Wed, October 16 2013

How to get people to notice (and love) your emails

Caryn Stein's avatar

Director of Content Strategy, Network for Good

Filed under:   How to improve emails and newsletters • Marketing essentials •

Recently MarketingProfs reported that Q2 email open rates decreased 8.3% from Q1 levels. Click through rates also dropped slightly. While the referenced study from Epsilon looked at e-commerce email performance, it’s no secret that it’s getting tougher to break through the noise and ensure readers are opening and acting on your emails. Fortunately, there are things you can do to build a stronger email relationship with your supporters now so that you will have better success when you send those December appeals. Try these tips:

Stand out.
If your emails look like every other message in your supporter’s inbox, you’re making it easy for readers to ignore you. Spend as much time designing your emails for your readers’ inboxes as you spend writing the contents of your email. Create subject lines that make them want to open and read your message, and think about what shows up in the preview pane and from whom your email is sent. No one wants to get an email from “”.

Give them something they can count on.
Can your donors count on you for interesting, useful information and updates? Condition your readers to expect amazing stories and new insights about your cause so they’ll look forward to receiving—and reading— your emails.

Personalize it.
One surefire way to bore your supporters to death is to send them all the same, generic emails every month. Your emails must be personally relevant to the reader to grab their attention. In addition to personalizing emails with your reader’s name in the subject line or greeting, segment and tailor your emails to align with their experience with your organization. Treat recurring donors different from those who haven’t given. Send program-specific information to those supporters who have indicated a passion for a particular part of your mission.

Make it mobile friendly.
Over 40% of email is now being opened on mobile devices, so be sure to simplify your outreach, increase font sizes, and make your buttons and calls to action easy to click with a fingertip or thumb. Applying mobile friendly design principles to your emails will make your organization’s messages easier to read and act on, no matter how they’re being read. This will also improve the readability of your emails for older eyes.

Bonus tip: Our friends at Constant Contact have shared some excellent advice on educating your readers about the new Gmail tabs, which some worry may affect open rates. Ryan Pinkham, Constant Contact’s Content Developer, offers sample email copy for you to customize and share with your supporters, along with a pre-designed email template for those of you using Constant Contact. 

  • Comment: (3)   


Thanks for the great tips. Some people say email marketing is almost dead. I think it all depends on how you write your email. Being personal is my favorite tips. I prefer to use my email with my name on it. You have to get people’s trust first before they open it.

Posted by Emily  on  10/17  at  06:22 AM

Great tips. As you can say no one want’s to get an email which begins with “noreply”.
Personally, when I get these emails, I always click trough to ad if the email is made with rich content, with many colors, icons and looks user friendly, and as you said when it’s Personalized! You will feel the site is more trusted if there at the bottom is the personal info of the sender, his/her name, email etc.
Thanks for the share and best regards,

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/17  at  07:08 PM

Wow ! I didn’t know that 40% of mail were opened on mobile. So the HTML e-mail design remains a big problem… It’s crazy to see how that old fashioned technology (e-mail) is still that important.

And while HTML webdesign tends to get standards, e-mail aren’t even read of the same way on the webmail Outlook and the software version…

Anyway, thank you for your advices !

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  03:49 PM

Leave a Comment





Preview Comment:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below:

<< Back to main