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Guaranteed ways to get your nonprofit emails read (and what to avoid)

Nonprofit Email Marketing
Guaranteed Increased Open Rates

Wish more people read your nonprofit emails?

You’re not alone. Turns out most email open-rates are pretty darn low.

That’s too bad considering all the good work you’re trying to do. After all, if more people opened your email messages, then more people would be engaged in the work of your nonprofit.

To help you out, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets that will guarantee your open rates increase.

A quick Google search will reveal tons of tips and tricks to get people to open up your email, and some of them are good ideas…

But if you’re not careful a few of them will actual harm you in the long run.

The strategies I’ll share with you here are iron clad, foolproof ways to ensure that your open rates sky rocket.

I’ve never seen these methods fail.

So if you want to guarantee that your email open rates increase then keep reading…

Beware your bag of tricks

First a few words on how trying to get your email read can hurt your efforts in the long run.

A lot of blogs and tipsters will tell you it’s all about your subject lines. And they’ll tell you to come up with the most enticing subject lines possible.

While I don’t entirely disagree with this approach, you do have to be careful here.

When people focus exclusively on creative subject lines they almost always end up trying to trick subscribers into opening the email.

Here’s an example: “You HAVE TO SEE THIS…”

With peaked curiosity, your subscribers open the email, but they only find the usual content that’s always sent. Turns out there was nothing that they HAD TO SEE.

If the email doesn’t deliver on the promise of the subject line then your readers will feel duped.

Sure, more people opened up the email with that subject line, but all you really did was make all of those readers feel tricked.

Not good.

Do this enough and you lose their trust. They might even unsubscribe.

Don’t be too clever for your own good.

Yes, paying attention to subject lines will make a difference, but always be a good steward of your email subscribers.

Here’s an easy way to do this without having to worry about tricking your subscribers…

Personalize the subject line

This may be the easiest and most effective way to use your subject line to increase open-rates.

Put your subscribers name in the subject line.

Some studies have shown this simple idea can increase open rates by 30%!

Your email marketing software should be able to do this for you by inserting the FIRST NAME* shortcode into your subject line.

*Note: Different software uses different short codes so make sure you know the right one for your software.

Using their name in the subject line helps grab their attention. It let’s them know that you are talking directly to them. It feels more personal.

This is a great way to increase open rates without tricking your readers.

Always send quality content

This isn’t a quick fix, but it is definitely the most important thing you need to hear when it comes to open rates.

So please read this carefully…

The surest way to make sure people open every email from your nonprofit is to make sure they WANT TO READ every email from your nonprofit.

How do you do this? Here’s my formula…

Give them targeted, relevant, quality content.

  • Targeted = personalized and relates directly to them
  • Relevant = discusses something they are interested in
  • Quality Content = Great stories

If every email you send ticks these boxes then your subscribers will WANT to read your email messages.

This is how you earn open rates and earned open rates build trust. That’s a good thing.

CLICK HERE to learn how to tell Emotional Nonprofit Stories!

Open Loops

Open loops are another great way to easily increase open rates, but so few people ever do this.

That’s such a shame because they contribute to providing quality content and they work every single time. GUARANTEED!

I receive emails regularly from subscribers that tell me they tested out this idea and were “BLOWN AWAY!” by the results.

So how do you do it? What exactly is an open loop?

You can read all about here:
Tell me more about open loops?!?!?!


  1. Don’t trick people into opening your email, eventually you’ll regret it
  2. Personalize your subject lines
  3. Always send quality content
  4. Create open loops

Keep doing good work,
Jeremy B. Koch signature and picture



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