Do you want to improve your e-mail's success rates?  One of the first things you can do is consult with an expert.  Allow us to introduce you.  Recently MailChimp analyzed the open rates of more than 200 million e-mails.  That's a whole lot of e-mails.  Their findings were published in a blog post on their website.

Generally speaking, the highest open rates were for personal emails where the addressee knows the sender.  These open rates are as high as 93%.  The lowest rates were for offers too good to be true.   Allow us to share what MailChimp learned from their analysis.

1. Avoid these three words:  "Help", "percent off" and "reminder."  According to the study, these words don't trigger spam filters, but they trigger customers.  Customers see these words and know that the e-mail is spam and will never open it.

2. Localization over personalization.  Using the person's name doesn’t help much at all, but a city, neighborhood or even street address does help.  Think about it.  My friends aren't going to use my name in a subject line, but a company that wants me to think that they are a friend will do so.

3. Change your subject lines frequently.  If you continuously repeat the same subject line, open rates will decline over time.  If you're starting a new e-mail campaign, update your subject lines.

4. No more than 50 characters per subject line.  If you're like me, those subject lines that continue on and on, and which I cannot read on one line frustrate me and I delete them without a second thought.

5. The "From" line should be honest and work with the subject line.  No need to repeat the company name from the 'from" line in the subject line.  Their recommendation is not get cute with the 'from' line, save that for the subject line.

6. Don't treat your subject line like a used car lot.  No CAPS, no exclamation points, etc.

The blog post reveals some of their best converting email lines and they generally were from companies or persons that the addressee knew.  Business, friends, family or in a few cases companies that they had an active relationship with.  One of the e-mails that converted well was from a sports magazine that was promoting their football issue.

Here are some of the subject lines that tanked in open rates:
•    Help Spread the News!
•    SALE ends soon - up to 50% off all bras at…
•    Final reminder for complimentary entry to enter…
•    Tempting August NUSA Speicals!
•    Help Baylor create the ideal college experience.

The thing to keep in mind about e-mail is that not much different from other types of marketing in that you are trying to reach and connect with a customer in a crowded environment that is constantly evolving.  Consumers update their knowledge constantly about what is acceptable and what isn't.  As a marketer keep up to date on consumer trends and above all else, don't insult them.