How to Boost Your EDM Open Rates

Email marketing is important. It’s your chance to build relationships with leads and customers past and present at a time that’s convenient for them.

However, as email is the only direct digital connection a business has to its audience, many businesses go overboard and start firing off emails without any clear plan and shoot themselves in the foot before they even hit ‘send.’

The two main ways you probably measure the success of your email campaigns are open rate (the number of people who open the email) and click-through rate (the number of people who click on a link in the email).

But although it seems obvious, many overlook the fact that click-through rates are entirely dependent on the open rate. If people aren’t opening your emails, there’s zero chance they’re going to click on them.

Therefore, any goal your business wants to achieve from email marketing comes down to completing the first step of the process successfully: getting people to open the damn things.  

What’s the average EDM open rate?

According to Campaign Monitor, in 2020 the average open rate across the globe was 18%, while in Australia that figure was slightly higher, sitting at 20.60%. If you want to get specific, Mailchimp analysed the data of billions of emails sent on their platform and came up with the average email marketing campaign statistics by industry. You can read it here

If you’re achieving an open rate of 18% or higher then you’re already doing better than most. If not, don’t fret – averages should be taken lightly. If you’re consistently recording open rates of around 15% (which is below average) but your campaigns are delivering results, it’s clear you aren’t underperforming despite the average saying otherwise.

How are people actually reading my EDMs?

The way your customers are reading your emails, such as the device they read them on, should dictate how you go about creating your campaigns.

If you’re solely optimising your EDMs for desktop and wondering why your open and click-through rates are so low, here’s why: today, 81% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices.

And there’s no prizes for guessing the first thing people do when they open an email on their phone that isn’t optimised for mobile and looks like a dog’s breakfast: they delete it.

Take a look and see how your EDMs look on a mobile device. The text should be easy to read and aligned to the left, the design should look good and the email should load fast. If you discovered all the emails you’ve been sending aren’t properly optimised for mobile, now is the time to fix it.

When is the best time and day to send my EDMs?

The time of day and day of the week you send your EDMs will have an effect on your open rates. As all businesses are unique and have different audiences, there’s no one size fits all time to send your emails; the best time and day for a bookstore to send an email, for example, would differ to a home delivery alcohol business.

We suggest varying your send times and the days you send your campaigns and see what nets you the best results.

Don’t have time for trial and error? An analysis of over 4 billion emails from email marketing company GetResponse found that on average the highest open rate of 22% is achieved at 2pm, while research by Campaign Monitor found that the best day of the week for the highest open rates is Thursday.

What are the main components of an email that affect open rates?

Now you have a better idea of how your recipients are reading your EDMs and when the best times to send them are, let’s focus on what will actually drive people to open them.


The sender name is the most prominent part of the email preview and is your first chance to build trust with your recipient. Including a person’s name will make the email more personal and increase the chances of it being opened. For example, “Lisa Smith from Electric Media” will likely generate higher open rates than an email from “Electric Media.”

Remember, the sender name isn’t the same as the “from” address so don’t even think about using “.” The only thing worse than using an email address as your sender name is calling yourself Do Not Reply.


Your recipient has received your email, they know who it’s from, now you need to give them a reason to open it. This is where the importance of a punchy subject line comes in. Just like a title for a blog post, your subject line will have the biggest influence on whether or not people decide to open your email.

While you may be tempted to make your subject line clickbaity, deceiving your subscribers into opening your email is disrespectful and damaging to your brand. Doing so may result in a short-term increase in open rates, but one deceptive email that tricks someone into opening it is all it takes to turn them off opening any emails you send in the future.

Statistics indicate the emails that get the highest open rates have subject lines between 5-7 words long. As the majority of people will be opening your emails on their phones, you might only have space for five words before the rest of it gets cut off, so include important words and phrases early in your subject line.

If you really want to make a good impression on your subscribers you should consider personalising your subject lines. A personalised subject line inserts a detail relevant to that recipient – it could be as simple as including their first name. 

Although, while it may seem simple to you, Campaign Monitor reports that personalised subject lines have not only been proven to increase open rates, but also revenue, click rates and transactional rates, too.


An email’s preheader text appears next to the subject line and is another chance for you to communicate the benefits your subscribers will receive by opening it.

If you don’t enter any text for your preheader, emails will often auto-populate this field with the first few words of the email itself. To ensure your preheader text doesn’t end up as ‘Can’t see this email? View in browser’ or ‘Click here to unsubscribe,’ try and come up with original, valuable preheader text for every email you send.

Many email automation platforms will have a section allowing you to enter your own preheader text, however for the ones that don’t allow you to edit it, you may need to build it into your template. 

Need help with your email marketing?

Creating compelling email campaigns is tricky, so why not enlist the help of professionals? Orion Creative has the copywriters to produce engaging content, graphic designers to make your emails pop and digital marketing specialists to plan and implement successful strategies that actually get results. 

Whether you want to reinforce customer loyalty, encourage repeat business and referrals, sell a specific offering or acquire new customers for your organisation, email marketing is a terrific way of doing this, so contact us today to learn how we can help.