This is an update, of sorts, on the stats behind these weekly emails and how things are going since I started posting the open rates in my archives at the beginning of the year. 

The reason for publishing the open rates is to be able to easily see whether or not the strategies I am using make a difference in audience engagement - and so that you can follow along, too. 

Over the past 8 months I've made a concerted effort to follow a few main rules when writing and sending emails. They are strategies that are working well for email marketing right now, and they are: 

1) consistency - I send my emails on Tuesdays at 8:45 am EST almost every single time. Not because Tuesday at 8:45 is a particularly good time, but because I needed to choose and stick to a time for an "apples to apples" comparison of open rates. And because a regular pattern helps readers anticipate the messages, trust the content, and want to open them.

2) human-style communication - I try to send messages that look and sound like they are from an actual human and not a business (because, as it turns out, I am human and so are most of my subscribers). I almost always send plain-text emails without a templated layout or fancy design elements. And, readers frequently send back replies in response to the conversational style of writing (versus an "announcement" or e-blast vibe). 

3) list hygiene - a big spike in my open rate can be attributed to regularly cleaning my list. As I've described in the past, it's not a particularly comfortable task but it helps to pinpoint who actually wants to receive emails - so that the ones who don't can be let go with love💛. Less dead weight = better deliverability. 

Here's how it's going:

The first 3 months of the year saw an average of 39% opens. The second quarter average was up to 55%. I expect that the open rates will continue to improve a little more over time.

That makes the average so far in 2022 about 47% which is up from 30% in 2021. A solid 17% increase in the amount of readers who take the time to at least open my messages each week. 

(Apply that increase to your nonprofit:  with a list of 5,000 subscribers, a 17% lift in open rates would equate to 850 more people who open your messages. If only 1% of those 850 actually made a donation in response to a message, that would be nearly 9 more gifts. And if your conversion rate is better than 1%, it could mean a lot more.)

So, that's how these emails are going for me. How are they going for you? Please take the 5-question survey and let me know what you think about the content and topics that I send you each week. 

Keep Up the Good Work,


*I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a scout. I do, however, live with 4 ex-scouts which gives me license to reference the honor at will - or so I choose to believe. 🤣

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