How to Increase Open Rates Without Touching the Subject Line!

Vivian Swertinski

Although it’s been said you get one chance to make a good impression, with email marketing you actually have three chances to make a great inbox impression.

The three chances – or email elements – are the friendly from, the subject line and the pre-header text. Of these three, the subject line is the one that gets all the attention. Don’t get me wrong, subject lines play a leading role when it comes to open rates and deserve the spotlight. However, behind every leading role is a supporting cast and it’s important to recognize the impact that the friendly from and pre-header text can have on open rates. The subject line will not be the center of attention in this blog.  Today we elevate the supporting cast in our latest webinar; Advocacy Copywriting 101.

Check out the recorded webinar or view the slides here. Now let’s breakdown the two email elements that play a supporting role in getting your emails opened.

First on the list, the friendly from:

How much thought do you give to the friendly from name?

Do you use the same friendly from in all your email communications?

I’ve seen several organizations put their standard friendly from name to the test and get great results. The Girl Scouts of Connecticut saw a 70% increase in their monthly newsletter open rate simply by changing the friendly from name. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) developed a successful win-back program for lapsed members which brought over 800 members back in 45 days.  AARC did a fantastic job testing each email element prior to launching the campaign so they knew which friendly from name would give them the best results. In both of these scenarios the winning friendly from was an individual’s name rather than the organization’s name.

Next up, the pre-header:

The pre-header text is the supporting email element that gets the least attention and is under-utilized. The pre-header text is the snippet of text that displays immediately after the subject line within the inbox. For many nonprofit organizations this area is left blank or it may contain a link to view the web version of the email. In contrast, commercial organizations use the pre-header area for promotional content and have seen significant impact on their open rates. With more people viewing their email on mobile devices it is important to use inbox space effectively. Below is an inbox view of an Informz email displayed on an iPhone. Notice how the friendly from, the subject line, and pre-header text all work together to communicate a single message.

cqadvocacy webinar

I encourage you to evaluate your friendly from, subject line and pre-header. Make a great inbox impression by having all email elements work together. For more tips on how to power up your email performance check our latest webinar, Advocacy Copywriting 101: Power up your email performance.

For additional winning subject line information, be sure to check out the Best Subject Lines of 2015 Guide.

About the Author
Vivian Swertinski

As the Strategic Services Manager at Informz, Vivian partners with clients to maximize their digital marketing efforts with customized strategies leveraging the Informz marketing automation platform. Outside of work Vivian enjoys shopping, boating and volunteering her time to help disabled individuals in the community.