Every online business looking to build brand awareness and boost conversion is always on the hunt for leads to success, and email marketing is one surefire method to win at business. But to measure the success of your email marketing campaign, it’s important to note that your open and click-through rates are some of the most important performance metrics to monitor.

In an increasingly digital world where users are bombarded with hundreds of email daily, it’s difficult to create a unique strategy that piques the interest of the reader and convinces them to not only open the email and click the outbound button but take your call-to-action.

Common challenges online marketers are faced with when implementing a strategy include emails lost in the mailbox, and spammed or users who open the email without clicking on your call to action.

If you’re worried that your email marketing strategy isn’t working or your click-through stats are appalling, you need to appraise your strategy. The primary goal of every email marketing campaign is to get users to click the open button, read and follow through. If users don’t read your emails, you’ll have leads to fewer leads, conversion and lost revenue.

I’ve put together a guide to help you revamp your strategy and create an amazing email marketing campaign guaranteed to boost open and click-through rate.

  • Read and follow CAN-SPAM rules

Some email marketers are unaware of laws that regulate emails and messaging. Controlling the Assault of Non-solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) came into effect in 2003 and was passed to establish rules for commercial messages and commercial email. Recipients have the right to stop receiving emails from a business and those who disobey incur penalties.

  • Create subject lines that spark interest

A successful campaign starts with a subject line that attracts interest from the reader. The best subject lines are descriptive or personal and give the subscriber compelling reasons to click the content.

When creating subject lines, merge tags with the recipient’s location or name as personalization increases open rates. Communicate the benefits of your call-to-action or promotional, but don’t offer specific hooks.

To know if your subject line is a winner, use a free testing tool to see how the phrase or word will perform or experiment with different subject lines with an A/B testing campaign.

  • Optimize your email with responsive designs

Most email marketing tools are preloaded with design tools and templates. Some of these designs are very good; but to show your brand’s character or voice, opt for a custom HTML design that conveys your brand. Simplicity is key to avoid distracting users from the meat. Some tips to follow include:

  • The maximum width of your email template should be 600 pixels as templates beyond 650 won’t display well in the preview pane.
  • Email providers don’t automatically load images and spam filters will push your email to the spam folder if it has too many images. Limit images to ensure perfect deliverability. Do not use images when designing your CTA, instead design it as a beautiful action button that clearly shows readers where they need to click.
  • Include options for sharing to social media to expand visibility of your email and generate new leads. 
  • Avoid background images

Outlook is the sixth most used email client and it doesn’t recognize background images. Use a background color and find creative ways to add images to your email.

  • Use a single call to action

It’s tempting to fill your emails with multiple calls to actions, so the reader clicks one of the offers.

However, too many links overwhelms and distracts the reader, which leads to lower click-through rates.

Include only one call-to-action to optimize click-through rates and focus the reader’s attention on one action. A good example is Whirlpool, which increased click-through-through rates by 42% when they limited CTA to one button.

  • Email new prospects within 24 hours

Take advantage of the period when your content is fresh in the mind of the prospect. Emailing them early provides unique insight to future engagement between your brand and the prospect.

Online lead generation platforms like Salesripe offers marketing automation programs to help you send automated messages and monitor metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, email conversion and subscription rates among other important email metrics.

  • Resend unopened emails

Internet marketing expert Neal Taparia performed an experiment and found that resending the same email to recipients who didn’t open the original message led to a 54.7% increase in email reach.

Noah Kagan adjusted the approach, changed his subject line and emailed recipients the same email one week later. He increased email open rates by 30%.

Results from the two experiments show that resending the same email increases email open rates and helps avoid spending time crafting new emails.

  • Personalize your emails

Emails sent from a real person and not machine makes it more relatable to the reader who is more likely to open the mail. Recipients trust an email with a personalized email address and sender name, rather than a generic email.

Internet users are sceptical about opening emails that look like spam because it has an unfamiliar sender. A few tips to follow include:

    • Include your subscriber’s first name in the beginning and somewhere in the middle of the email.
    • Collect information on their personal interest and send segmented emails using their response.
  • Send birthday messages on their birthday to make them feel like you truly care.


  • Short and direct emails

People prefer to read short emails, and long emails are a red flag for spam alert. Some companies seem to think that subscribers sign up because they love long emails. So, they try to pack as much information in each email.

Nielson Norman Group carried out a research that shows readers only allocate 51 seconds at the most to read an email. Most scan newsletters for important information without reading the full text. A few tips to follow include:

  • Create scan-friendly emails by using a few images to drive your message.
  • Short paragraphs and bullet points also helps the reader skim content at a faster pace.
  • Avoid stuffing emails with information users already have. Stick to the message and get to the point.


  • Create a sense of urgency

FOMO (fear of missing out) is real and invoking this feeling in your subscribers urges them to take your call-to-action fast. If you have limited copies of your book or seats at an event, use words like “today” or “now” to create a sense of urgency.


  • Segment mailing list

Your subscribers have different interests and needs. If you send offers to the wrong people, your click-through rates will suffer. For higher click-through rates, segment subscribers to help you send customized emails tailored to their interests. You can segment subscribers using the following list:

  • Demographic data: Location, age, sex, job title
  • Behavioural data: When they buy, what they buy, how often they read your emails, what they do with the purchase et cetera.
  • Subscriber email data: Are they using a desktop or mobile to access your email? When is the best time to send them emails?
  • Customer sign-up date: Welcome newsletter (offer a new member discount), and rewarding customers who patronize you the most (loyalty points is a great idea)

MailChimp got a 13.07% increase in open rates by segmenting email campaigns. When you segment emails, it helps you to target various groups with emails each segment finds useful and interesting.


  • Provide clear contact information and include terms and condition

Including phone numbers and address with your campaign email adds credibility to it. An email address and customer helpline makes it easy to resolve complaints or answer inquiries people have regarding your services or product.

Don’t forget to include a terms and condition link when asking people to subscribe to a paid service or buy your product as this improves buyer’s confidence.


  • Optimize your emails for mobile

Over 50% of emails are opened on mobiles. If users have to squint their eyes to read your emails, then they aren’t enjoying the experience and probably won’t click on your emails.

Use mobile mobile-optimized templates to create emails. They’re easy to read on mobile and desktop devices because images, text and CTA buttons auto adjust to screen size.


  • Keep your email list current

Statistics from Duboseweb reveals that the average email list decays at 25% annually. It is important to update your email subscription list by checking inactive emails after sending email campaigns.


  • Utilize the preview text

Email clients like Gmail, iPhone Mal app and Outlook display the first few lines with the subject line. Litmus says 24% of readers look at the preview line to determine whether to open an email or not.

Provide a short synopsis using 50 characters or less to show what the email is about. Without the proper preview text, the email client pulls from the body of the text, which looks tacky and unconvincing.

So, add a call to action that convinces people to open the email and head straight to the desired button.


  • Give incentives

When people sign up for your newsletters, incentives turn them to potential customers. The above example from Havenhart.com features multiple incentives with a CTA button that says “Free Shipping.” The racoon makes it all visually appealing.


The goal of every email marketing campaign is to set the stage for users to open, read and take the call to action. Increasing value and providing good user experience is a top priority for most digital marketers.

Content is for the client, so keep them in mind throughout the entire process. Test everything from personalization, subject lines, messaging, images, CTA buttons, timing, and others to identify what works best.

Email marketing is a tricky practice and finding the right strategy requires time, effort and patience. Mix things up and experiment with the tactics  listed in this guide and you’re on the way to increasing open and click-through rates for your email marketing campaign.