over a quick note of something they found useful?

3. Write the subject and the e-mail like it’s sending out to just one person

Will Ferrell - Cowbell

… or like you’re playing the cowbell for just one person. I like to imagine the person I’m talking to, right there in the room with me – so that I can not accidentally dilapidate into talking like I’m in an auditorium with 100’s of different types of people.

If you can emotionally connect – entertain, or be useful to just one person – you’re much more likely to be useful to 10 – 100 or 1000 people.

4. Don’t buy leads, keep your list fresh and segment where possible to avoid spam filters.

Will Ferrell Gif, don't call at the office

People that didn’t want to be on your list, haven’t engaged with it in a while, or are interested in one aspect of what you do, but not necessarily all of it  – are going to be harder to please. I’ve talked with other small business owners who have commiserated with me about how “every time  I send an e-mail, I get unsubscribes”, and I honestly don’t think that’s unusual or a big deal. The ideal is that you’re acquiring new e-mail subscribers at 10x the rate that your getting those though.

If you’re acquiring 10x the subscribers, and working at segmenting where possible – you’re likely going to be safer from spam filters.


5. Send it at the right time and day!

That escalated quickly gif - Will ferrell in anchorman

When you wake up and check your e-mail and see a company or organization trying to e-mail you at 7 a.m., it seems a little too fast for the general rhythm of the day. 4 p.m. and it seems like people are generally checked out for the day mentally, according to statistics.

So what’s a marketer to do? 

Send it at 9:30 to 2:30pm – ideally probably Tuesday-Thursday at 10 a.m – or 2 p.m.

Check out these awesome infographics for CoSchedule’s stats and analysis on the best times to send an e-mail.

best day to send email

Best times to send email

Best day to send email


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