We’ve recently spoken with a few organizations asking about email open-rate expectations. Fantastic question! I thought I’d throw some of the ideas and responses into a single place.

Generally speaking, the average open-rate is understood to be around 25% for nonprofits. But that varies wildly. Here is a quick sample of items that influence the success rate:

  • A fresh email recipient list populated by warm leads, especially for folks like volunteers, donors, and opt-ins from events.
  • Subject lines. Ex: Some strategists used to recommend that you use an engaging question as the subject line. But, so many people (myself included) now see this setup and immediately assume it’s spam or a sales pitch. Recently, we’ve seen far better luck when using something more generic.
  • Time of day. Queuing emails to be sent early/mid morning works best, catching folks when they first sit down to catch up on their inbox in the morning.
  • Frequency. You want to reach out enough to keep recipients informed and engaged, but not so often that it becomes noise and is disregarded.
  • Many more variables!

We’d love to help your organization build an automated outreach pipeline with these bits in mind, as well as connect the dots to content strategists to fine-tune the messaging. Please let us know how we can serve you!