The #1 Reason Why Your Email Open Rates Are Diving


As you know, most of your emails aren’t being seen like they should because of email filters that Gmail has implemented. That’s why your average open rates are 10%-30%.

In today’s article I’ll show you a quick hack that could raise those numbers by a decent amount. And no, it’s not drag-n-drop like some suggest.

FACT: Email is crucial and you definitely want to read this.

Some dare to say that Gmail hasn’t affected open rates for anyone, period.  According to Matthew from Mailchimp, that’s just not true:

“To be specific, I pulled 29 billion emails, 4.9 billion opens, 4.2 billion clicks, and 43.5 million unsubscribes to find out how Gmail’s tabs are affecting open rates…Open rates are definitely down…”-Matthew

Matthew suggested that it could be a good thing that Gmail is approaching this in the name of spam. Which that part is great, but what if you’re not sending spam? It doesn’t matter. Unless you send it Gmail’s way, it’s not making it to the inbox.

FACT: According to Mailchimp, Gmail has the 2nd lowest click rate ever since the new changes.

So how can we get around this?

After a year of observation, and going through thousands of emails, I put together the pieces on how to raise those open rates again to 30%-45% by doing one thing.

Tweet This: The Secret To Gmail Algorithm

I went through 640 emails (in a single night) in my Promotional Tab. I wanted to confirm what I already knew about the algorithm with previous studies. Studying these emails, I began to see an unexpected trend. 

Many different formats were there with different messages, but one thing was the same. All promo emails contained an Email Header. Which meant headers were a signal to Gmail to throw you in the wrong tab.

FACT: 98% of emails that were sent to the Promotional Tab had a header.

FACT: 95% of my Primary Emails had no header. (Excluding Paypal and Disqus). Results will vary based on how much you click from other tabs and who the sender is.

In order to succeed, the header must go. If you don’t believe me, do a test. See if your open rates aren’t higher without the header.

Many use the header for exposure of brand, which was a great strategy, when people saw it of course. This will be painful for some of you, but deleting your header will be the best thing you ever did. I’ll explain from a personal experience.

I was subscribed to this daily newsletter (Convince & Convert) since Jun 11th of 2014. The newsletter always had the header and it always landed in the Promotion Tab. Even though it had many links (which is a no-no), it wasn’t the main reason Google was booting it to the Promotion Tab.

August 27th, 2014 rolls around and the email lands in my Primary Tab. I immediately look to see that this newsletter had for once land in my Primary Tab.

The company had replaced it’s header with text and I’ve been getting the newsletter ever since. I’m not saying all emails with non-headers make it to the Primary Tab, but your chances are higher. So understand images, and definitely headers, will affect your open rate.

The reason being is that Google ultimately wants the inbox to feel as personal and relevant as possible. When your friend send you a message, they don’t put up headers for logo exposure, they’re just telling you something that they feel like you should know. So Google feels like anything outside of this format belongs in the Promotions Tab.

THE HACK: Remove your email header (along with any image).

When you apply personalization, relevancy, and valuable content along with this hack, your open rates will soar even more.

There is other technical things you can do to increase your rates, start by reading this: Why I Hate Signing Up For Newsletters I Like

Hope this helps!