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Innovative Marketing: Improve Your Email Response Rates

By September 22, 2015June 30th, 2023Uncategorized

Upward-GraphEmail marketing is a powerful vehicle for delivering messages directly to your target audience. Sure, social media is playing an increasingly larger role, but email marketing continues to be the most important channel a business can use to attract and nurture leads.

Did you know? Email marketing yields an average 4,300% ROI for businesses in the United States. (Direct Marketing Association) Now that I’ve caught your attention, let’s look at some innovative marketing tips to help you improve your email response rates.

List Management

Make sure you delete undeliverable and “bounced” addresses from your database. A clean list will have a higher deliverability rate, making sure your message gets through to the intended recipients. A clean list also keeps ISP’s happy, making them less likely to block your emails or send them straight to the junk folder.

There will be contacts who just disappear without ever unsubscribing. As well as contacts who will not fit your targeted buyer persona, market, or location. Make sure to delete or exclude these contacts from emails (that aren’t specifically targeted to them, like a break-up or special offer) because these factors will also affect your open/click-through rates.


According to BlueHornet, if your email does not display correctly, 71.2% of readers will delete it immediately. Today’s email providers routinely block images unless the user changes a setting to allow the images to download. It’s done to block spam and prevent viruses from downloading, making your email show up empty with a red “x” marking where the images should have been. And in the process making it an immediate target for deletion.

A/B Testing

You can never perfect your email, if you don’t find what it is you’re doing wrong first. Test various subject lines, email lengths, and the use of images. Also, don’t forget to test for mobile, 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality. (Exact Target)

A/B testing will help you find what it is you’re doing right and the areas you can improve upon to maximize your response rate.

List Fatigue

The more often you send emails, the lower your response rates will be. You are simply wearing out the patience of your subscribers. If you email too often your readers will be more likely to immediately delete your email, or even unsubscribe from your list. Worse, they could end up hitting the “report spam” button on their email program. Yikes!


When is the best time to send an email? Is it Tuesday morning at 9 or Friday afternoon at 5? The truth is, it’ll vary from industry to industry and location to location. Use your data and plenty of A/B testing to find the right time for your business, your increased click-through rates will thank you.

Subject Line

This is one of the most crucial deciding factor in whether a lead chooses to open your email or not. In fact, it is the second biggest influencing factor in whether or not the email gets opened with 47% of users. (Chadwick Martine Bailey)

You are given a few precious seconds to convince the reader to not throw you immediately into the garbage bin. If you want to learn about how to write effective subject lines, check out this great article filled with 18 incredible tips.

List’s Age

Your most recent subscribers are your most interested subscribers. They were driven to download/subscribe because they were interested in what you had to say/offer and will, in general, be willing to open and engage in your emails.

Those subscribers who have been inactive for months will affect your response rates. Make sure to segment these subscribers into a list from which you can exclude them from your general emails, and test specific targeted offers to try and re-engage them as a lead.

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.