Email Marketing Case Studies That Can Help You Increase Your Open Rates

Written by Margot Banks

August 4, 2020

Email Marketing is a crucial part of any business’s overall marketing strategy. It has been proven effective in bringing in large profits. Successful email marketing, however, does not just happen. It may seem simple but in truth, the whole process consists of different variables that must be individually considered.

A high-quality email leads list is perhaps the most crucial variable in the whole process. Building an organic leads list is tedious, time-consuming, and quite tricky. Imagine trying to collect US postal addresses to use for, say, direct mail for real estate businesses. Collecting email addresses is a bit like that, only trickier.  If, for example, you’re looking for life insurance sales leads and you come across insurance leads for free, you may try these free leads out. However, there is no guarantee that they’d work out for you. It would be much better for you to buy insurance leads from a reputable source instead. A high-quality, verified and segmented leads list makes a great foundation for any email marketing campaign.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to properly keep tabs on your email campaign. We’ll even walk you through some case studies to more effectively show you the do’s and don’ts of running a reputable email marketing campaign.

Leads for Sale will Jumpstart Your Email Marketing Campaign

While you may opt to build your own email leads list, buying a readily available email list is undoubtedly more convenient. Manually building that list from scratch could eat up a huge chunk of your time and resources which you could instead channel into other aspects of your business. 

Even after your email campaign is already up and running, you can’t afford to be complacent about the whole thing. The whole process doesn’t end with sending out those carefully crafted emails. You must also keep track of how your email campaign is running. 

Is your email campaign coming up with a reasonable number of conversions? Is it bringing in profit? Are your emails even being opened by your leads?

Keeping track of your email campaign’s progress may seem overwhelming at first, as it involves ratings and computations; in truth, it’s fairly easy. Through the whole process, you must bear in mind the things that you want to see: higher open rates (OR), higher click-through rates (CTR), lower unsubscribes, and of course, higher conversion rates.

An email is only considered opened once the recipient enables images to appear in the preview pane or full view of the email, or if the reader clicks a link within the email. Let’s say 90 out of 100 emails are delivered and out of the 90, 10 are opened. This means that your email campaign open rate is 11%. This 11% is what you should keep track of and work on increasing. The higher your OR, the better possibility for a high CTR. Your CTR is entirely dependent on your OR. 

Analysis of all these rates and data is greatly important as it gives you a clear image of the big picture. It allows you to see what works and what needs changing in your email campaign.

Generate Promising Open Rates from Your High-Quality Leads List

Now that we’ve established that a leads list is the foundation of successful email marketing, let’s check out some strategies and case studies to keep your email campaigns generating high open rates.

Thorough Segmentation

Segmentation means categorizing your list into more targeted groups. How effective is list segmentation to increase open rates, you ask? Well, an astonishing rate of 90-94%. If that rate seems too good to be true, take a look at these brands.


A. Hackett London

This brand of elegant and luxurious clothes and accessories has been tailoring its emails to segmented lists of gender, stores, and locations, resulting in relevant and effective campaigns. Consequently, their ROI has increased by 122% year after year.

B. Johnny Cupcakes

This clothing retailer utilizes vendor software to segment lists per gender, interests, brand preferences, and media habits. They have since generated 42%, 123%, and 141% increase in open/click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue per campaign, respectively.

C. Doggyloot

This flash sale site also segments and personalizes their email lists. They have separate lists for pet parents of small dogs and those of larger ones. By sending relevant emails, their open rate has been increased by 10.2%. Because of this, their open rate is 410% higher than their industry average, with emails contributing up to 13% of their daily sales.

Specific “From” Name and Email Address

An underrated and underestimated part of an email, but in reality, is as important as a subject line.

It’s one of the first things recipients see; hence, the first filtering stage. If an email is sent from a generic, unfamiliar, or spam-like address, it goes straight to the trash, unread.

Research conducted by Pinpointe Marketing found that emails from personal names have 35% more open rates than from generic email addresses or company names.


The signature should include the company’s name, unless of course the person is the brand (like Madonna). You may look to include a person’s name, like your marketing manager per se, but be sure to include the company’s name beside or below it.

It’s also best to use an email address that’s registered to your brand’s domain rather than a free webmail address (like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook). HubSpot conducted a test where the same email was sent from a generic address and a personal address, the open rates were 73% and 96%, respectively.

 Striking Subject Line

So, your email passed the “from” filter, will it do the same with the “subject line” filter? Studies show that 33% of the recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.

Personalization is a game-changer in subject lines; either include your subscriber’s first name or appeal to his/her human emotions. One great example is the “100% more opens and 228.5% more clicks” story from Money Dashboard. They recycled an email campaign, changing only the subject line from “What’s your opinion here?” to “Please put us out of our misery.”


There are undoubtedly various techniques in creating subject lines that are proven to be effective. Below are some of those.

A. Benefit-Driven or Self-Interest

This is a transparent and straightforward approach; simply lay out what’s in it for them.

  • Salesforce: How to Grow Your Business Faster in 15 Minutes  
  • Grammarly: Your Weekly Progress Report & Tips

B. Urgency or Scarcity

This method capitalizes on innately human fear of being left out or missing out on something.

  • H&M Fashion News: Today only! 20% off basics
  • Adobe Systems: Ending soon: Save 40% on Creative Cloud

C. Humor or Wit

While this technique is proven to stand out, you have to be careful about your timing, and mind your audience.

  • Please Touch Me! Enterprise Delight via Multitouch
  • Language of Mutilation: Grammar for Ads & Life



D. Case Study or Quick Fix

Another technique capitalizing on a natural human attitude – laziness. People, in general, tend to opt for the easy way or to take shortcuts.

  • Mom of two “makes” $10K in 4 days
  • How I got 26,778 Subscribers in 13 Months



E. Curiosity-Teaser Statements or Intriguing Questions

Also regarded as the cliff-hanger technique. After all, give a hint about a secret, and people tend to want to know more.

  • Airbnb: This week’s most popular homes are…
  • AWAI: Will this be your defining moment?

 Balanced Frequency

Email frequency is the defining thin line separating helpful and timely messages from annoying and spammy ones.

Omnisend, a company providing marketing services, observed that the highest OR and CTR are shown by the emails sent once a month, while the lowest rates are within campaigns sent daily.

Of course, it varies, once a month might be too seldom for some while thrice a week could be too frequent for others. Rule of thumb, if you simply can’t figure it out, ask. Like how IFTTT does:

Unsubscribe from news, tips, and features 

or sign in to manage your email preferences 


 Relative Content

The content itself is the main course. If your email has reached the point where the recipient is reading your message, you deserve a tap on the back. No standing ovation for now, however, as your main goal of driving them to your landing page, or guiding them to make a purchase hasn’t happened yet.

Regardless of your preferred style, the message you wish to relay is what matters most. Your content should make sense, not to you, but your readers. David Huffman boosted open rates by 15 to 20% with diverse, fresh, relevant, and content-packed emails.


Email marketing has been proven, time and again, to boost sales and even the brand itself. The results, however, are only as great as the strategies that you employ.

Purchased email lists are a great foundation to your whole email campaign. It is important, though, that you choose a trusted source like Powerline Leads that only provide high-quality and verified lists.

While a high-quality leads list helps, it is still up to you to make use of it to the utmost advantage of your business. Instead of going for a fast-hard sell, consider nurturing your relationship with a lead to convert them not only to a customer but to a loyal lifetime client.

Going through various case studies is also a helpful habit. These case studies are a great way to learn which actions to keep doing and which mistakes to avoid.