Standing Out in a Crowded Inbox:

The Art of Openability

high open rate

Sep 1, 2023

Sometimes you meet someone and they have the ability to instantly draw you in,,,

You could be at a crowded party, surrounded by conversations, laughter, and a lively atmosphere but this person will simply just…

Well, stand out…

You know the type, with that aura of intrigue, a warm smile, and a way of engaging that is quite simply – magnetic.

This person’s presence is like openability in the world of email marketing.

Openability is that captivating person at the party.

In the vast sea of crowded inboxes, there are certain emails that stand out from the rest. They have this undeniable “openability” factor that makes recipients click without hesitation.

Because when it comes to Openability, it’s about creating an immediate connection and sparking curiosity.

Much like how the charisma of this person kindles your curiosity, the components of openability within an email, such as the subject line, sender name, and preview text, collaborate harmoniously to craft an authentic and irresistible enticement, beckoning recipients to open up and delve in.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and tricks on how you can influence email opens and increase your chances of reaching your target audience.

Developing your DORC

To explain it a little easier, we’ve coined the DORC, which basically stands for:

Deliverability, Openability, Readability, and Clickability.

These four pivotal steps mirror what a subscriber does upon receiving your email.

Deliverability ensures your email lands in their inbox, Openability prompts them to click open and read, Readability ensures they grasp the message, and Clickability motivates them to take action.

It’s like a map guiding readers from the moment your email enters their inbox to their desired action.

It’s all about making small changes that can create a bigger impact.

For example, improving your openability such as your email subject lines as well as deliverability will increase the number of people who receive and open your email, leading to more clicks and conversions – even if you make no changes to the actual email..

…and when these steps are united in each email, the results can skyrocket.

Imagine you’ve just sent an email campaign …

You sent it to 1000 subscribers, making it to 800 inboxes (80%), opened by 200 (25%), read by 100 (50%), and clicked by 50 (50%).

Now, what if you can enhance each section’s performance by just 5%…

It’s delivered to 850 (85%), opened by 255 (30%), read by 140 (55%), and clicked by 77 (55%), boosting your total clicks by 27.

That’s a surge of over 50%!!!

DORC matters.

Openability seamlessly intertwines within the DORC approach, not only influencing but also enhancing the other components of your email, leading to a seamless and impactful experience.

The Importance of Openability

Let’s face it, our inboxes are flooded with countless emails every day. From promotional offers to newsletters and updates, it’s easy for your message to get lost in the crowd.

That’s why openability is the first hurdle you need to overcome. If your email doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t matter how great your content is – it won’t reach your audience.

Openability is the gateway to engagement in email marketing. It’s the initial spark that ignites the recipient’s curiosity, encouraging them to take that all-important step of opening the email.

So, how can you ensure that your emails have high openability rates?

Sort Out Your Send Time 

Send time is important for openability because it directly impacts when your subscribers receive and interact with your emails

It’s a well-known fact that sending emails at specific periods during the day or certain days of the week gives higher email engagement. By strategically sending emails during these peak activity times, you can maximise the visibility and impact of your messages.

It’s also important to consider time zones, sending emails at convenient times for recipients in different regions will enhance overall engagement.

To figure out the ideal times to hit that send button you could also look at what your subscribers’ engagement patterns are like via your campaign reports in Mailchimp.

A/B testing with various send times is also useful (keep reading for more on this) as it allows you to directly compare open rates, and hone your email scheduling to perfection.

From Name is Crucial

The ‘From Name’ plays a crucial role in determining whether your email gets opened or ignored. It’s the first impression you give which further sets the tone for your reader’s expectations.

Think of it this way: if your email arrives with a ‘From Name’ that’s familiar and associated with your brand or company, recipients are more likely to consider it valuable and open it.

On the other hand, if the ‘From Name’ is vague, unclear, or unfamiliar, recipients might view it as spam or not worth their time, leading to a lack of interest and low open rates.

This is the key to personalisation. Using a ‘From Name’ that includes a real person’s name, especially someone recipients might recognise or have interacted with before, can create a sense of connection and human touch. It signifies that there’s a real individual behind the email, increasing the likelihood of engagement.

Everything Starts with the Subject Line

Although it seems like a small task, everything starts with the subject line. It’s one of the first things your recipient will see in a crowded inbox.

Considering the average office worker receives about 121 emails daily, it’s crucial to craft sublime subject lines that are compelling enough to rise above the noise and grab the recipient’s attention – and get opened!.

