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Fresh 2023 open-rate tools and tactics

email marketing 2023

Three days into 2023 and we hope your New Year’s celebration was epic. NYE, I stayed up until 9:41 p.m., it was wild.

We’re back at it now, in the thick of getting your emails opened and clicked upon. 

Today’s edition of Inbox Hacking is pulling out all the stops. Whatever that means.

I’ll be dropping proven ways to get your 2023 open rates up. I’ve collected fresh stats and findings. Plus you’ll wanna learn about open rate mistakes and myths. 

Sprinkled in will be tools / tactics to open 2023 with higher open rates.

(((By the way, what do people watch on TV on NYE now?)))

Top 3 Open Rate Factors

#1 Factor→ Your recipient recognizes the sender. Make sure this is clear. Your welcome email series helps here.

#2 Factor→ Timing. If your subscriber has time to read an email, they will. 

#3 Factor→ Personalized content (beats special offers / deals)

2023 Open Rate Myths 

2023 open rate

I could go on for days but let’s stay concise:

#1 It’s a numbers game, so email the whole list 🙈

#2 Spam checker tools are always right 🙅🏼‍♂️

#3 Mobile email readers act the same as desktop readers 🥱

#4 Subject lines don’t have to be clickbaity 🙊

*To clarify, it’s not clickbait if the email content rocks.

2023 Open Rate Mistakes 

#1 One-word links are tough w/ mobile and big-thumbed subscribers👍🏼

#2 Sending at the top of the hour w/ millions of other mailers

#3 Not resending campaigns to people who didn’t open

*Survey→ 57% of workers feel more distracted working from home. Perhaps ten percent will open on the second send if they’re not distracted.

#4 Using same subject line for all subscribers 

#5 Writing one subject line then stopping (not good enough)

Tools to Boost Open Rates 

We have to move on from mistakes and myths. Yes, you too, come on.

Use these subject line tools to ramp up your 2023 open rate.

Pro tip: Snap a photo of a magazine rack. Their headlines are time-tested. Follow their lead.

More crucial than these tools’ scoring is the psychology behind the scores. 

Getting subscribers’ attention is huge. Emails arriving in the inbox at the right time gets their attention better than anything.

Inbox Mailer clients see open rates of 50% – 70%. See how triggered emails can get your brand the same results. Demo Inbox Mailers.

inbox mailers demo

Tactics to Boost Open Rates

Tool-less tactics. (Tool-less a word? It is now).

#1 Please don’t email those who didn’t opt in

#2 Unsubscribing should be easier than hitting the SPAM button (read Spamhaus tips)

Those two keep your mailer reputation clean. Better deliverability, more opens.

#3 Look inwards: Compare subject lines in your spam folder vs. ones in your inbox

#4 Different age groups check email at various frequencies (know thy audience then segment)

#5 Create a high-quality, crystal clear welcome email (or series)

Your subscribers should get a feel for what they’ll be receiving from you and how often.

No welcome email? Write one. Have one you’re ashamed of? Fix it. (forward it to me, I’ll give feedback)

#6 In your welcome → ask readers to add your sender address to their contacts

#7 Request they reply to your initial email

Readability and Reopens

Opens aren’t enough. Give subscribers ample reasons to open the next email. Then the next…

Readability matters.

  • Be informative and entertaining as appropriate (In the heart attack space? That’s serious as a… 💔)
  • Use storytelling (truth > fiction)
  • Don’t lose readers in technical jargon (read any research paper to get my drift)
  • Learn the Art of Plain Talk to get your ideas across

2023 open rate

Stats on readability (and a warning about readability tools)

  • Ideal readability score → 8th-grade reading level
  • The average person’s reading level is 3 – 5 years below their highest grade completed
  • Content w/ mistakes→ highest factor for not trusting content

*54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old (about 130 million people) read below 6th-grade level

Readability Tools Help but are Flawed

Let readability tools guide, not control you.

Example: Changing one word can make SEO Yoast give you the green light instead of a warning on your readability. 

Should you change that word to get a green light? No. Choose the most appropriate word for the message.

Wrap Up 

2023 can be the best year ever for email marketers. Despite rising deliverability challenges, noisy inboxes, and an epidemic of giant-thumbed subscribers.👍🏼

Don’t ignore hard facts on why readers open emails. Keys: Recognition and timing.

Make time to write and rewrite subject lines your competition is too lazy to write.

Be sure your emails are clear, compelling, and each sentence entices the reader to read the next line.

Knowledge Base

Knowledge is power, but first, motivation.

Get your arms around your scattered data with master data management. 

Using Facebook Ads for lead gen? Get ad tips from Social Media Examiner (w/ a smart example from BetterHelp).

2022’s month-by-month breakdown of top email news (many data breaches + Gmail / Yahoo updates).

You’ll wanna update your surveys after seeing these eye-catching examples.

Self  Help 

🥳New Year. New content needed, right? 


Benchmark has 5 brainstorming ideas for ya and I have snippets.

  • Revamp old email campaigns with updated stats and facts
  • Keyword research (use long phrases to catch voice searches)
  • Review competitors’ sites. Disagree or dive deeper on their topics

Also, try Benchmark’s AI writer for when you’re out of ideas, struggling, or fraught with desperation.

Or use a site called LinkedIn. Full of human writers. With families to feed→ and writing ability.

*Shout-out to Inbox Hacking Subscribers → David @ Bonfire (Search experts) and James @ Lane Eight (workout shoes)

Facts and Stats

  • Addressing the recipient by name, you can increase open rates and CTR up to 35%. (Snov)
  • Average email open rate for all industries was 21.33% (Mailchimp)
  • 79% of emails go unopened⤴⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 2017… “It takes perfect timing to get that mandatory photo of you and a fish for a dating profile. My Big Tuna photoshoot went on so long I got sunburnt.” ~ Andy ‘SaltLife’ Neemoe

Marketing Musings

Report: Consumers say they’re cutting back on expenses.

Key word → “say.”

Stats with “may be” and “possibly” are not exactly rock-solid.

Keep this in mind when viewing economic reports.

Your analytics are more relevant than macroeconomic talk. 

Three things to note from the report above though:

  1. “Of Americans with New Year’s resolutions, 79% say they will reevaluate finances while 78% say they will plan more fun.”

Reevaluate does not mean taking action. More fun is an easier plan than setting up a budget.

  1. Inflation and gas prices were far and away Americans’ top two concerns. 

You can’t fix these giant issues with email campaigns but acknowledging those factors is smart. Coupons and specials can lean into those pain points.

  1. “Of the Millennials polled, 70% got gift ideas from social media, compared with 17% of Gen Z, 5% of Gen X, and 5% of Boomers.”

As a Gen Xer, I can’t remember where I got gift ideas. This finding is murky too. 

Pollsters are depending on people remembering where an idea began, when we saw thousands of marketing messages a day. 

The biggest takeaway from #3 is younger people are more likely to notice gift suggestions on social. 

Get Hacking

The unopened-email stat above should horrify us all. Not me, I meditate a lot. And drink. But knowing, on average, 79% of emails do not get opened is brutal. 8 out of 10 emails are destined for deletion! So today’s hack is this. 

Demo Inbox Mailers to see how to give your email campaigns a fighting chance. Inbox Mailer clients see 70% open rates. More than triple the average! It’s 2023 and it will get no easier to get emails opened. So why not try the best email marketing tool on the market?

📝Please click on the survey below. Your thoughts are desired…

2023 open rate

Results so far: