The Inbox Battle

Written by Franco Varriano.

1. Overview

We all know email marketing is crucial to ecommerce success. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely implemented email marketing to grow your business. At, we’re always happy to explain how amazing predictive analytics are for email marketing. Assuming that you’re leveraging the best tools available today to send better emails, there is one battle you must win in order to reap the rewards of your efforts: The Inbox Battle.

The Inbox Battle can be described as the set of tactics email marketers use to standout in the inbox. Before customers benefit from your value added emails, they must open the email. Images are worth a thousand words so here are some cold numbers that clearly describe the inbox overload.

According to Radicati’s report, the average user received 84 emails per day in their inbox. Your email is most likely just another one of them. So despite your best effort to send beautifully designed emails with relevant content, your customers are bombarded with a lot more emails. We did some research for this week’s blog post and we came up with a few tips to help you stand out in the inbox and increase your open rates.

2. Smart Timing

If you have the opportunity to use an email marketing software that has the best timing feature, help yourself by leveraging it to the maximum. The feature is based on customer behavior and uses previous email opening habit to predict the optimum delivery time for each and every email.

3. Create Beautiful Subject Lines

Subject lines alone can help you standout in the inbox. Two weeks ago, we published Easy Breezy Beautiful Subject Lines where we tried to come up with an easy formula to craft amazing subject lines. Since your customers are too busy, the subject line should ideally include the main message/offer in order to convey your message as fast as possible.

4. Avoid Spam Triggers

Billions of emails are flagged as spam every day. Email clients filter messages that appear to deceive and scam readers. You’re not a scammer so avoid using common spam words that may trigger an email client’s junk mail filter. Please check HubSpot’s Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger words in order to minimize the latter as much as you can.

5. Be Consistent

Companies who enjoy high open rates are reaping the rewards of the one the toughest disciplines in the world: Consistency. Being consistent enables you to create a reputation in the inbox which leads to high expectations. So whenever you appear in your customer’s’ inbox, you become the highlight of the day/week. Your most loyal customers are going to budget time to read your messages as they know what to expect. It’s easier said than done as consistency isn’t synonymous for sameness. You’ll always have to come up with new refreshing ideas while maintaining your unique awesomeness. Last but not least, once you’ve built a solid reputation in customers’ inbox, your email surprises become real surprises. Segmentation didn’t make it to the list as it is a feature in many email marketing softwares and you’re most likely already segmenting. Sometimes sending the same email twice with different subject lines works just fine. Some of our customers experienced a 30% gain in open rates by following those simple steps:

Here’s a live example in action:

Let’s make this real by looking at one of our clients, RBX ACTIVE, who used the Shopify Predictive Email app to increase their email open rates by 30%.

First email (with results after 7 days).

Subject line: We’ve Got Our Act Together

Second email (sent to contacts that did not open email one after 7 days).

New subject line: Good things come to those who work for it.

Overall results:

First email opens (825) + Second email opens (240) = Overall increase of 29%!!!

We’ve used this technique over and over again and every time we see email open rates increase around 30%. It’s the simplest gain you’ll ever make 😀. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, all inbox battle is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

4. Conclusion

If you’re an ecommerce merchant and don’t have automated email marketing campaigns setup for your store, you’re losing money. Right now. makes it easy to start using automated email campaigns for common challenges like: Welcome Series, Abandoned Carts, Order Follow-up emails and more! You can learn more about our powerful email marketing automation features here or go ahead and get started right away by using for FREE.

And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.

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