Double Your Open Rate

What if I could tell you how to double your open rates with one simple technique?

I know what you’re thinking – “too good to be true” right?

But what if I had found something that really did work – would it double your engagement, would that then double the number of leads and in turn double the number of customers you could generate from a single email campaign?

If it could then it would be pretty mind blowing, right?

Well, in this blog post I hope to blow your mind and demonstrate exactly how I did it, step by step.


I’m talking about “Intro Lines” or rather “Intro Lines” + “Personalised Subject Lines”.

Let me explain – we typically send emails with a subject line that is, for the most part identical for everyone on the list.  We can get a little clever and personalise it with the company name or contact name but for the most part they are identical.  An example would be as follows:

Subject Line = “Need help with your ***?”

For Emailmovers it might read “Need help with your outreach?” but for a business focused on Payroll it might read “Need help with your payroll?” or for a company focused on Grounds Maintenance it might read “Need help with your grounds maintenance?”.  It’s in short the same subject line for each contact on the list and is designed to appeal to contacts who have a specific issue that they need help with.

It’s pretty basic stuff.  You can personalise it by writing “Paul, need help with your outreach?” or even “Paul, does Acme Inc need help with their outreach?”.

But even with these modest mail merge tags included, the subject line remains, for the most part identical.

What if you were writing an email to a person you had never met, would you still write this subject line or would you make it more personal?  I would naturally make mine more personal, I might even do a little research on that person then write something more relevant to them such as “RE: your post on bad ideas”.

My contact might see this as more relevant to them and more inclined to open up the email and take a closer look.  Great, but how do we scale that?  Would I have to spend days researching my contacts to then carefully craft personal subject lines?  In short, no.  Apps can now do this for us and the results are mind blowing.

Test Conditions

No test can give solid results unless the conditions are agreed beforehand so to trial this I decided to create three separate tests as follows:

  1. Test 1 – Send an email to 20 contacts from our database with a generic subject line
  2. Test 2 – Send an email to 20 contacts from our database with a generic subject line but human crafted intro line
  3. Test 3 – Send an email to 20 contacts from our database with machine generated subject/intro lines

For clarity, the subject line is what appears in the subject field of the email and the intro line is what appears in the first paragraph of the email and often in the preview of the email in the inbox.

Test 1

In test 1 I created a generic subject line and like most companies this subject line is the same for everyone on my list.  It read “Need help with your outreach?” I then inserted a generic intro line in to my email body that read as follows:

Test 2

In this test I asked a freelancer to research 20 contacts for me and write a personalised intro line for each one then send me a spreadsheet with the results so that I can could upload them as a merge field in to my email campaign.

Test 3

In test 3 I used an application to create 20 personalised subjects lines and 20 personalised intro lines for me and downloaded the file after completion with 2 additional columns added so that I could simply mail merge them.

Test Settings

I had to be careful to send the test email at exactly the same time, through the same platform to give the test the best chance of working.  You could argue that 20 contacts is not a large enough test audience however for the purposes of this test I decided to set it at 20 because of the time taken to manually research and write intro lines for those being processed manually.

Each variant is scheduled to send to only 5 new contacts per day so I had only 15 new contacts being added per day in total, to the campaign.

I was sending through only one email address, my own – i.e. which runs through a Google Workspace account.

My email cadence has in total 5 steps spread out over 14 days but only the first is being treated as the test.

Test Results

The results were definitive (in my opinion) and are as follows:

  • Test 1 – Generic Subject Line and No Intro Line – Open Rate = 15.8%
  • Test 2 – Generic Subject Line and Human Intro Line (viewable in preview) – Open Rate = 21.9%
  • Test 3 – App Generated Subject Line and Intro Line (viewable in preview) – Open Rate = 38.7%

We can see that test 3 performed best with an open rate of 38.7% which is more than double the open rate when compared to Test 1.

Need Help

If you would like to know more about how we can help you with any element of your email marketing including Targeted Email Campaigns, B2B Email Data, Email Validation, Email Delivery and/or Email Appending then why not reach out to a member of our team – our contact details are on our contact page here.

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about how I can help you with your own personalised cold email outreach then book a 30 minute consultation with me here.

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