With so much inbox clutter these days and especially at this time of the year, how can you get more customers to open emails from you, especially emails containing important account information? We asked 13 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to share their tips.

1. Do a drip email campaign

doreen-blochYour email might not reach everyone on the first send: they’re busy, they accidentally deleted it or it got lost in the stream. Make sure you implement a drip campaign strategy so that anyone who doesn’t open the email first time around can be sent a reminder a week or so later. If you use certain marketing automation tools, you may be able to set up these kinds of drip campaigns to run on autopilot too.

– Doreen BlochPoshly Inc.

2. Mention “Important Account Information”

Andy KaruzaI always open an email when it says “Important Account Information” or “Important information concerning your account.” It’s straightforward and tells me immediately that it’s going to be relevant to me. But be careful not to go over-the-top to get people’s attention because it will look like spam or something suspicious and if you do this too often, people will stop trusting you.

– Andy KaruzaSpotSurvey

3. Refrain from writing “marketing fluff”

George-Bousis-bwFor important account updates, don’t be generic. Use clear, concise messaging, especially in the subject line. Avoid using marketing fluff (like all capital letters, or too many exclamation points). If internet service providers can tell the difference between a marketing and transactional email, your customers can too.

– George BousisRaise Marketplace Inc.

4. Create trust

Adam StillmanAvoid being “the boy who cried wolf.” Nothing is more annoying to me than when a company says, “IMPORTANT!” and the content is oh so very not important. I feel like I have been conned by a service I’ve opted into using. Pick your content and timing carefully before titling an email IMPORTANT. I will always open those emails, as long as I haven’t been tricked in the past.

– Adam StillmanSparkReel

5. Use funny titles

john ramptonWe’ve found that we get a 30-40 percent increase in open rates when we write funny titles for the emails. This causes people to want to find out what your email contains. This works wonders when we have to have them open the emails because of security issues, etc.

– John RamptonHost

6. Give them a deadline

Charlie GrahamIf you want people to open emails containing account information, put a deadline in the subject line. People take deadlines seriously and they will be much more likely to open your email if they feel like they will miss out if they don’t quickly take action.

– Charlie GrahamShop It To Me, Inc.

7. Add “For a Limited Time”

Rob FultonIt sounds cheesy because it is, but it’s damn effective. When a customer hears, “For a Limited Time,” they get a move on. Something is about to expire, and if they don’t act, they’ll miss out.

– Rob FultonExponential Black

8. Batch your emails into a digest

Ryan BuckleyWe send a lot of emails to both our writers and our businesses. Some are informative while others require action. We’re rolling out a new feature that will batch these emails into a single must-read digest, rather than causing email fatigue by sending tons of messages.

– Ryan BuckleyScripted, Inc.

9. Communicate a strong sense of urgency

Firas KittanehTo avoid getting stuck in inbox purgatory, make sure your emails suggest a strong sense of urgency so your readers take action immediately. The worst thing that can happen is they open the email, mark it as unread and save it as a reminder for later, then forget about it entirely. If they know the email is time sensitive though, they will be more likely to listen.

– Firas KittanehAmerisleep

10. Get the timing right

Juha LiikalaIf you run a business that deals with a worldwide client base, getting the timing of your email communication right becomes essential. Use tools such as MailChimp and take advantage of their recipient time zone feature. This allows you to make sure that your clients get your important messages at the same time, based on their own time zone. Aim for early morning or lunchtime for the biggest wins.

– Juha Liikala, itsmejuha.co

11. Perform an A/B test

josh weissAlways be testing. Test a variety of different subject lines to see which one gets the highest open rate. Keep trying to beat the best subject, and over the long run, your open rates will increase consistently.  

– Josh Weiss,Bluegala

12. Send the email from YOU, not the company

Aaron SchwartzWhen we really need our subscribers to open an email, we make it clear that it’s from a real person at Modify. It sounds silly, but seeing “Aaron” instead of “Modify Watches,” makes a big difference. Folks who are used to receiving regular marketing emails from our brand pay much more attention when they see a note from an actual individual. When you really need something from your fans, you should connect personally.

– Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

13. Give them something more

Basha RubinIf you want more customers to open emails related to important account information, you have to present them in such a way that they are attractive to the recipient. Today’s users have become very good at absorbing content, but also very good at ignoring it. Try to personalize the subject line, and give them something else to look forward to in the email.

– Basha RubinPriori Legal


Have you got any tips you’d like to share? How has your company increased email open rates? What’s a stellar subject line you’ve used?

AvatarScott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs.