How To Get People To Open Your Newsletter

It seems difficult doesn’t it? You have a huge list of people, but nobody is reading your newsletter… In this episode of Whole Whale TV we give you 9 phenomenal tips on how to master your newsletter skills.
Your newsletter probably rocks, so you probably want people to actually open it. Share on X

1. Use The Right Tool

Please, oh please use the right tool! We like MailChimp because it has A/B testing built into the system. You need a reputable system that is collecting your emails. Pretty straight forward, on to tip #2.

2. Subject Lines

Psst…not sure if you know this but, people look at the subject line of your email before opening it. As much time as you spend creating wonderful copy inside of your email, people will judge you based on your subject lines. You definitely want to spend some time on crafting something creative.

3. A/B Test

A/B test those subject lines! How can you know if what you do works? If you have more than 5,000 people who receive your newsletter then you need to be doing this. Test two different subject lines on 5% of your audience and see which one they open. You will be shocked at the results. Some emails get 100% differentials, meaning they get opened twice as much. This is worth doing.

4. Segmentation Is Your BFF

You don’t want to be getting the same gift for Christmas that your grandma, uncle, and mom got. Awkward. IF you have more than 30,000 people on your list then you need to divide it by engagement, donor, region, etc. Be creative. Send different newsletters to different lists.

5. Spam Sucks!

Don’t. Be. Spammy. There are certain keywords that are automatically going to get flagged, and your emails won’t even be seen. Also, you want to make sure your domain’s reputation is good. There are some free tools that allow you to monitor your online reputation. We highly recommend WatchGuard.

6. Consider Timing

The only time you should ever send your newsletter out is…something we would never say. This always depends on your audience. Sure there are better times when to send it but you need to test this. The results might be different each week, and sometimes the unexpected time frame gets higher open rates.
The best time to send an email is...dependent on your audience. Share on X

7. Mobilize It!

Just today, you probably have opened at least one email on your mobile device. Think about how your audience experiences your newsletter on their smartphone. Are they seeing the pictures? Is the text lined up? Remember, they don’t want to read a novel. The number of people opening their emails on their mobile devices is increasing day by day. Remember that, and pay attention to how your email looks.

8. Focused Call-To-Action

Guess what people don’t want to see when they open your newsletter? A million different topics. Make your email focused. What is the single call to action? What is the one thing you want them to do? This will do wonders in terms of conversion rate. Sending a general newsletter is fine. However, focus on crafting another one that calls to action.

9. Learn From Experts

Research the people that are doing this well. There are organizations that are changing things up constantly, and they keep getting it right. What we recommend doing is: Create a research email account and start signing up. If you want to learn from the best then look at; DNC, RNC, NRA, PPFA, Avaaz.

Thank you for reading and watching our videos – we create these for free in the hopes that they find their way to the marketing and content creators at nonprofit organizations. Anything you can do to share these with the sector is deeply appreciated!