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5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Open Rates and Reach More Customers

by Michael O'Mara, on Jan 4, 2022 8:31:27 AM

Practicing smart, helpful marketing means sending emails to real people from real people. And turns out, instead of spamming your subscribers with nonsense, you’re curating content that is valuable to them. 

But sometimes, your emails get lost in the shuffle. Email inboxes are the Wild West of marketing. What can you do to stand out and boost that ever-important open rate?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are five quick tips you can implement right now, or just in a few days, to reach more customers and improve those open rates.

1. Send your emails at the right time

The right time starts with strategy. Not every customer, persona, or industry is going to function on the same schedule. It’s up to you to develop a strategy that works for your customer as much as it works for you. 

Start with a split test. That means determining two points in time during the day, or night, to send content via email. Send the same email to segmented audiences at different times. Over a set period of time, gather data and use that data, like open rate, to determine which time is best to send emails. 

Once you find the time that works best for your audience, you’ll enjoy higher open rates.

2. Write a teaser that’s informative or helpful

Headlines are important. Teasers, or preheader text, are just as vital. It’s that little bit of text right below the headline. Personally, I read these first. As a marketer, I’m always curious how other marketers are marketing and leveraging the tools in our daily lives. 

It’s best to treat the teaser as a compliment, not a critical component of the email. Some email clients will not display the teaser, which is a bit of a bummer. But we manage.

The teaser isn’t a paragraph. It’s a simple, short, and sweet accent that punches up your email and catches just a little bit of attention as your potential reader blitzes through their inbox.

3. Send emails from a real person, not a company

People like reading what people have to say. A subject line, teaser, or email intro that is personal or personalized establishes that you are a company that values personal connection and investment. It’s why we do it in our newsletters, and why you should too. Our readers know who we are and trust our personalized sender name instead of labeling it as a company. It can quickly disappear in the sea of the Promotions folder or worse, spam, if you aren’t sending emails from a real person.


A great way to improve your email subject lines in just seconds is to take your company’s name and place it after your name. For example, if I were to send a newsletter to our subscribers, I would label the sender as Michael O’Mara—Sauce Marketing, instead of just Michael O’Mara or Sauce Marketing.

4. Add alt text to all of your images

The most popular email clients block images by default. Images won’t load without reader input. Adding alt text helps people read your emails without wasting data. It even helps with accessibility. Maybe some of your subscribers use a screen reader to read aloud content on their phones or computers. Perhaps a subscriber struggles to navigate their phone due to minimal digital literacy and doesn’t understand how to enable images. Alt text meets your subscribers where they are and ensures that, no matter what, your content can be read to anyone who wants it.

5. Include one call-to-action button per email

People scan. It’s what we do. There are too many emails out there to read thoroughly. That’s why you need to be simple, direct, and helpful. A great way to achieve all three is a single call-to-action button. Don’t confuse your readers with multiple steps or actions. Make sure that the CTA button is easy to see, simple to click, and relevant to the email. Without a CTA button, you’re leaving an opportunity on the table. Maybe one of your readers is ready to do business. Instead of leaving that buying journey to them, give them the best path forward via your email. 

I am subscribed to a video game company, which often sends me updates about games or sales. If they want to buy the game, they’ll include a clear button with the CTA “learn more” or “ play now”. Tapping that button brings me right where the company wants me to be. You can do the same with your readers!

Work with Sauce Marketing to boost your open rates

We’re a Storybrand Certified Agency. That means we leverage storytelling to craft meaningful messages and speak to customers at the right time. Your business is a guide. Your email is an extension of your business. You can use it to guide your subscribers down the right path and toward a successful solution. 


Contact one of our Certified StoryBrand Guides to discover how working with an agency is the smartest and simplest way to boost your open rates.

Topics:StrategyStoryBrandCustomer Experience