Improve open-rates on emails

Are there strategies for maximizing open rates on emails? Key words to use? Trying to eliminate emails going to “spam” folders.


Hey Alison,

So, maximize open rates, and avoiding spam folders are two different objectives.

I agree that they’re both important - but there are a number of measures you can take to avoid spam folders and some have nothing to do with the content of your message.

The place I recommend beginning is this free guide from @Adrian_Savage.

It should give you plenty to think about. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got your DKIM set up for your account, which allows Infusionsoft to send on your behalf.

Here is some more info on that:

Once you have all the technical odds and ends sorted for email deliverability, THEN you’ll want to make sure you’re adhering to good sending practices. This can mean things like avoiding key spam trigger words, or avoiding having too many images in your emails, etc; but more often it means setting good expectations when someone signs up, and respecting the permission they’ve given you.

I know lots of marketers who do serious damage to their brand by emailing everyone anytime they have anything to say - and the reality is that engagement plays a big part in getting your emails delivered, and engagement comes from sending valuable content to people who actually want it.

Here’s another post that may be worth a read:

Anyway, lots to chew on here, hope it’s helpful!

Can’t improve on this - great job, @Greg_Jenkins.

Setting and sticking to the expectations is so vital. For example, when someone opts in for one of our lead magnets, that is all they get. If they access/download it, we ask if they’d like to subscribe to our weekly email if the freebie was of value.

If they don’t subscribe, that is all they ever get. If they optin for another freebie, we try again.

If they subscribe for the weekly, we do not automatically start sending them out daily email. They are given the opportunity in every weekly email by updating their email subscription preferences.

Until they give us permission to send them more stuff, we respect their wishes. Otherwise, in their eyes we are spamming them. Hope that helps.

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Deliverability and inbox placement are obviously at the top of the list in email marketing concerns. The very first thing to be concerned with will be making certain that your email is even allowed through the front door of your prospect’s email clients. This is done with the records @Greg_Jenkins has mentioned (DKIM, SPF and to a smaller degree DMARC…though it is better to have all three, the first two are the most primary concern). But specifically, these records have to be set to allow Infusionsoft to send emails on behalf of your domain name. This means that you can have valid DKIM and SPF records setup on your server and still NOT be setup to send with Infusionsoft.

Having obtained your pass to enter, your sights then turn to making it to the inbox. There are a great many factors involved but they fall under a couple of categories, content and reputation. Your domain name has a reputation and it can work either for you or against you. If you practice ethical email marketing then your domain reputation will shine. If you are reported as being spam often enough, then the domain name will have a poor rep and it will increase the chances of the email client as seeing your email belonging in the Junk folder. Finally, content, from the subject line to the images and links in your emails and even some specific words or practices, all go to rating an email as spam like or not.

–Too many images or too large images can work against you.
–Links that lead to other sites that do not have relevance to your marketing can evaluate as spammy
–If a link in your email starts with https but that link leads to another that starts http, that would be considered a broken authority chain which is also a tactic used by spammers.
–Specific words that sound innocent (and usually are) can increase spam scores (like money…who knew, right?!)
–If you use tricks like separating the letters of a word (ex M o n e y) that is spammy. Use alternate casing (ex MoNeY) that is spammy, use symbols/numbers in words (ex M0n3y) that is spammy. There are literally thousands of these rules that add to your spam score which email clients rely on to determine inbox or junk folder placement.