How We Quadrupled Our Client's Email Open Rate

A man in a blue shirt using a laptop.

Why is it good to have a high email open rate?

When marketing through email, the higher the open rate, the better. This is for several reasons:

  • Recipients are actually interested in your company’s services, so you can get a better gauge of what email content is effective on the target audience.
  • It ensures your company maintains a good reputation - you don’t want to be seen as a spammer!
  • It improves your company’s standing in email algorithms, meaning emails are not sorted into spam folders as often.

How did we boost our client’s email open rate?

Recently, UKB took on a new client in the fitness sector.

Our client sends out two emails a week, advertising their services and offering nutrition and fitness tips. Initially they had an email open rate of 6-13% - less than ideal. This meant they were wasting time and money on sending emails that would not be read; the program used to send out mass emails costs more and operates more slowly when it has more emails to send out.

To improve this, we analysed the possible reasons recipients didn’t want to engage: they were historic contacts who never unsubscribed, they showed interest in the services but never signed up fully, the email address was no longer in use, etc.

Ultimately, we decided the best way to boost the email open rate was to narrow down the mailing list. That way, only people likely to engage with the content would be messaged.

Here’s how we did it:

Data showing the change in client's email open rate, from 6.50% to 37.90%.

  • We pulled a report of everyone who had been sent an email but not opened it over the last three months.
  • We decided this was a long enough period of time that recipients were realistically unlikely to engage.
  • We then removed them from the mailing list.

Removing inactive members left us with a high-intent audience, saved resources by removing redundant emails, and let us tailor our content to a more defined audience.

As the screenshot above shows, we immediately saw a boost in numbers: in the first email we sent after purging the mailing list, we saw an open rate of 37.90%, up from 6.50%. Since then we have had an average open rate of 35-46%.

According to, the benchmark email open rate for the Health and Fitness industry in 2019 was 21.48% - this means our rate is almost double the industry standard!

Having a higher open rate also came with the benefit of a quicker rollout. Previously we were only sending out 5 emails an hour; we now send out 330! The standard rollout in the program we use is 40 an hour, but because our open rate is so high, our emails are designated as being more valuable and given priority.

It’s frustrating to spend resources on an email campaign and get no responses in return. If you’re struggling to get your audience to engage with your marketing emails, we can help. Save your business time and money by contacting us here and finding out what we can do for you!

We're a digital marketing agency based in Bournemouth, UK.

UKB Marketing specialises in building results-driven marketing campaigns that convert and engage with your target audience, leading to increased revenue.