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How to get people to open your emails

Julian Shapiro
Contributor

Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, a growth marketing agency that trains you to become a marketing professional. He also writes at Julian.com.

We’ve aggregated the world’s best growth marketers into one community. Twice a month, we ask them to share their most effective growth tactics, and we compile them into this Growth Report.

This is how you’re going stay up-to-date on growth marketing tactics — with advice you can’t get elsewhere.

Our community consists of 600 startup founders paired with VP’s of growth from later-stage companies. We have 300 YC founders plus senior marketers from companies including Medium, Docker, Invision, Intuit, Pinterest, Discord, Webflow, Lambda School, Perfect Keto, Typeform, Modern Fertility, Segment, Udemy, Puma, Cameo, and Ritual .

You can participate in our community by joining Demand Curve’s marketing webinars, Slack group, or marketing training program. See past growth reports here and here.

Without further ado, onto the advice.


How can you send email campaigns that get opened by 100% of your mailing list?

Based on insights from Nick Selman, Fletcher Richman of Halp, and Wes Wagner.

  • First, a few obvious pieces of advice for avoiding low open rates:
    • Avoid spam filters by avoiding keywords commonly used in spam emails.
    • Consider using email subjects (1) that are clearly descriptive and (2) look like they were written by a friend. Then A/B your top choices.
    • Include the recipient’s name in your email body. This signals to spam filters that you do in fact know the recipient.
  • Now, for the real advice: Let’s say 60% of your audience opens your mailing, how can you get the remaining 40% to open and read it too?
    • First, wait 2 weeks to give everyone a chance to open the initial email.
    • Next, export a list of those who haven’t opened. Mailchimp lets you do this.
    • Important note: The reason many recipients don’t open your email is because it was sent to Spam, it was buried in Promotions, or it was insta-deleted because it looked like spam (but wasn’t). The goal here is to resuscitate these people. You have two options for doing so:
    • (1) Duplicate the initial email then selectively re-send it to non-openers. This time, use a new subject (try a new hook) and downgrade the email to plain text: remove images and link tracking. De-enriching the email in this way can help bypass spam filters and the Promotions tab.
    • (2) Alternatively, export your list of non-openers to a third-party email tool like Mailshake (or Mixmax).
      • First, connect Mailshake to a new Gmail account on your company domain.
      • Next, configure Mailshake to automatically dole out small batches of emails on a daily schedule. Let it churn through non-openers slowly so that Gmail doesn’t flag your account as a spammer.
      • Emails sent through Mailshake are more likely to get opened than emails sent through Mailchimp. Why? Mailshake sends emails through your Gmail account, and Gmail-to-Gmail emails have a greater chance of bypassing Spam and Promotions folders, particularly if the sender doesn’t have a history of its emails being marked as spam.

Get the word on product-market fit from leads at Instagram, Tinder, Uber, and Okta at Disrupt SF

Every founder knows you gotta find market fit.  Almost no one gets it right on the first try, which means iterating quickly and decisively is the difference between greatness and the void.

On the Extra Crunch stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, we have a jam-packed panel filled with leading product builders  to discuss just how founders should think about launching and iterating their products.

First, we have Ravi Mehta, chief product officer at dating app Tinder . Before Tinder, he was a product director at Facebook and a vice president of product at TripAdvisor, in addition to a host of other product-related roles. Mehta brings years of consumer products experience to the panel, and will talk about the specific needs of social and network-based products.

Second, we have Manik Gupta, chief product officer at transportation and delivery company Uber . Before becoming product chief, he led Uber’s Marketplace and Maps products, and spent years at Google as a leading PM for Google Maps. He brings a deep background on building popular consumer apps, and also instrumenting those apps with location and consumer data.

Third, we have Diya Jolly, chief product officer of identity management platform Okta . Before Okta, she led product for Google’s home products like Nest as well as YouTube’s monetization efforts, and also held product roles at Microsoft and Motorola. She brings a hybrid background in enterprise and consumer product design, and will be able to speak about the varying challenges different types of users bring to bear on a product.

Finally, we have Robby Stein, a director of product management at Instagram where he leads the consumer team in charge of Stories, Feed, Messaging, Camera, and Profile. Before Facebook/Instagram, he held a senior product role at Yahoo, which acquired his startup Stamped, and was also a PM at Google. He brings a cross-over product perspective between startups and larger tech companies that will enrich our conversation.

We’re amped for this conversation, and we can’t wait to see you there! Buy tickets to Disrupt SF here at an early-bird rate!

Did you know Extra Crunch annual members get 20% off all TechCrunch event tickets? Head over here to get your annual pass, and then email [email protected] to get your 20% discount. Please note that it can take up to 24 hours to issue the discount code.