11 Email Hacks To Activate Leads In Your Funnel (#1 is My Favorite)



Despite some reports to the contrary, email is still the king of online marketing channels.

Because email has a 40x return per $1 spent, it makes business sense to focus your energies on this profitable channel to maximize earnings. Email ROI is 4x higher than social media, direct mail, paid search and other channels.

However, to get all these benefits you have to bring your A game. These days, consumers’ inboxes are clogged, so they are picky and sensitive.

For your email to get opened, read and clicked, you have to be smart. From segmentation to subject line, from salutation to sign-off, you have to nail every element.

Here are 11 email hacks to immediately increase your open rates and click-throughs.

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1. Short, Engaging Subject Lines

You only have a couple of seconds to lure people to open your email through the subject line.

According to Convince and Convert, 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

Shorter is better in most cases unless your tests show otherwise. With up to 66% of all emails now opened on mobile devices, brevity is key. Mobile devices truncate titles at around 30 characters, and words can be cut off by certain email programs.

The sweet spot to aim for is around 25 characters or 4-7 words. This allows you get your message across quickly before it’s chopped off.


2. More Links, More Clicks

Getting your email opened is only half the battle. The receiver must go on to take the desired action—typically by clicking on a link.

How do you increase your click-through rate?

Add more links.

A study done by Launch Bit showed that email newsletters with 2 links or more got nearly twice as many clicks as newsletters with just one link.

However, adding multiple links will likely decrease clicks for any one link. Since most effective emails are looking for a singular type of action, simply add the same link in the email multiple times.

Here’s a great example from Consulting.com.


Start off with an intro and then go ahead and include the link. But don’t stop there. Follow up with a breakdown of all the benefits people are going to get when they click on that link, and then invite them to click it again.

3. Precise Personalization

Personalization means much more than using someone’s name on the subject line or salutation.

While that’s old news, personalization can still increase click-through rates by up to 35%.

Truly personalized emails make the reader believe message has been crafted especially for them and no one else. It starts with list segmentation—grouping people with similar interests or intentions. Here’s how to make your emails more personal:

  • Start your emails with brief, relevant anecdotes
  • Use an engaging, conversational tone
  • Talk about relevant subjects that readers find useful
  • Send emails to a person, not a company (more about this later)
  • Be vulnerable and share your failures once in a while

4. Button CTAs

Getting your email opened means nothing if people don’t click your links and go to your targeted pages.

To get people to visit your pages, you need an enticing CTA.

An alluring CTA is benefit-driven, the very core that moves readers to click—knowing that clicking on the button will be profitable to them. If people don’t see any gain beyond your button, they won’t click.

Here are the basics of a compelling CTA:

  • Clear, not clever
  • Direct, not indirect
  • Specific, not general
  • Contextually relevant, not random

To turbocharge the power of your CTA, make it an eye-catching button, not plain text. Campaign Monitor did a split test and learned that using a button-based CTA increased click-through rates by 28% over a link-text based CTA.

5. Maximize Your PS

Direct response copywriters have been mining extra conversions from the PS since time immemorial.

To hike CTRs, put a compelling CTA under the PS area of your email. This works because humans are scientifically proven to be drawn by the first and last items of any given sequence. This is called the Serial Position Effect.

So the opening lines and the PS get the most attention.

Hotmail hacked their way to an eye-popping 3000+ accounts per day by including the PS line,  “Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.”

Quick wins don’t come easier than that.

6. Send As a Person, Not a Company

If you’re anything like me, one of the first things you look at before deciding whether or not to open an email is who it’s from.

A shortcut to getting your email opened is optimizing your sender name.

Send emails as a person, not as a company. It humanizes your brand and makes you bond better with customers.

Hubspot revealed that emails coming from a person have both a higher open rate and a higher click-through rate compared to emails sent from the company name.


Clearly, people like to connect with other people, not faceless corporations.

7. Resend Unopened Emails

There’s a simple trick that anyone can use to instantly increase opens, by up to 25% is some cases.

How, you’re asking.

Simply resend the email to anyone who didn’t open it initially. Here’s an example from Noah Kagan of OkDork.

First Email


Second Email


OkDork’s second email got 11% more opens than the first for a total 39.95% open rate, almost double the 21.01% average CTA. That’s a great return for less than a minute’s work!

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Take the same email you sent and change the subject line
  2. Email it out a couple of days later only to non-opens

That’s it. Sit back and watch your conversions soar.

8. Stay Clear of Spam Trigger Words

Here’s a harsh truth.

Even your best emails may never reach your readers because they get caught up in the spam folder. While spam filters are now advanced, they still have flaws, so they sometimes nab legitimate emails.

By avoiding spam trigger words you can increase opens and dodge the notorious spam folder. Here are some common culprits:

  • “Buy”
  • “Discount”
  • “% off”
  • “Guarantee”
  • “Great offer”
  • “Cash”
  • “Free trial”
  • “Special promotion”
  • “Incredible deal”
  • “Earn money”
  • “Risk free”

Avoiding these toxic phrases will sidestep the junk folder and boost deliverability rates.

9. Include a Relevant Video

Video is all the rage in digital marketing circles right now and for good reason.

Hubspot noted that the mere inclusion of the word “video” in an email subject line was found to increase open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.

CNET saw a 26.11% increase in average click-through rates for both their welcome and nurturing email campaigns when they included a video inside the emails.


To get more clicks:

1. Embed a video in your email and set it to auto-play

2. Include an image from your video and put a “play” button on top of it

3. Include a CTA during or at the end of the video

10. Magnetic Preheader Copy

Optimizing the preheader text can significantly boost opens and click-throughs.

Every message that lands in your inbox shows: sender name, subject line and message preheader. All three are crucial to getting your email opened.

Powerful preheader copy:

  1. Leads with the emails’ biggest benefit so users desire to see it
  2. Piques readers’ interest fast so they crave to open the email
  3. Builds on the momentum generated by the subject line so users keep reading

Email Optimization Shop saw a whopping 95.6% lift in revenue per email when their test preheader copy beat the control.


Here are both previews:

Control Preheader: Time Is Running Out on Our Custom Items!

Test Preheader: Great Personalized Gifts for Veterans!

Take a minute or two to tweak your preheader for more opens, more clicks and more money.

11. Personalize Send Time

A quick route to more clicks and better engagement is sending mail at the perfect time.

The perfect time is when readers are most likely to open and read your email.

Although this example is a bit dated, the concept hasn’t changed.

BustedTees started out by segmenting its sends by time zone, delivering emails at the best time for all subscribers. Next, they used past data on individual open times to develop a personalized send time for each subscriber. This enabled them to reach customers at the time that was best for them—no matter the time zone.

The result? 

A 11% increase in click-through rates and an email revenue increase of 8.2%.

Hack Your Way to More Profits

By implementing these simple strategies, you can immediately raise the open rates and click-throughs of your email campaigns. Better click-throughs lead to better ROI.

The best part?

These take only a few minutes to implement. Score big wins with minimal effort.

What email hacks have worked best for your opens and click-throughs? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to learn how to generate 1000s of your own fresh leads every month? Check out the Sales Funnel Blueprint to create your own hardworking sales funnel today.

Jacob McMillen is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist. Click here to download his free guide on writing landing page copy from scratch.


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