Plus a bonus tip for when your open rates won't budge.


Hopefully, by now, you’re starting to buy into the idea that better communication is the key to your organization’s next level of success. And that simply doing the great work you do isn’t enough to sustain and grow; that you must also tell people about it consistently and creatively.

The need to tell better stories is not a new concept but, as they say: the biggest gap in life is between knowing what to do and actually doing it. 

Changing the habits of your subscribers won't be an overnight project. It's true that writing and sending emails on a regular basis is an important first step toward better engagement and more successful giving campaigns, but it may take your audience a little time to catch on and learn to expect great messages from you.

Luckily, there are proven* ways to raise the probability that your audience will open and read what you send. Here are three changes that you can make immediately and with almost no effort to improve your open rates:

  1. Send emails from a person (not the org). The sender should be the name of a person in your organization (sometimes the top leader but not always) without a title or the name of the organization.
  2. Make them plain text (html isn't performing as well in studies). Design-heavy emails get opened less than their plain-text counterparts perhaps because html-based messages look like they're coming from a corporation, rather than from another human being.
  3. Show value in the subject line. Let readers know that your message contains something they’ll want. Be clever but steer clear of sensational claims or misleading language.

Oh, and if you've already been trying to improve your open rates with little success, it may be time to let go of cold subscribers. Deleting those who haven't (and probably won't) opened your messages recently will make your emails more deliverable to the people who are likely to open them. Read more about that here

*Most of my tips are based on the experiments and research library of NextAfter.

P.S. Don't forget to submit your website for a free "hot seat" review with JennyB Designs and yours truly. Click the image below for more details!

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