Create subject lines that spark curiosity, evoke emotions, or promise value.

Use personalization by including the recipient’s name or referencing their past interactions.A/B test different subject lines to identify what resonates best with your audience.

Read more on creating captivating subject lines.

Preview Line

Use the preheader text to provide a brief preview of the email’s content and entice recipients to open.

Keep it concise and compelling, just like an extension of the subject line.

Reputation Is Vital

Optimising email reputation is vital for higher openability. By building a strong reputation you can improve inbox placement and open rates.

  • Authenticate your domain: This helps ISPs (Internet Service Providers) recognise your emails as trustworthy.
  • Clean Lists: Regularly remove invalid and inactive email addresses.
  • Engagement: Focus on engaging content to boost positive interactions.
  • Avoid using excessive images, spam-triggering keywords, and misleading subject lines.
  • Consistency: Stick to a steady sending schedule.
  • Segmentation: Send targeted and relevant content to different segments of your audience. This increases the likelihood of engagement and reduces the risk of unsubscribes and complaints.

Test, Test and Test again…

Testing is crucial to maximising Openability, here’s a few ways you can test.

1. A/B Testing: Pit different subject lines, sender names, or email previews against each other. Discover which version grabs your audience’s attention the most.

2. Send Time Testing: Play around with sending emails at different times and days. Keep an eye on open rates to find the sweet spot when your audience is most responsive.

3. Personalisation Testing: Test the power of personalisation by addressing recipients by their names or mentioning their preferences. See if this little touch improves engagement.

4. Preview Text Testing: Craft intriguing preview texts that give a sneak peek of your email’s content. Analyse which version entices recipients to click that open button.

5. Emoji Testing: Spice up your subject lines or preview texts with emojis. Measure the impact of these on open rates. 😎

6. Segmentation Testing: Tailor your subject lines for different segments of your audience. Compare open rates to find the approach that resonates the most.

7. Sender Name Testing: Mix things up with the sender’s name. Try using a person’s name or your company’s name to see if it affects open rates.

8. Subject Line Length: Experiment with short and long subject lines. Find the perfect length that captures your audience’s attention without being too overwhelming.

Read more on A/B testing

Ask for Feedback

By giving recipients the chance to voice their opinions, you’re not just showing that you care about what they think, but also giving them a reason to eagerly open your emails.

This can result in improved open rates as recipients perceive value in this exchange and are more motivated to participate in shaping your content or offerings.

The key is to make the feedback process easy and engaging, ensuring recipients feel their opinions are genuinely valued. This approach can significantly boost the open rates of your emails.

  • Add a clear call to action (CTA).
  • Insert a feedback button/link.
  • Ask for opinions directly.
  • Craft open-ended questions.
  • Use short surveys
  • .Offer incentives if possible.
  • Include social media links.
  • Create a feedback landing page.
  • Send follow-up emails.

Final Thoughts

In the world of email marketing, openability is like that cool person who steals the show at a packed party.

Just like this charismatic individual, openability is what makes certain emails shine in a cluttered inbox, drawing people in with an irresistible allure.

By nailing the perfect send times, creating catchy “From Names,” crafting intriguing subject lines and preview text, and experimenting with different strategies, you can turn your emails into irresistible invitations.

And let’s not forget how openability can seamlessly integrate within our DORC methodology.

Deliverability ensures your email gets to its destination, Readability makes it easy to understand, and Clickability drives action.

Openability is the final piece of the puzzle that entices recipients to engage. When combined with the guiding principles of DORC – Deliverability, Openability, Readability, and Clickability – your emails will not only grab attention but also resonate, inspire, and spur impactful action.

The DORC Framework: How Small Improvements Lead to Big Wins


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Liz Seymour

Liz Seymour

Queen Chimp Of Marketing

Cheesy as it sounds, Liz is the biz when it comes to  Mailchimp & Email Marketing.

She's worked in Marketing for around 20 years when she went to uni and studied Multimedia Technology…That's where her love affair with all things Marketing began. 

Since then she has worked for household names such as Wickes, The Rank Group, Nuffield Health, Snappy Snaps and Marriot. Not to mention a great variety of businesses and agencies.

Here at Chimp Answers she deals with all things Marketing focusing on the Content and Copywriting side of things such as Blog posts, Emails and landing pages. Liz is Certified in Direct-Response Copywriting, Google Digital Marketing Fundamentals,Hubspot Inbound Marketing,Hubspot Social Media and Mailchimp Foundations.



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