10-minute Formula for Boosting Your Email Campaign Open Rate

“What a waste of time!”

- Every fundraiser at some point :)


Have you ever sent a well-crafted campaign that nobody reads? 

It’s the worst!

After putting in work to design and write an effective appeal just like you’re supposed to, the reality sets in that out of your huge email list only a tiny fraction are even going to open it?

I don’t want that to ever happen to you again.

I’m going to show you how to boost your email open rates by 33% in less than 10 minutes. 


Before we get into how to do it, think about this...

How much more money could you raise if 33% more people opened your appeals?


It isn’t less. We know that for sure. 

Because the more people you get to open your emails, the more people who click your Call-to-Action, and the more people who donate money

Let’s make sure your well-crafted emails are being seen by as many supporters as possible, and raising you even more money. Ready?

The 10-minute Email Boost Strategy

The best strategies don’t come out of nowhere.

Sometimes you just have to be looking in the right places in order to find them. It’s whether you do anything with them once you have them that really matters.

I learned about this strategy from Noah Kagan, and immediately put it to use. And…him and I got basically the same results! A 33% increase in email open rates despite trying it on wildly different sized lists.

You are going to see exactly how I did it, so you can use it on your email campaigns right away.


First, I have to tell you about my friend Chris Eigner.

Chris is brilliant. He does software development for tech companies and big nonprofits, runs a podcast, and is building a sex education messaging bot in his spare time, among other things.

I talk to him almost every week.

Recently, we decided to have a more formal conversation for his podcast. (It quickly became the most popular episode)

In order to promote it, I sent a quick little email to ~500 people I thought my be interested. 

Here’s the report from that initial email…

Campaign email analytics


You can see it had an open rate of 30.4%, which is pretty decent. That kind of an open rate isn’t too difficult to achieve on a small list. 

But what’s amazing is that even with 30.4% opening it initially, this strategy was still able to boost it by more than 33%!

SIDENOTE: At a minimum, you should be beating those “Industry average” open rates that Mailchimp shows you. If not, be sure to start A/B testing your subject lines immediately.

Here’s what to do next…

A couple days after you send your initial campaign your opens will have dropped off considerably. That’s normal :)

Source:  Yesware

Source: Yesware

You spent a lot of time crafting that campaign though, so it’d be a huge waste to only use it once when you know the majority of your supporters never got a chance to be moved by it. Right?

So now you need to go back into your email provider (we’re using Mailchimp in this example) and make a copy of your initial campaign…

Email campaign

Once you have a copy of your awesome campaign, go ahead and come up with another great subject line…

Read this next part carefully!

Most of your supporters didn’t open your initial email, but some of them did.

You are going to send a copy of the original with a new subject line only to people who didn’t open the original. 

If you sent this version to everyone, the folks who already saw it will be a little annoyed when they click the new one and see the same old content. But to people who never saw the original (because they didn’t open it), the content will be brand new to them. 

In other words….

"Make sure nobody sees the same email twice."


This is important but it isn’t hard. It’s actually super easy!

When you’re selecting the audience you’d like to receive your new version, just use the logic builder to make sure only people who didn’t open the original will receive this one…

Fundraising donor segment.png

Once you do this, you are ready to go! 

Here are my actual results from using this for the email about our podcast interview:

Email campaign success

It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get your new email all set up. Once you do, you can send it to your unique segment of supporters and kick back while you hopefully watch 33% more people open up your campaign. 

Email boost formula

Even better, you can watch as your new email drives a real increase in how much you raise.