Email marketing: 8 tips to get your emails read

Which factors determine the click strength of an email? And which age groups are particularly interested in newsletters? A new study on the subject of email marketing answers these and similar questions.

E-Mail Marketing: Study examines usage behavior in relation to electronic mail

For a new study, 1,000 English-speaking e-mail users over 21 were asked about their e-mail behavior. In addition, several hundred million emails from HubSpot and Litmus customers were evaluated. The study gives us an interesting insight into the behavior of users of different ages and income groups. In some cases the responses were also broken down according to the gender of the respondents.

For example, women are less likely to use special e-mail accounts that are only there to keep commercial offers away from the owner’s actual e-mail account. Even if the difference is a little less than 10 percent, companies whose customers consist mainly of women have, at least in theory, a higher chance that their emails will be read.

Email marketing: Men tend to use special email addresses to protect their actual account from advertising.

Regardless of the age or gender of the recipient, however, many people use filters so that they don’t even have to see unwanted advertising in their inbox. This applies most to the age group between 18 and 29 years. Here the rate is 63 percent. However, at 49 percent, it is still comparatively high even among users over 60 years of age.

The study also dispels the myth that certain terms or special characters such as the dollar sign are automatically kept away from users due to common spam filters. Neither “free” nor “!” Or “$” in the subject line have any noticeable effect. In addition, there is some information in the study that should have a direct positive impact on your email campaigns. We’ll tell you what these are in the following paragraphs.

Email Marketing: 8 Tips for Successful Campaigns

1. Even if users don’t admit it, more images hurt the click rate

The study is a good example of the fact that the statements made by users do not always correspond to their actual usage behavior. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they would prefer marketing emails made up mostly of images. An analysis of usage behavior showed, however, that the click rate goes down significantly the higher the number of images.

2. The larger an image, the lower the click rate

Email marketing: The image size has an impact on the click rate.

Not only the number of images, but also the size has an influence on the click rate. The higher an image, the lower the click rate. The width, in turn, had a smaller influence on the click rate. Images should therefore tend to take up less space in the mail.

3. Users prefer HTML mail

64 percent of the surveyed users prefer HTML mail. It should be noted, however, that the same question was asked by the authors of the study back in 2011, and the results have hardly changed. Therefore, mails should still be optimized for both types of readers. The older semesters in particular still seem to prefer plain text e-mails to a large extent. It is even the preferred method from the age of 60.

4. Emails should be short and crisp

Text that is too long has a negative effect on the click rate. According to the study, the best emails were those whose content was between 300 and 500 characters long. It is therefore advisable not to annoy your own customers with texts that are too long and to get to the point quickly.

5. The subject line should also be kept short

As with the actual content of the mail, the subject line should also be kept short. Our article ” Newsletter Marketing: With Better Subject Lines for Higher Open Rates” provides further tips for better subject lines .

6. The term “newsletter” in the subject line leads to a lower click rate

According to the study, the click rate is reduced by around 30 percent if the term “newsletter” is in the subject line. The authors of the study also have an explanation for this. According to them, the word suggests that the mail was only sent because it was time for the newsletter, not because there was necessarily something new to report.

7. The sender should ideally consist of two words

The sender should consist of two words.


In addition to the subject line, email clients usually display the name of the sender. According to the study, it should ideally consist of two words, as this will statistically achieve the highest opening rate.

8. Optimizing e-mails for tablets is worthwhile, especially for the 30+ target group

The older the user, the lower the smartphone usage in terms of receiving e-mail. The fact that the age group from 30 to 44 years of age reads their e-mails on a tablet significantly more often than the age group from 18 to 29 years of age is probably more surprising. In fact, those up to 29 years old are the least likely to read their emails on a tablet. Optimizing e-mails on tablets is therefore primarily worthwhile for companies whose target group is 30 years or older.

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