One of the questions I get asked most frequently is: How do I get more people to open my emails?

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula to consistently getting more email opens, however, there are a lot of things that you can do that will immediately have users searching for the unsubscribe button.

  • Refrain from selling immediately Unless you are sending me a discount code for my kid’s shoes, I don’t want to open an email where the subject line is an urgent call to buy your services or support your organization. I want to learn about you and your organization first and then make that decision.

  • Clean your lists Old lists not only have lower open rates but depending on how you segment them, you might also be accidentally sending one person the same email multiple times. This will likely be flagged as spammy behavior, both by the subscriber and the email provider.

  • Pay attention to how often you send Email inboxes are crowded. Instead of over-sending to your subscribers, create content that they will actively seek out in their inbox. The requires planning and consistency, but it is worth it to send fewer emails that get opened more often instead of annoying readers by sending too many. This will lead to them unsubscribing or just ignoring your emails.

  • Create a clear call to action Be sure that the email you send out is not a dead end. Include links with every image and a clear call to action at the end (hint: this is an okay place to put an offer or an ask for support). If you’re just sending out letters that lead to nowhere, you will start to lose readers.

  • Don’t recycle content too frequently If you don’t have new content to share, don’t send a newsletter. Readers likely won’t notice if you skip a month, but they will notice if they’ve gotten the same content over and over.

Also, make sure to follow up. Getting a subscriber to open your e-mail is a win, but someone who takes the time to respond is worth their weight in gold. Be sure to write them back as soon as possible—after all, the goal of newsletters is to start a conversation with your clients or donors. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about them.

If you avoid these email mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to having an active and engaged email list. Have more questions about email marketing? Feel free to comment below, send us a message, or schedule a free consultation.

The M Dash

Articles about strategy, sustainability, and making the world a better place.