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How One Little Minute Can Increase Your Email Open Rate

How One Little Minute Can Increase Your Email Open Rate

By Pat Flynn on

Have you ever had one of those moments when you thought to yourself, “It can’t be that easy…can it?”

Well, that’s what I thought after I learned this technique to increase the open rates of broadcast emails. Keep reading, and you just might think the same thing.

For those of you who don’t know, an “open rate” is the ratio of emails opened by the number of emails sent. Sadly (but truthfully), not everyone who you send an email to will open it. In fact, some say that an open rate of only 50% is actually quite high, but it all really depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The size of your list. Usually, the bigger the list, the smaller the open rate.
  • The quality of subscribers to your list.
  • The copy of your subject line. It’s wicked important to have an enticing and eye-catching subject line to grab your subscriber’s attention.

No matter what your initial open rate is, there is one thing you can do that will immediately increase your open rate, and it only takes a minute:

Re-send the email to everyone who did not open it.

Think about it – sometimes people accidentally overlook certain emails in their inbox, or they may plan to open an email but simply forget. Resending your email to these people almost guarantees an increased open rate.

Of course, you do run the slight risk of a spam complaint.

As mentioned on many email service websites: “[Company] does not recommend that you resend the same email to contacts who didn’t open it the first time. Resending an email may result in a spam complaint against you as the contact may see multiple copies of the same email in their account.”

There are a few things you can do in your re-send, however, that will decrease spam complaints:

  1. Wait a Good Number of Days Before You Re-Send. I’d say 4 days minimum, just to be safe. That way, it gives people who receive the initial email time to open it before receiving a duplicate email from you. Plus, after 4 days, those who do not open it may truly have missed or forgotten about your initial send.
  2. Change the Subject Line of the Re-Send email. By doing this, your subscribers cannot simply look at their inbox and see two of the exact same emails. They won’t know the body is the same, because, well, they didn’t open it the first time.
  3. Be Honest and Mention the Re-Send. You can change the subject line and/or text within the email itself to mention that you are indeed resending this email. With copy such as, “In case you missed it the first time”, or “I had to make sure you read this because…”, you’ll decrease your chances of a spam complaint. I wouldn’t blatantly mention that you could tell they didn’t open your first email, because that may creep people out, especially those who aren’t tech savvy who may think you’re spying or up to some kind of voodoo.

It’s up to you whether or not you feel comfortable with this technique. I’ve used it several times in the past (not on the SPI newsletter, but on another newsletter that I manage), and it works every single time, sometimes increasing my open-rate 10-15% more. With a list of over 5000 subscribers, I have yet to hear any complaints.

Resending a Broadcast Email

I will be walking you through how to quickly resend an with Aweber, although I’m sure there are ways to do it on other email platforms as well.

1. Sign in and click on “Subscribers”


2. This will take you to the search subscribers area. In the “Select Field” drop down menu, select “Message Not Opened”


3. Click on the field on the immediate right and select he exact message that you want to resend.

4. Click on “Search”.

5. You will then see a segment of people who did not open the selected message. Name the segment and save it so you can recall it in the next step.


6. Now – copy/paste your original broadcast into a new one. Under the “send to segment” option, use the drop down menu to select the segment that you named in the previous step, which is again those people who did not open this email originally. This is the step where you can update the copy of the subject line and/or body of your email so that you can lessen the chances of spam complaints.


Theoretically, you could re-re-send your email to those who do not open your resend, although I definitely would not recommend it. If for whatever reason a person does not open your email after two tries, I would save your energy and just be happy with those who did open your email, and focus on your next campaign.

Ask The Readers

My question to you is:

Is this a good technique to practice? What are your thoughts about it? I’m interested in hearing from you, because I’ve heard both sides of the story before.

If you don’t have an email list yet, please check out The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Newsletter.

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