Super Easy Tip For Higher Open Rates On Your Email List

I’ve got another tip for you today on how to get higher open rates on your email. And it works particularly well if you use video and here’s why.

Aweber uses a tracking image to actually track open rates. So, there’s a little invisible image in the email like, 1×1 pixels – that’s a little transparent image. And it’s being loaded up in the email client in order to track whether the email has been opened or not. If the person that you’re sending it to is blocking images in any way, then it’s not going to be able to track whether they opened the email or not.

If they’re using a web based email service like Gmail or Hotmail, and they have images blocked (like a lot of these web based email services do by default), unless they hit a specific button that says “allow images”, we’re not going to be able to track whether they opened.

How Do We Get Them To Allow Images?

Well, what we can do is to actually put an image in our email. So, in the HTML version of the email that we send, we actually put an image there.

This works particularly well if it’s a video. Let’s say you’re embedding a YouTube video in your blog post. Take a little screenshot of that video with a play button on there and everything. You want to make it look like a video that needs to be played and you embed that image into your email.

Video thumbnail
If you try to click on that image above, don’t be surprised. 🙂

Now, when you send them out, they’re going to get your typical email with the teaser – “watch this video”, “read it”, whatever. But they’re going to see that image with the play button and their instinct is going to be try to play that video.

Well, of course, what’s going to happen when they hit that play button? It’s going to take them to your blog to actually watch that video. Obviously, we cannot play videos inside of our emails. So, that is really going to work out well.

Now, what happens if they’re blocking images? What are they going to see? Well, they’re not going to see that screenshot. What they’re going to see is a big square with an empty image in it.

So here’s what you can actually do. In the ALT tag of the image, you actually put something in there that says something like, “If you don’t see this image… click above to allow images”, or something to that effect. You could even put some copy in there and REALLY make them want to see what that image is.

When they enable images to view the video, it’s going to pull down the screenshot with the play button which is then going to increase your click through rates, to get them to want to go to your blog to actually watch the video.  At the same time it’s going to allow your tracking image to get loaded up and you’re going to see better open rates. 🙂

So, it increases engagement. That’s what we were talking about on the last post. It’s all about increasing that engagement. You need to put things in the emails that are going to make them want to see it and click on it – and a really great way to do that is so super simple! You just take a screenshot of a video with the play button there.

I DO recommend that you have your face as often as possible on the video because people tend to like to click on faces more than they like to click on other things. It’s just human nature.

So give it a try! Let me know how it works for you!


  1. This tip is brilliant and comes at the exact right time!
    I’m launching a new video series next week tuesday, and I’m going to incorporate this tip in every email I send.

    I’ll let you know what my results are next week, and thanks again for the tip!

  2. Thanks David. Great tip! I’ve seen this used by other email marketers and it always gets me to click and allow images, so it definitely works. Eventually I get so tired of allowing images on every email that I just make them permanently allowed for that sender 🙂

  3. Really great insight here, David. I have an email newsletter but I’ve noticed the open rates aren’t as great as I would like, so I was wondering if they were viewing it in a way that didn’t trigger the count, like in an Outlook viewer or something.

    I am trying to keep it simple, so I don’t include a lot of html or pictures, but I do have a banner with interesting pictures at the top, so I wonder if they’re not seeing it. I am planning to use video, so I will definitely try your trick.

    Thanks for the tip.

  4. Cool post.
    A clear and valid point here that is to be taken into account when sending emails in the future.
    Aweber themselves has given this tip from before but as long as not everyone reads on their site it is a must to share this.
    Keep up the good work David.

    Best regards.

    Rune Ellingsen


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