How To Get People To Open Your Emails


By: Ceci Dadisman

Short answer: Send them content they find interesting.

Long answer: SendGrid’s 2019 Email Benchmark and Engagement Study data has been published and it has some important insights for arts organizations on why people open or don’t open emails.

The two top reasons why people open your emails are quite simple: they like hearing from you and the content is stuff they want to read. I would argue that those things are inextricably linked — if you send people content they like, they will like hearing from you, and they will like hearing from you because they know that the content is going to be something they like.

We tend to get fixated on things like subject lines, discounts, and whether or not to use emojis but it really comes down to the simple fact that content and segmentation is key. It is easier to play around with subject lines but it is more important to set a precedent of sending compelling content to each segment of your list. There is no single message that is going to be relevant to your entire list.

Here are some other key findings from the report:

  • Only 35% of recipients said an offer or promotion had a strong influence on their decision to open an email, but will still verify the sender prior to opening the email.
  • The time of day isn’t that strong of a factor in a recipient’s decision to open an email.
  • Recipients didn’t indicate that subject lines have more influence over their decision to open than who the email is coming from.

There is a ton more interesting data in the report.

Download the Report

Ceci Dadisman
Ceci Dadisman
Ceci Dadisman is a marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience creating effective communications campaigns utilizing innovative, forward thinking methods. She is nationally recognized as a leader in digital marketing and specializes in multichannel communications campaigns. A frequent public speaker, Ceci’s recent and upcoming engagements feature national conference appearances at NTEN, Museums and the Web, National Arts Marketing Project, Arts Midwest, American Alliance of Museums, OPERA America, Midwest Museums Association, and Chorus America in addition to many other local and regional events. Known for her easy-going and vernacular style, she creates open learning environments with an emphasis on information sharing and useful takeaways. She is a member of the National Arts Marketing Project Advisory Committee and the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts Visiting Committee, and is a mentor in West Virginia University’s Creative Consultant program. She also teaches the arts marketing course at West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts and is on the faculty of Chorus America’s Chorus Management Institute. Ceci was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts. She currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
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