How to Improve Email Open Rates

by Rachel Hoover

If you have a store on the Amazon marketplace, it's likely that you use email to solicit seller feedback and product reviews from your customers. If you’ve automated this process through a software tool, such as FeedbackFive, you’re able to see what percentage of customers are actually opening your emails, whether it's a whopping seventy percent or a measly ten percent.

Maximizing open rates is an important part of your email strategy. After all, you won’t receive many ratings if your customers are ignoring your emails – or worse, marking them as spam. So how do you raise your open rate? In this post, we’ll discuss some strategies for maximizing the potential of your subject lines to encourage a healthy number of opens, feedback ratings and reviews.

Make a Good First Impression

Subject lines are your one chance to get your customers to open your email. Writing a good subject line is like dressing up for a job interview; it catches people’s attention and lets them know whether you, or your email, are worth their time.

Between spam filters and the sheer volume of emails people receive every day, it’s hard to get noticed. However, it is not impossible to see great success from an email campaign. Below, we’ve outlined a few subject-line strategies to increase the chances of your emails being opened and read.

Staying Out of the Spam Folder

Since your messages are going through the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Center, they are unlikely to be automatically filtered into a spam folder. However, buyers can always flag something as spam if it looks suspicious. To avoid being flagged as spam by either an email client or a buyer:

  • Make sure your subject line contains something obviously related to an Amazon order. Many buyers purchase from Amazon without ever realizing they are buying from a third-party seller, so they may not recognize your store’s name. Instead of writing, “Your order from [your store],” write “Your order from [your store] on Amazon.” Better yet, include the customer’s order number or the name of the product they bought to jog their memory. (FeedbackFive lets you do this with a single click.)
  • Keep your email subject lines relevant to your email content. Don’t use “Urgent message” in the subject line if the email isn’t actually urgent, and don’t mislead buyers into thinking you’re giving them something when really you’re just asking for a review.
  • Stay within the buyer-seller communication guidelines set forth by, Inc. ("Amazon").
  • Keep your subject lines free of words in ALL CAPS and excessive punctuation!!! These are often seen by email clients as signs of spam.

Stand Out from the Crowd

To encourage buyers to click on your email and open it, your subject line will need to stand out from the dozens of other emails crowding their inboxes every day. Let’s explore a few strategies to catch buyers’ attention and avoid being deleted or simply ignored amid piles of promotional emails.

  • Use a Question. A question demands an answer, and customers may be more likely to open an email that directly asks for their opinion. Try using “What do you think of your item from [store name] on Amazon?” or “Do you have two minutes? Review your new [product name].” If questions don’t improve your open rates, try a command: “Rate your purchase from [company name] on Amazon!”
  • Use Emoji. This doesn’t fit with every brand’s tone, but if your store is the fun and casual type, don’t be afraid to try adding a smiley face, heart, or thumbs-up sign to your subject line. An emoticon provides a splash of color in a word-filled inbox, and might make the difference between an open and a delete. (FeedbackFive provides a handy emoji menu in the template editor, for those who are so inclined.)

Test, Test, Test

These strategies might be hugely effective for one audience, and fall completely flat with another. The best thing to do is try one or two and see if your open rates improve, worsen, or stay the same. Every audience is unique, so find what works for yours and use it to your advantage.

Ask for Help

If nothing is working and you need something new to improve your open rates, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at FeedbackFive. Signing up for the market's first feedback management tool allows you to monitor your open rates on every campaign and customize your subject lines to your heart’s content. Plus, you’ll have access to our top-rated Customer Success team, who is committed to helping your business succeed. If you’re not already a FeedbackFive user, start your free trial today!

Originally published on August 22, 2017, updated June 7, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.