So you’ve carefully crafted your e-newsletter. From curating quality content to double checking every last link, you’re ready to send. Your e-newsletter shoots into cyberspace. Moments later, it’s landing in inboxes. Success!
A few days pass and you’re eager to check the stats. Whether it was an internal memo or external highlight, you know your Ideal Advocates — some might call them clients, stakeholders or customers — asked for and really needed this communication. But the stats were a flop: the email open rate isn’t what you thought it would be. So, how do you increase e-newsletter open rates? Here are some tips to help you out.
Have you ever clicked to open an email only to find something entirely different from what you expected? It’s frustrating, and you probably scrolled to the bottom to push unsubscribe ASAP.
What to do: Your subject line should describe the content of your e-newsletter. Research finds that descriptive subject lines have increased open rate success. So stay away from cagey subject lines screaming for “amazing deals.” Be authentic. Give them a glimpse of what to expect when they open it; for example, highlight something you’re featuring in the newsletter.
Offer something of value in your subject line.
Think about the emails you consistently open. The subject line probably offers you something relevant. So, you click.
What to do: Give your recipients a reason to open the email by putting yourself in their shoes. What are their needs and frustrations? Call out a featured resource. Or, ask your readers an intriguing question that matters to them. And no empty promises — follow through with the relevant quality content when they do open the e-newsletter.
Be mobile friendly.
Chances are, many of your Ideal Advocates check email on their phones. Stats say more than half of all email is opened on mobile. Some of them might even check it first thing when they get up and last thing before sleep.
What to do: Make sure your subject line accommodates mobile email opens. Test and check your email’s mobile preview before scheduling. Most subject lines should be between 30-40 characters. Also, don’t forget to add your preview text. This is the first line beyond the subject line when you’re reading email on your phone. So if you can’t capture everything in your subject line (try to keep it simple), the preview text is a strategic way engage your reader.
Send the email “from” a familiar name.
Which are you more likely to open: an email from someone you know, or an email from a stranger? Your Ideal Advocates feel the same way.
What to do: Personalize your email with the sender name. People want to connect with people. For example, Fervor monthly e-newsletters come from our founder, Mike Farag. Again, remember your Ideal Advocates. Who will they relate to most with this content? Who will they recognize? A long-term Ideal Advocate will connect differently than a prospective Ideal Advocate.
Additionally, change the sender name depending on the content of your e-newsletter. If you’re a church, for example, not every email needs to come from the head pastor. If it’s an announcement for Vacation Bible School, it can come from the youth pastor. Switching up the sender name is a great way to give others in your organization a voice.
As you work to strategically increase your e-newsletter open rates, remember email subject lines and headers are only one piece of the puzzle. Consistency is critical to email marketing success, and sending emails on a regular basis ensures that your recipients look forward to your content. When they know they can count on you, they’re more likely to open what you send. Also, remember to grade your open rates against a proper industry standard. A nonprofit organization shouldn’t compare itself against a Fortune 500 company. Here’s a good reference for 2017 industry open rates.
Need guidance with your organization’s e-newsletters? Give us a shout. Although we use lots of different platforms to send emails (we’ve helped send over 35 million emails), Fervor is also a MailChimp Registered Expert Agency. We’d love to help you increase your communication to your Ideal Advocates in remarkable ways.