Email marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog. 

Thanks to email marketing (especially ConvertKit), I make sales on autopilot daily.

Sales every day

Email marketing gives you a chance to be your authentic self.

This is the best place to build a relationship with your reader – a long one that will eventually lead to them becoming your fans and buying your products or clicking on your affiliate links.

However, email marketing is a skill that takes a while to pick up – especially if you don’t have a background in marketing or copywriting.

Growing your email list takes a lot of time, but if you have a poor email open rate, it can affect your online business heavily.

Luckily, there are some easy fixes to that!

In this post, I will be covering everything you need to know to increase your email open rate so that you can maximize your blog earnings and utilize email marketing to the fullest!

By the end of this post, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how you can increase your open rate and write awesome emails that leave your readers itching to read more.

Before I begin, might I suggest that you take my super deluxe free 5-day email course on growing your Blog Traffic?

Learn how to grow your blog traffic and get traffic that actually converts into sales and customers!

This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to feed my sweet, adorable puppies.

Stray Curls Angela has two adorable labrador girls.

What is an email open rate?

An email open rate is the number of email subscribers that open up a particular email you send compared to the total number of subscribers on your mailing list.

Let’s say you have 1000 email subscribers.

If 300 open your last newsletter, then to find out your email open rate, we divide 300 by 1000 and multiply that answer to 100 to get the percentage.

So, your open rate would be 30%.

The higher your email open rate, the better it is for your online business.

And if your email open rate is low, it means that people aren’t opening your emails due to the factors we will cover now.

Your email list is one of the most precious resources you’ll have for your online business.

So, you’ll definitely want it to be higher!

What are the factors that affect email open rates?

If your emails have a low open rate, that could be due to several factors like:

1. Poor subject lines

Your email subject line will make or break your open rate.

You needn’t be click-baitey, but you have to be clever. Try to be honest, but at the same time, aim to target a specific emotion when you write your email subject lines.

Ask yourself how you can generate curiosity, happiness, or envy.

Target a deep emotion when you’re writing your subject lines!

If your subject lines are drab, people aren’t going to open your emails.

2. The content of your emails aren’t interesting

If your emails are poorly written or sound automated, people will stop reading your emails.

Be your authentic self.

Be animated!

You don’t want to sound like a robot.

You definitely don't want your emails to sound automated.

You have to improve your online writing game if you plan on making email marketing your jam.

3. Your audience isn’t segmented properly

If you have an audience with different interests, it’s best to segment your audience based on their differences and then send them separate emails based on their interests.

This is what I do with Stray Curls.

Those that are signed up for my art email course get tagged with the “Art” tag and only get my emails related to art and creativity. Those who sign up for any of my blogging freebies get tagged with the “Blog” tag and only get my emails related to blogging.

4. Your email list is filled with dead-weight

You need to prune your email list once in 4-5 months to keep your email list full of active people who actually open your emails.

The number of your email list subscribers isn’t essential.

The activity of those people matters.

What is a good email open rate?

The average email open rate across all industries is somewhere around 21%.

But as a blogger, you should aim for an average email open rate of at least 25-30%. It is possible to attain this figure.

According to my ConvertKit statistics, my average email open rate is 36%.

Email open rate

No matter what your email open rate is, let’s focus on ways we can increase it!

How do you increase your email open rate? 13 easy hacks!

I have been using ConvertKit since I started Stray Curls, and I haven’t found a better email marketing platform that competes with this despite trying out many other email marketing software.

I explain how I use ConvertKit to make money blogging in this post. 


1. Ask your readers to whitelist you in your first email

I have multiple opt-ins/lead magnets on my website. It’s all part of building sales funnels. 

Sales funnels are what I use to build up my passive income.

My blogging income statistics

Yes, this means I have a lot of email series in my email marketing plan.

And I make sure to ask my readers in the first email of every email series to whitelist my email and add it to their contacts. Like this:

Ask your readers to whitelist your emails so that it doesn't get marked as spam.

This will ensure that your emails don’t go to the Promotions or Spam folder, and they get your emails.

Another tip is to offer multiple freebies on your website so that people will look forward to the first email they receive from you.

Nobody says no to free stuff!

2. Have a welcome email series

When someone has signed up for something exciting on your website, you are fresh in their memory.

This is your chance to woo them and introduce them to your fun brand.

You have about 24-48 hours to do this and become their best friend. So, don’t waste time.

And the best way to do this is to have a fantastic Welcome Email series.

A welcome email series can be anywhere between 3-6 emails sent consecutively so that a person familiarizes themselves with your brand. Use those first 48 hours to send two emails at least.

It is best if the series is highly educational and helpful.

But at the same time, incorporate a lot of yourself in your emails to help infuse your personality in your emails.

This will help them fall in love with your brand, and they will look forward to your weekly emails!

