With just a little bit of help from this blog, you could maximise your email open rates instantly!

Are your subscribers opening your emails?

Are you achieving the industry standard open rates for your business?  Benchmark against Industry Standard Open rates in this article by Smart Insights, which is the most up to date information in 2021 and covers all regions,  USA, Europe & Oceania.  It’s interesting reading! Open rates are crucial in determining & measuring the engagement of your target audience and understanding that your messaging is resonating with them. The ZYM Team has compiled some pointers to help you improve your open rates, these are based on our experience. We hope you enjoy the read and pick up some tips that help you out;  here is to better email open rates in 2022!

Consider the list, feeling warm or cold?

Does the list consist of warmed up subscribers or is it a cold data list?  The “warmth” of your list will have a big impact on open rates.  If it is a cold data list, be prepared to make the email as appealing as possible, the focus here is on the subject line and to the point content, to help you achieve good open rates.  If using warmer data, i.e., a list of subscribers, they will be more likely to open as they have purposefully subscribed to you to receive your emails.  You will still need to give them a reason to open the email, so make sure the subject line meets them on their buyer journey stage.  Further list segmentation will let you do this easily.  ZYM CRM is an easy-to-use CRM with inbuilt segmenting tools.  Learn more here about ZYM plans.


Purpose of email/your goals

What is the goal and purpose of the email?  Establish this first and then work backwards, so if your aim is to get more sales from an email, make sure your CTAs are directing prospects towards a resource or action which signifies this.  Do you want them to download something or buy something?  Make sure your email content and text are encouraging your subscribers to do this without being salesy, they need to feel free to make their own decisions!  Also, will you need a series of emails to reach your goals?  If so, ZYM journeys will help you make outstanding email sequences.  Find out more about ZYM plans here.

Segment – split them up and target better

Do you segment your list so that messaging becomes more relevant to your subscribers?  Open rates will increase if you have segmented your lists first, for example if you offer a product which has very distinct benefits to one customer and different benefits to another type of customer, then your messaging needs to be different and clear towards those differing customers.  Most good email programs will allow you to segment your lists, for example by job role.  Learn more about ZYM here.

Subject line

This is worth spending a lot of time on and will inform the whole email content.  Consider your purpose and aims and research the best subject lines, take a few hours and let your imagination run riot! Make a list of them and store them all in case you need inspiration for future subject lines.  Remember people generally don’t like to be sold to, so consider their buyer journey stage and adapt subject lines accordingly, e.g. if they are at the top of the funnel, the subject line should consider this or if they are new subscribers, the tone will be less salesy and more nurturing. Smart Insights have some great articles on subject lines here.

Preview text

That little bit of text after the subject line, can be used in a clever way to address your buyer on their journey.  What are their wants and needs at this stage?  Research this and make the preview text appeal to that stage of their journey.  A good preview text line could make the difference when a subscriber is deciding whether to take the time to open your email or not.


While your email shouldn’t be covered in images, this can be an important part of getting engagement, a picture does say a thousand words after all.  Make sure all your images contain alternative text tags (this is the text that will display over the image, if it isn't downloaded automatically, like in MS Outlook) and are linked to the relevant pages on your website. This will also increase deliverability to the inbox and reduce the chances of your emails going to the Spam folders.


Always include an unsubscribe link, it is a legal requirement under GDPR.  Don't be offended if someone unsubscribes, it is better to have an audience who are engaged with you after all!

Measure engagement

Subscriber engagement is the key measurement from your email campaigns, comparing open rates across campaigns, allows you to easily tweak and adjust future subject lines and content to continually improve open rates.  Learn from your brilliant open rates and replicate the formula across your campaigns.  

It’s easy to do on ZYM automated journeys and email newsletters – Learn more here.

Take a free 14 day trial of Zym here.

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