4 Ways to Improve Nonprofit Email Open Rates

Email open rates

Email marketing is an excellent way to reach potential clients or build relationships with existing ones, but it’s not easy to stand out in a crowded inbox. If your emails aren’t being opened, then you’re wasting your time and resources.

According to Campaign Monitor, the average nonprofit email open rate is 26%. Here are some ways Connected by Design has helped clients achieve open rates of over 40% on a consistent basis.

Images that Tell a Story

Nonprofits have a great story to tell! Compelling stories draw people and motivate them to action. What better way to tell your story than with images? Great photos can often tell a better story than text alone and they can help to break up blocks of text to make your email more visually appealing. Overall, using images in your email campaigns can help to make your emails more engaging, visually appealing, and effective in conveying your message to your subscribers.


Personalizing your emails is a must-do if you want to improve your open rates. Personalization involves more than just adding the recipient’s name to the email. It should also involve segmenting your email lists based on customer behavior and interests. You can use this information to create targeted messages that are more likely to be opened and clicked on. It is also good to keep a specific person in mind when you craft your emails and speak directly to them.

Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing your recipients see in their inbox, and it can make or break whether they open your email. A compelling subject line should be attention-grabbing and give the reader a reason to open the email. Ask a compelling question, create a sense of urgency, or tease the content inside to entice readers to open. Build suspense and curiosity however, be careful not to use clickbait or misleading subject lines as this can lead to distrust and unsubscribes.

Timing and Frequency

The timing and frequency of your emails can also affect your open rates. You don’t want to send too many emails, or your subscribers may become overwhelmed and start ignoring them altogether. On the other hand, if you’re not sending enough, your audience may forget about you and lose interest. Finding the right balance is key. Experiment with different send times and frequencies to see what works best for your audience. Let your email analytics guide you to find that perfect sweet spot!

Improving your email open rates requires a combination of storytelling images, personalization, compelling subject lines, and finding the right timing and frequency. By implementing these strategies, you can increase the chances of your emails being opened and read. Remember to track your results and adjust your strategies to continue improving your email marketing efforts.