A welcome email series is the best way to get people to fall in love with your brand.

If you’re looking to learn more about email marketing, I highly recommend Meera Kothand’s book – 300 email marketing tips. 

Meera Kothand is a queen when it comes to email marketing and I’ve learned everything about it from her.

The best book on email marketing there is in this market.

3. Write good subject lines

I’ve already indicated before that subject lines will make or break your email open rate.

Most people avoid clicking on emails with subject lines that sound spammy or too click-baitey.

The same goes for subject lines that are just meh.

Think of writing emails like cooking.

If your dish looks appetizing, you won’t have any trouble getting your toddler to eat it.

The subject line matters!

Don't get caught plagiarizing

So what makes a good subject line?

  • Arouses curiosity
  • Short and sweet – so that they can view the whole subject line
  • It should sound like you – infuse your personality in your writing
  • Don’t make it spammy or fishy
  • A promise of a personal story, maybe?
  • Personalize it with their first name (use this sparingly)

I love ConvertKit because I can A/B test 2 subject lines.

It sends the email with two subject lines to 2 small portions of the audience and judges the open rate. The winning subject line is then chosen, and the email is sent out to the remaining peeps.

Are you enjoying this post? Here are some more posts you might find helpful!

4. Be consistent with your emails

I know that life gets in the way, but try to be consistent with your emails because this is the best way to build a strong relationship with your readers.

I take about 1-2 hours to write each weekly newsletter.

And writing one email a week to your audience is perfect because it’s an easy schedule to stick to, and it is one of the best ways to touch base with your readers.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to touch base with your readers. Sending a weekly newsletter will help you build a stronger relationship and help you increase your email open rate.

Aim for 1 a week or 1 in 2 weeks if you can. It will make a big difference to your traffic and your relationship.

It doesn’t matter if they’re hearing from you after a long time (if you’ve left a big gap); just start writing from now on.

Better late than never!

Remember to provide a lot of value when sending out an email.

Feel free to link to 3 to 5 blog posts that you’ve written in the past to help your readers learn more about any topic they are interested in!

5. Don’t be salesy

One thing I’ve learned about writing emails is to give more than you ask for.

Give, be generous, and don’t hold back.

This applies to any field in an online business – not just email marketing.

If you’re going to ask for sales in every single email, people are going to stop reading your emails or unsubscribe in droves.

You don’t want that.

You don’t want to drive away people who may eventually buy from you.

Don't be salesy in your emails. This will decrease your email open rate.

So, write sales emails a little less frequently.

You can hold a huge sale once in 4-5 months and hold mini-sales every 2-3 months.

You can talk about an offer or an affiliate product once in a while.

It’s all about the balance!

6. Send emails at an optimal time

Most people read their emails early in the morning when they reach their offices, in the afternoons during lunch hour, or in the evening before they leave from work.

So, the best time to send an email is early in the morning or in the evening and preferably during weekdays.

I send my newsletters on Tuesdays or Thursdays at around 7:30 am EST, and I have found that this timing works best for me as most of my audience is in the United States.

7. Treat your reader like a friend

I’ve been writing newsletters for the past 6 years, and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

People love it when you talk to them like a friend. Don’t be a robot, don’t sound automated.

Talk to them like you’re talking to your buddy.

Talk like you’re talking to 1 person. Don’t sound like a company.

Think of every telemarketer that has called you and sounded like they’re reading a script. Isn’t it super annoying?

Just be yourself. Be funny, be adorable, be chic, use your voice!

Be you.

Talk like how you talk in person.

Talk like how you talk in real life. This will increase your email open rate.

Your email should read like a person talking, not an essay.

I’ve found that reading the email out loud while writing the email helps achieve this effect.

Just give it a shot! It’s a whole lot of fun, trust me.

Be informal, and use the reader’s name at least 2-3 times in an email if the email is around 1K words.

Here are some more tips to keep in mind when writing an email newsletter:

  1. Don’t have too many call-to-actions: Keep the purpose of the email in mind when you’re writing it. Have 1-2 call-to-actions for the reader.
  2. Please keep your email concise: People mostly read their emails on their phones. You don’t want to write a novel.
  3. Break your email into sections: This makes it easy for the reader to scan the email if they’re in a hurry.
  4. Keep a TL;DR section: End the email with a summary of the points. This will help the reader get the email’s message within 2 seconds if they’ve skipped to the end.
  5. Be humorous: Don’t be afraid to make jokes or use gifs in your emails. Your emails should be fun. This will make you stand out from the crowd. That’s all you need to do.
  6. Stick to a theme: At the start of the year, I focus on beginner bloggers who want to start blogs. I slowly move on to monetization in the second month and so on. Sticking to a theme helps you write emails more quickly.
  7. End the email with a question: This helps your readers realize that you’re interested in their responses and shows that you’re kind. Asking for responses will help strengthen your relationship with your reader.

