Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, Marketing

8 Tips to Increase Email Open Rates Using Trigger Words

Email marketing has always been one of the core marketing strategies for companies of all sizes, even during the fast-changing digital landscape....

8 Tips to Increase Email Open Rates Using Trigger Words - Tricky Enough

Email marketing has always been one of the core marketing strategies for companies of all sizes, even during the fast-changing digital landscape.

As per the recent report of Statista, approximately 306 billion emails were delivered in 2020, and it is expected that it will rise significantly by 2025. Also, research shows that for every dollar invested in email marketing, brands have received $42 ROI.

Though brands can use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and search engines like Google, Bing, etc., there is always a need to comply with these platforms’ policies to promote your products. Thankfully, email marketing does not have any such complex rules to follow.

Email Marketing Metrics and Open Rate

There are various email marketing metrics to track and measure the success of your campaigns, like open rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, etc.

However, the open email rate is an essential metric because if your subscriber doesn’t open your email, you cannot look for other metrics. 

Open rate is simply the measurement of how many subscribers opened your email divided by the total number of emails delivered multiply by 100.

For example, you delivered 100 emails to your subscribers, and only 60 people have opened your email, then the open rate of your email campaign is 60/100*100 = 60%.

Various factors are affecting the open rates of your email. But the top three factors are sender name, subject lines, and preheader text, even if you are sending cold emails.

As we have mentioned earlier, opening your email by your subscriber is the first step towards email success. However, you can entice them to open your email using triggered words.

That’s why I have created this guide on using the power words to trigger their response.

If you face low open rates, follow the below-mentioned strategies to increase it using trigger words.

Best practices to use trigger words in an email

Create some curiosity

Humans are curious by nature. We never like to listen to a half paused sentence or when a conversation is left open-ended. We have the urge to know what exactly is going to happen.

The same technique applies even to email marketing. Unique, strange, and unusual subject lines can ignite curiosity among the readers and make them open your email.

You can use trigger words like the below-mentioned ones to arouse curiosity among your readers:

  • Shocking
  • Expose
  • Newsflash
  • Untold

Above mentioned trigger words motivate the recipient to open your email and read the content almost instantly.

Address their pain points

For a brand to be successful, they need to understand the pain points of their buyers. Subscribers open the emails when the emails contain trigger words that address the pain points.

For example, PizzaHut, a renowned Pizza making company, has come up with this subject line in their email “Feed your guests without breaking the bank.” This subject line conveys a message to the recipients that the PizzaHut pizzas are very affordable to have.

Brands can also use trigger words that offer solutions to the recipients. For example, if you are running a job portal and would like to provide your email subscribers with a list of working resume hacks, you can develop subject lines like: “Use these simple hacks to fix your resume and land a high paying job.”

Make them feel better

Every time we switch to news channels or other media, we are flooded with much negative news. So, to make your recipients/subscribers feel better, you can use great trigger words like:

  • Miracle
  • Energize
  • Empower
  • Surprising
  • Overcome
  • Boost

Position your company as a source of encouragement and use these trigger words in your email subject lines to break the negative mindset of your subscribers.

Use humor to make them laugh

As per a survey, email marketers have only 3 seconds to grab the users’ attention before hitting the delete button. Adding humor to your email subject lines can do wonders in terms of open rates and also helps your brand stand out from the competition.

As a famous quote says, “Laughter is the best medicine.” use it to your brand’s advantage. Your brand will likely win in email marketing when you can tickle the people with your subject lines.

While using humor trigger words, make sure not to use any controversial words that might land your brand into trouble. Pick the trigger words that resonate with your brand’s identity.

Establish your credibility

In this fast-changing digital era, it is challenging to establish trust and credibility among subscribers. However, if you use trigger words that speak about evidence, your emails’ open rate is likely to shoot up.

Once you use evidence-based words in the email subject line, it is recommended to validate the same in your email copy. For example, if you are a web design agency, you can send an email with a subject line like: “5 proven UX designs to boost lead generation.” Give a few examples of how the UX design helped your clients in improving their business.

Providing valuable information to subscribers always has a vital role in improving the open email rates.

Create some urgency

It is essential to add a sense of urgency in the subject line to respond to your emails immediately.

Some commonly used urgency trigger words include:

  • Grab the offer
  • Limited stocks
  • 4 hours to go

Instilling the fear of missing out plays a huge role in increasing the open rate of emails. You can also test the subject lines with your own set of emotional / urgency trigger words and see how the campaign performs.

Ask some questions

Most of the time, controversy sells as it grabs the user’s attention. However, you need to understand your target audience before you implement this method. Because if done wrong, you might lose out on a valuable customer.

Understanding your target audience will reduce the chances of hurting them and increase the chances of explaining the primary intent behind your email.

For example, you can use trigger subject lines like:

“Why did your blog rankings drop?” In the email copy, explain the intent behind the subject line and give a clear example/solution of what should be done to improve a blog’s ranking.

Add some incredible value

As mentioned earlier, controversy sells well if done right. One of the best ways to grab the reader’s attention is by using shocking value trigger words like:

  • Banned
  • Controversy
  • Caught

In short, write an unexpected subject line that grabs the recipient’s attention and makes them open your email. But make sure that the controversial subject line does not hamper the reputation of your brand.


The most crucial goal of every brand is to increase its sales. Follow the solutions mentioned above to improve the open rate of your emails and observe how your audience responds to each variation of email. 

A/B testing is crucial to bring the most out of your audience and increase conversions. Like one size doesn’t fit all, the exact copy doesn’t work for all businesses. So, try to customize the trigger words as per your industry.

Triggering the emotions with the subject lines will improve the open rates of your email.


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Written by Ranjit Singh
Ranjit is a PPC advertising expert and freelance web developer who loves to share his experiences on different strategies to increase sales and conversions.

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