Billions of emails are sent and received on a daily basis and the number is only expected to rise. Studies have shown that email delivers the best marketing return on investment – outperforming content marketing (blogs, videos, whitepapers, etc.) by over 10 percent.1

The problem is, the number of emails sent per day simply means that inboxes are flooded with messaging that may or may not pertain to the recipient. This kind of messaging is quickly filtered out.

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Sometimes the emailed is opened, but the content isn’t relevant to the reader and is sent to the trash. And, if the subject line doesn’t catch their eye or the sender isn’t familiar, the email goes into the trash without even being opened. What’s worse is when these emails are filtered out before the reader even sees it!

If you want to take advantage of the quick, easy, and affordable marketing tool that is email, you have to make sure these emails are relevant, catchy, and response-worthy. If they don’t meet certain criteria, they won’t be read, opened, or even seen!

Your job is to figure out exactly what messaging your target audience needs to see in order to increase your open and clickthrough rates. By doing this, you’ll see your ROI rise and, ultimately, gain more qualified leads than ever before.

Be Strategic with Your “From” Address

Yeah, consumers are pretty smart. When an email arrives from a sender they don’t recognize, their guard is immediately up. And, unless the sender is a real Nigerian princess who needs to transfer millions of dollars into their account, that email is going straight into the trash.

While it’s not always plausible to send emails from a familiar sender, you can at least send emails from a person and not a company. One of Hubspot’s biggest rules for increasing open rates is to send from a real person.2 Their testing has shown that recipients are more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one, like “” or “”, etc.

By sending an email from a real name/person, Hubspot revealed that you’ll not only get better open rates, but you’ll actually see an increase in clickthrough rates as well.

Spend Time and Effort on Your Subject Lines

I feel like I bring this up a lot, but it’s so important. If your subject line isn’t intriguing or engaging, then your email will never be read! The time and effort you spent writing, creating, and designing your email is wasted because you didn’t spend enough time and effort on the 50 characters that readers see first.

According to Hubspot, 47 percent of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone.3

This means, follow best practices like using personalization and not using more than 50 characters. Do this, and you’ll see better open rates, which gives you more opportunities to increase your clickthrough rates.

Don’t Overwhelm Them with Information

Consumers today have more options to choose from, more information to learn from, and less time to shop with than ever before.

You need to make sure your marketing helpful, informative, easy to use, and engaging. Most people will scan your emails rather than actually reading them word for word. If you bury your offer or call-to-action in a lot of text, you definitely won’t see the response rates, you’re hoping for.

I know it’s hard to put enough information into your emails that your readers find interesting and informative. Trying to make it concise is even more difficult. But it’s worth it.

I’ve found that the best way to do this is to tease further information on the landing page. “Learn more now”, or “find out how” are CTAs that allow the reader to decide if the copy within your email is intriguing enough that they want to find out more. If it’s not, then you simply need to try again.

If you need more incentive to keep your emails short and sweet, remember that too much copy can actually trigger spam filters. So not only are they less likely to be read, they’re even more likely to end up in the spam folder.

Follow the Rules

Speaking of spam, you’re gonna want to avoid sending it. There’s a whole list of do’s and don’ts for avoiding the spam folder, but there’s one list that really matters.

CAN-SPAM or Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing was an act passed in 2003 that still applies today. It established the rules for commercial email and commercial messages (marketing), required businesses to allow recipients to unsubscribe from their messaging, and established penalties for those who send illegal messaging.

And let’s be honest. It’s a gift and a curse. It’s great when you’re receiving messaging you don’t want, but when your offers are ignored, unsubscribed from, or sent to spam, then it’s annoying.

My only real guideline is to check the source itself.4 But, there’s always best practices that are good to follow and these practices have a habit of changing. I would recommend finding a source you trust to inform your marketing on a regular basis.

Follow up, Fast

Speed is key to reaching new contacts in their inbox. You can’t afford to wait.

Studies show that the odds of making contact with a lead are extremely high – but only if follow-up happens within the first five minutes.5 If follow-up doesn’t happen within those five minutes, making contact with a lead is 21 times less likely to happen. After thirty minutes have passed, you are 100 times less likely to ever contact your lead.

Try waiting five hours. The odds of making contact with your lead drops by 3,000.

One study showed that vehicle shoppers who received replies within 10 minutes of submitting a request were three times more likely to visit a dealership than those who had received a slower response.6 In fact, after 20 minutes, the game is up. The data showed no apparent difference between following up within 24 minutes and 24 hours. This means that if you don’t email your leads within at least 20 minutes, you’ve probably already lost their business. Can you afford to do that?

Make Sure Your Offer is Clear

Using more than one offer or link or call to action is a big no-no. Remember. Most readers simply scan emails anyway. If you have multiple offers or include too many CTAs, your readers won’t know what to do. Plus, your message will get lost in all the madness.

If you’re directing readers to your website or landing page, make sure that that’s the only link in your email. And link it everywhere! Use it as a hyperlink with text, link it to a button, add the link to all your images, etc. The clearer your offer is, the clearer your messaging becomes, and the higher your clickthrough rates will be.

Add the Finishing Touches

These are just a few of the best practices I recommend for getting better results from your emails.

If you want to take things further, there’s always A/B testing to figure out exactly what works best for your dealership and your target audience. There’s so many variables that can affect open and clickthrough rates and, at the end of the day, it’s important that you reach your target audience with information that’s relevant to them – not everyone else.

Additionally, you’ll always get better responses when you use multiple channels. Emails are a great marketing tool and, like I said above, have a great ROI, but they get the best results when used alongside other marketing tools/channels that also deliver results. On their own, they are fine, but I would not recommend doing an email only campaign unless there was a specific reason to do so. Try using multiple channels alongside your email marketing and see how it affects your overall results!

At the end of the day these guidelines are meant to help you. Follow them and you will getter better open and clickthrough rates – which will only increase your ROI.

  2. (much of this blog was based on tips from Hubspot – and specifically this link)