Search Our Site


Monthly email newsletters are one of the best ways to stay connected to your community. With e-newsletters, your organization or charity can share new information, spread your  organization’s mission, and announce events and fundraisers. Sending out e-newsletters is also a great way to grow your community and draw more attention to your organization’s cause. E-newsletters often drive people back to your website, and encourage engagement with your organization. They help your organization’s branding, and consistently scheduled emails with news and updates keeps your organization active and fresh in people’s minds.

(If you haven’t yet experimented with e-newsletters, MailChimp is one of my favorite tools for creating and scheduling e-newsletters (and they offer a FREE package!!)

That’s all great, right? But here’s the tricky part. How do you get people to read your email? With our inboxes getting filled every day with spam, promotional offers, and junk, it’s tough to get your emails to stand out.

We’ve got you covered, Blondies! I’ve done some research, and come up with eight effective ways to help increase your organization’s email open rates:


1. Make it Personal

Who is reading your email? Can you picture them? Try to imagine who you are emailing. Inboxes fill up pretty quickly and often times, get flooded with junk mail and spam. It’s important to keep in mind that if you wouldn’t open an email, your recipients probably won’t either. Keep your subject line and your introduction personal. Add your recipient’s first name- it gets your recipient’s attention and helps build trust. Remember, you're not talking to a company or a robot. You're connecting with a person; a potential advocate for your organization. Keep it personal and upbeat, and avoid sounding too robotic. Your e-newsletter is a chance to show off your brand. Be consistent!


2. Provide Quality Content

This one should be obvious, but it’s often easily looked over. It’s important that your emails offer valuable and relevant content for your recipients. Have an animal rescue organization? Include adoptable dogs. Does your charity help the environment? Include tips on how your recipients can easily conserve energy. Doing this consistently will allow recipients to see the value in your content. Soon, they’ll be looking forward to your content and organization’s news. Keep in mind that while offers and savings can be effective, too much of these can be seen as spam. Try saving sales and special offers for holidays, seasonal dates, and anniversaries.


3. Be Consistent with Delivery Times

Consistency and reliability are key to building your rapport and establishing a relationship with your email list. It also helps to do some research on the best times to send out emails. According to, the best times to send out emails are between 9-11am and 1-3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you notice that your emails are not being opened, try an A/B test, and send out 2 emails: One at the time you have been sending, and one on Tuesday at 9am. Is there a difference? Once you find a time that works for your and your list, stick to it and be consistent.


4. Be Aware of Email Frequency

Sending emails too often can get recipients tired of your emails. Not sending emails frequently enough can also cause you to lose subscribers. It’s a thin line, but sending emails monthly or twice a month (depending on your content) is a good basis for frequency. Try keeping an email schedule in Excel with ‘send dates’, “proof dates’, ‘compose dates’, and include content for each of these emails. It will help you and your team to plan ahead, and stay on track with your emails.


5. Get Mobile Optimized

According to 2015 statistics from, more email is read on mobile than on desktop email clients. Stats say 49% of email is now opened on a mobile, 45% of email opens occurred on mobile, 36% on desktop, and 19% in a webmail client, and 33% of emails are opened in a mobile application, 17% in a webmail client and 48% on desktop. In short, please make sure your emails are mobile optimized.


6. Use Real Text

While big, beautiful graphics and images can be impactful, it’s better to keep them on your website. Most email servers have images turned off by default, resulting in people not seeing them in the email. So if your email is just an image, people might open a blank email, and ignore your emails going forward. Also, using images makes it more difficult to share your content; text can be copied and pasted… and tweeted, and posted, and quoted ;)


7. Watch Out for Spam Traps

With spam filters, your email could wind up in a junk mail folder, and never be seen by your recipient. Be careful not to use capital letters or excessive punctuation in your subject line, as that can trigger spam filters. If you use an email delivery service like MailChimp, make sure you click “Spam Checker” before you send your newsletter out. It will scan your subject line and newsletter for spam triggers, and will alert you to what needs to be changed.


8. Consider your Subject Line

Is it too long? Is it boring? If you wouldn’t open the email based on the subject line, chances are your recipients will feel the same way. Here are some tips for editing your subject line:


  • Trim it Down – Make sure your subject line doesn’t get cut short. If you keep your subject line at 50 characters or less, or roughly 4-6 words, you can make sure it is fully displayed in the inbox. Remember that readers want to scan their inbox quick, and having shorter subject lines may stand out. Cutting down your subject line also lessens your chance of coming across like spam.
  • Include a Deadline –With so many distractions, sometimes, a deadline is just what you need to set yourself apart from other emails. Deadlines are great to use as part of promotional strategy for an event or a fundraising campaign. You’ll probably send out a series of emails, and can test out some subject lines. You can send out an initial announcement, letting people know about an upcoming date or local event. Send a 48 hour reminder, and finally, send a final reminder with a tight deadline to act. “Now or never” types of deadlines are often very successful.
  • Ask a Question – Think about your audience, and what your organization can provide for them. Do your email recipients like the environment? Use a question to peak their interest, and address the question in your email. For example, “How can you help save the planet?” types of subject lines work very well in improving open rates.
  • Use a Teaser – There’s a lot of power in drawing people in with a preview, rather than giving away the ending right at the start. Try brainstorming things that will hook your readers in and spark their interest.


Hope you find this post useful!

Let me know if your organization has been successful using any other tips, and we'll add them in!

All my love,