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5 Ways To Increase Your Email Open Rate for Nonprofits

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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The average person receives over 100 emails a DAY! But what is it that gets you to open an email? Wondering how to increase your email open rate? You’re in the right place!

Having strategies for your email marketing, acquisition, and email design are so important, which is why I’ve tapped five of my favorite email marketing experts to share quick-fire tips with you.

You’ll hear about the importance of personalization and why we need to avoid boring subject lines if we want our open rates to increase. 

A special thank you to Hannah Lipschutz, John Walsh, Patty Breech, Katelyn Baughan, and Christina Tzavaras Edwards for sharing their wisdom with us. Let’s get started!

John’s Tip – Personalize Your Email Segments

When thinking about how to increase your email open rate, remember people want personalized emails! One study found that 60% of people receive generic emails and 78% feel frustrated by them. Consider segmenting your audience based on their interests or behaviors.

John also challenges us to try a plain-looking, text-based email rather than one that’s filled with multiple colors and images.

Hannah’s Tip – Write Your Email To A Friend

Write your emails as if you’re writing to a friend. Hannah feels many brands are missing the mark here, and write their emails in an overly proper and formal tone.

Also? Avoid boring subject lines! If you want to increase your open rate, this is one of the fastest paths to get there. Try to make it interesting, and be sure to include a call to action, but not too many.

Patty’s Tip – You Is The Magic Word

Patty shares why we need to flip our “we” directed emails to be “you” focused. Organizations talk about themselves a lot – whether shining a spotlight on a new award, initiative, or campaign.

Supporters will eventually start to wonder, why is this relevant to me? What’s in this for me?

You is the magic word and using it more than we will make your emails so much more impactful.

Katelyn’s Tip – Uses Dynamic Assets in Your Emails

Use dynamic assets in your emails to inspire supporters to take action. Katelyn suggests including their first name in the body of the email, acknowledging their prior giving activity with your organization, and messaging and graphics that speak to their interests based on their past actions.

Each message should be unique and will make your emails feel so much more personalized.

Christina’s Tip – No More Boring Email Subject Lines

And for our final tip, Christina wants us to get cheeky with our subject lines! No one wants to open an email titled “October Update” or “Summer News” right? 

And while we may be tempted to come up with the subject line first, we should actually write this part last, AFTER we’ve written the content of our email.

As you take note of these tips today, notice what gets you to open emails and what inspires you to open one rather than scrolling or by or hitting the delete button. Use this as fuel to keep the ideas percolating!

Notable Quote from Dana

“Do you ever think about why? Why you opened that one email? Was it because of the juicy subject line? Was it because you trust that person? Or was there an urgency? Or why do you even think you click through in an email once you do open it? And why do you delete it?”

Resources & Links

Where do you struggle with your email marketing efforts? Is it in the acquisition of getting new people on your email list? Is it in drafting the emails? Is it getting those open rates? Or do you have an incredible email story to share that everyone should hear? Drop me a note on LinkedIn or Instagram either way. I look forward to hearing from you.

Follow our featured email marketing experts here: Hannah Lipschutz, John Walsh, Patty Breech from The Purpose Collective, Katelyn Baughan, and Christina Tzavaras Edwards from Splendid Consulting

Join my upcoming live workshop series, Grow Your Gifts, and learn how to launch optimized ad campaigns on Instagram and Facebook, plus get personalized feedback from me. Get on the interest list now to learn more and have a successful giving season.

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Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you. 

  1. […] that in order to boost your email open rate, these strategies must be used early on in the email, such as in the subject line and near the top […]

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