How To Improve Your Open and Click Rates by Almost 80%

One of the simplest email tactics to drive increased engagement and revenue is the most underutilised.

The Mathematics of Email Marketing

Even the most inexperienced email marketer knows that email is a numbers game, but even with that in mind often miss one of the most simple techniques to better leverage a contact list.

On average, more than three quarters of your email recipients won’t ever open an individual email send.


Delivered + Not Opened 76.8%
Not Opened + Bounced 1.3%
Opened, Not Clicked 18.9%
Opened, Clicked 2.7%
Opened, Unsubscribed 0.3%

The Power of Sending Again to Non Openers

There’s no special magic here, all you need to do to increase engagement with your email base is to resend your message to your Not Opened Segment.

Given this base hasn’t seen your email the first time, the adverse customer experience impact is minimal, but the potential engagement uplift is significant.

Now the maths of your campaign looks like this:


Delivered + Not Opened 59.0%
Not Opened + Bounced 2.2%
Opened, Not Clicked 33.4%
Opened, Clicked 4.8%
Opened, Unsubscribed 0.5%

The open and click rates for this campaign have improved 77% by simply recontacting subscribers who may have missed the original email.

Like most good things in life, this tactic doesn’t come for free. The cost to this approach is an increase in overall bounce rate and unsubscribers, so you will need to do your own ROI calculations to determine if the list shrinkage trade off is worth it (I haven’t seen a case yet where it isn’t).

Taking it to the Next Level

Just re-sending a campaign to a non-opener segment pays off, but be better than best practice and start experimenting with your non-opener sends. Use the opportunity to learn more about your subscriber base

Three experiments worth testing with the non-openers:

  • Change the subject line. Non openers may have missed your original email for a reason: it likely didn’t stand out in their inbox. Change up the subject line to give them an extra reason to open.
  • Send at a different time of day to your original send. For example if your first campaign was sent at 11am, try an afternoon send for the non-openers a few days later. If you really want to go next level here, start tracking each subscriber’s individual open times and build a preferred communication timing window for them for future campaigns.
  • Test different pauses before re-sending. Pause for different periods of time before re-sending to non-openers either via split testing on a re-send or across different campaigns. Determine the ideal pause length before re-sending to non-openers that gives you the best metric uplift.

Generally you could also begin to build a Preference Centre into your subscribers’ email habit. People stop opening email for different reasons and in your move to more powerful 1:1 marketing you should try to start identifying why each individual changes their behaviour. If you send regular emails (more than 2-3 week), offer subscribers a chance to pause them while they go on holiday and maybe even catch up on what they missed when they get back. There’s so much potential to increase engagement by giving subscribers the power to choose how often and when you communicate with them.

Jimmy Storrier


Jimmy Storrier
Jimmy is the General Manager, Asia for JBA, based in Singapore. See more from Jimmy at his website: