Email Marketing: Case Studies and Best Tools to Grow Your Open Rate

Email Marketing

With the number of email users at more than 2.5 billion, email marketing can reach more potential customers than any other form of marketing. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies which offers a high return on investment.

Additionally, email marketing allows you to create customized messages that target certain segments of your customer base. With today’s technology, you can even automate the delivery of your email marketing campaign, providing further options for you to optimize your marketing strategy.

However, for your email marketing campaign to be effective, you need recipients to actually open your emails. Here are some of the most influential case studies on email marketing, as well as a list of the best tools available to help you grow your open rate.

Case Study: Digital Marketer

Well, it should be no surprise that a company with one of the best open rates is a digital marketing company. The primary tool used by the company was powerful subject lines, which helped them increase open rates threefold. These subject lines included those that:

  • Describe benefits – This type of email gets the recipient to open it by quickly explaining the benefit.
  • Create urgency – Emails that say that there is a limited time or a final notice can often get the customer to click on them so that they do not miss out on the promotion.
  • State scarcity – Saying that there are only a limited number of items available to the first people who respond may encourage recipients to click on the message.
  • Make the user curious – Messages that promise “secrets” or “tricks” may also inspire opening the message. 
  • Display instant credibility – Tutorials, how-tos, and well-written content marketing can show that you are an authority on the subject.

Case Study: Birchbox

While many companies often include a promotion at the bottom of their email as a follow up to customers who did not make a purchase, beauty product subscription service Birchbox uses a different strategy. The company sends an email to their subscribers claiming that they have “forgotten’ a discount code for a dress rental company that fits their brand’s profile. This strategy had more responses than emails that simply contained a promotion at the bottom of an email.

Additionally, Birchbox sends continuous emails to their subscribers that offer free gifts, relevant content, reminder emails at the end of a promotion period, tips and tricks, and other engaging content.


Case Study: Adidas

Footwear brand Adidas has honed its email marketing strategy to appeal to new subscribers. After sending out a welcome email to new subscribers, the company informs the subscriber that they have unlocked enough points for an exclusive product with an opportunity to customize their own shoes.


The next email Adidas sends is a request for the subscriber to personalize their email and product preferences. It also includes a link to download the company’s app. After a customer makes a purchase, Adidas sends an email two weeks later asking for feedback on the product. The company continues to send emails that match the stated preferences for deals that are specific to the store.

Case Study: Wok to Walk

Health food company Wok to Walk recently had an open rate of 18.1% after sending a newsletter that invited the subscriber to take action. The company was strategic in its approach by sending subscribers who had not previously opened their emails. It also sent SMS messages to unresponsive subscribers. Concise messages with a singular focus further increased response rates for the company.

wok to walk

X Best Tools to Grow Your Open Rate 

If you want your company to become the next positive case study on email marketing, consider using these tools that are proven to grow your open rate.

Email Lookup Tool for Personalization

A person’s email can actually reveal important things about themselves, which is why an email lookup tool is vital to any company that sends an email. Email lookup tools can reveal an email subscriber’s:

  • Name
  • Social media profiles
  • Geographic location
  • Where the email address has previously been used
  • Connections to other sites

Public Records for Email List Segmentation

One particularly effective marketing strategy is to segment your email recipients into different categories. This is where email marketing and public records converge. You may be able to use public records to gather more information about your potential customers, such as their age, location, occupation, court filings, and marital status.

By combining email marketing and public records, you can create customized messages based on shared characteristics. For example, you may have one marketing message for middle-aged males in high-powered positions than single young women who are currently in college. Later, you can separate your customers by where they are in the customer journey, such as information gathering or at the purchase phase.

Use a Customer Relationship Management Tool

A CRM tool can help you track information connected to your customer. It can help you identify and add new leads in an efficient manner. You can also categorize your customers. For example, Nimble offers a CRM tool that provides an interaction history, notes, deal status updates, and access to social handles. These features help you better target your message to your customers.

Time Your Messages

One of the major advantages of email marketing is that you can prepare your marketing campaign ahead of time but delay sending out your message until certain days or times when your customers are more likely to open them. Data from MailChimp and Experian says that emails sent on weekdays are more likely to be opened than those sent on weekends. Additionally, 10 a.m. in the customer’s time zone is the optimal time of day to send emails. However, factors such as the customer’s age, profession, and location also affected open rates, so you may want to test out your own messaging strategy.


Using the tools described above can help you improve your open rate and your bottom line as a result. 

Nimble Smart Simple CRM