Factors That Prompt People To Open Emails

Chart: Factors That Prompt People To Open Emails

Dyspatch’s The Future of Email Marketing August, 2020 survey reinforces an article of faith among email marketers about the top factors that encourage someone to open an email.

A third of respondents cited the sender’s name or company as a reason to open an email. A known sender is a powerful trust factor that encourages recipients to open an email.

Another third cited the email subject line as a factor in their decision to open an email. That, of course, make eminent sense, assuming the subject line gives the recipient a taste of what they will get by opening the email.

The preheader, or preview text, was cited by 22% of respondents as a factor in opening up an email.

The Top Three Factors Should Work In Concert

In fact, these top three factors all work in concert to convince someone to open an email. Email marketers will have much more success boosting their open rates if they put themselves in the head of the recipients and think through how they actually experience the email communications.

They receive the email in their inbox, glance at the From field to see who is sending them the message. Trusting the sender, they move on to the subject line to identify what’s in the email. If the content teased in the subject line interests them, the preview text can offer supporting persuasion that the message is worth opening.

Mobile vs Desktop Email

Six percent of respondents cited whether or not they were seeing the email on their mobile device versus their desktop as a factor in their decision to open it.

Due to the limited space on mobile devices and the nature of the context of their use, people are much more likely to make calculations about which emails to delete on mobile than they are within a desktop environment.

Think about it. People use their mobile devices to take productive advantage of downtime, so they’ll scan their inboxes and swipe delete on emails they feel they don’t need while standing in line or while riding an elevator.

The desktop environment, on the other hand, is usually experienced in a fixed space such as on a laptop at home or an office computer. The much larger screen that accompanies this experience makes it a much easier and more enjoyable way to consume email content.

Email Dayparting & Send Time

While email marketers may obesses over what day and time to send their campaigns, it appears their subscribers don’t give it much thought at all. Only four percent said the time of the day was a factor in them opening an email and only three percent said the day of the week was a factor.

eMarketer principal analysts at Insider Intelligence Jeremy Goldman and Nicole Perrin discuss how the pandemic changed email, what consumers want from it, and how to build a best-in-class campaign:


The e-Strategy Academy covers all aspects of digital marketing including search optimization & marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing & public relations.