Instant Grammar Checker - Correct all grammar errors and enhance your writing.

8. Reply to every email you get

This is pretty much a no-brainer.

I know this is hard to do as you keep growing your business. But I make it a point to reply to every single email and blog comment I get, even now.

This has helped me build a solid relationship with my readers. And I feel it’s totally worth the time spent.

Keep a morning of the week dedicated to replying to emails and be kind and generous.

Help the reader as much as you can and copy-paste links to older posts that might help them with a question to be more thorough.

This one activity will help make you look more human and less business-ey.

And your readers will read more of your emails.

Reply to every single email and be kind. Your email open rate will automatically increase.

9. Avoid spam filters

Unfortunately, spam filters have become more rigid over the past few years due to the rise in spam and companies being super spammy.

When writing your newsletters, you don’t want to be caught in the spam filter. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re writing your emails:

  • Do not use all “CAPS” in your subject line. This will cause your email to be marked by spam.
  • Include a small “unsubscribe” link at the bottom so people can opt out of your email series or unsubscribe.
  • Remember to ask your readers to add you to their Contact List and move you from their Promotions tab to their Primary Inbox folder in the first email you send them.
  • Avoid words like “Free,” “amazing,” “great offer,” and so on in your subject lines to avoid being marked as spam.

Don’t overdo the email sending apart from your email series and your sales; try to send at most 1-2 emails a week to avoid being flagged as spam.

Your readers are not going to appreciate being hounded with emails either.

So, find a balance and stick to a schedule.

10. Segment your email list

This is a sure-fire way to increase your email open rate.

If you have a lifestyle blog or a blog that talks about two completely different topics, it is best to segment your email list to send emails to readers based on their interests.

Segment your audience based on their interests. This will help you increase your email open rate extensively.

I have two segments for Stray Curls – Art and Blogging, and I send two entirely different emails each week to both my segments.

I noticed that my open rate increased almost immediately after doing this, and so did my sales.

11. Clean your email list

Every 4-5 months, clean your email list.

It’s best to remove people who are uninterested in reading your emails.

ConvertKit has a nice feature to mark all the cold subscribers and then send them a breakup email.

If they want to stay on your list, they can click a button and get untagged as a cold subscriber.

At the end of 2-3 weeks, I remove all the cold subscribers.

Delete cold subscribers in a timely fashion so that you can keep your email list healthy.

This will ensure that you have people on your email list that love your brand and are reading your emails.

Don’t focus on the quantity but the quality of your email list.

12. Proofread your emails

Before I had Grammarly, I used to wing my emails.

And needless to say, I made a lot of spelling booboos and grammatical errors.

It is okay to do that in the first year of your business.

But I highly recommend installing Grammarly in your browser. I have the Premium version because I was so happy with their service that I decided to up my game, and I’ve never looked back.

The free version will help you with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Whether you’re working in Word or Google Docs, crafting an email, or posting something on social media, Grammarly will make sure you never write “your” and “there” when you mean “you’re” and “their.”

Grammarly Writing Support

And Grammarly Premium is even better.

It’ll catch advanced grammar and punctuation mistakes, help you with contextual spelling errors, and provide suggestions for improving sentence structure, word choice, and readability. It even has plagiarism detection!

13. Use a dedicated email address

My emails come from, and it’s a Gsuite Google email. 

If you already have a verified domain, then you can hop on Google and buy a business email with your verified domain in the email. It’s easy and ensures that you won’t be caught in the spam filter.

Also, it looks mighty professional, and it seems more trustworthy when you have a branded email address.

It’s less than $5 a month, and it’s worth it.

Bonus tip: Resend your emails

If you send your emails on Thursday, resend the same emails to people who didn’t open your email with a different subject line.

This will ensure that more people read the email, and if they’ve missed the email somehow or it got lost in their inbox, they will receive it again!

Don’t worry; you’re not spamming anyone because you’re only sending the email to people who haven’t seen yours yet.

Many bloggers and companies use this tactic, and it’s a great way to increase your cumulative email open rate.

Final takeaway:

Writing emails is an art.

Writing emails is definitely an art that takes some time to get the hang of. But once you do, it becomes a blessing!

But if you follow all the tips in this email, you’ll be knocking it out of the park before you know it.

Focus on keeping things simple. Stick to a schedule that works for you.

And if you’re looking for a good email marketing platform, I highly recommend using ConvertKit.


Okay, it’s your turn!

Do you have an email list? Leave a comment, and I’ll help you out! What is your biggest struggle when it comes to email marketing?

Additionally, if you’re looking to increase your traffic and start making more money blogging, join my free traffic course!

Learn how to grow your blog traffic and get traffic that actually converts into sales and customers!

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