The Fastest and Easiest Way To Increase Your Open Rate

PLUS: The Highest Earning Substacks, Giveaways, Newsletter Examples, and More

Welcome to The Newsletter Operator!

In today’s email:

  • The fastest and easiest way to increase your open rate

  • Why Twitter ads are working so well right now

  • The highest earning Substacks

  • And much more…

Let’s get started.

Deep Dive

The Fastest and Easiest Way To Increase Your Open Rate

After working with 20+ newsletters, here's what I've found impacts open rate most:

Your first impression will determine the rate at which subscribers will open emails.

What do I mean by your first impression? I’m talking about what subscribers see immediately after they join your newsletter. Which is, your thank you page and welcome email.

If your thank you page and welcome email are bad, your open rate will be bad, and vice versa.

Newsletters often find the open rate of their welcome email is 5%-10% higher than their overall open rate.

I’ve found that to be true across the 20+ newsletters I’ve worked with.

For example:

  • Welcome email open rate = 70%

  • Overall open rate = 65%

  • Welcome email open rate = 30%

  • Overall open rate = 25%

And yes, other factors affect open rate (your subject lines, content, sender reputation, and much more)…

However, you can address many of these factors in your thank you page and welcome email, and set up your future newsletter sends for success.

Let’s dive into how to make an incredible first impression.

The Thank You Page

The first step is actually using a thank you page. Many newsletters use a confirmation message displayed on the page users subscribed on, instead of a thank you page.

Don't do this.

(This is fine when subscribers join from a pop-up or a form within a blog post because redirecting them would interrupt their reading experience.)

However, when a user joins your newsletter from a decided landing page or webpage, you need a thank page.

Here’s what to include on your thank you page:

1. A Headline that confirms they subscribed

2. Copy below the headline that:

  • Gets them excited to read future newsletters. (Here you need to re-sell them on why they should read your newsletter).

  • Tells them what to expect and when to expect your newsletters. (The content you cover + the times and dates newsletters are sent)

  • Encourages them to check their promotions or spam folder. Then “move” your welcome email to their primary inbox

3. Ask them to take action in one of the following ways:

  • Click a link that takes them to their inbox to open your welcome email

  • Click to view an offer for a product or service you sell

  • Click to read past newsletter issues or blog content

  • Complete a survey

And by one, I mean one call to action.

If you focus your call to action on one thing it will be more effective. Pick one action that is most relevant to your business goals.

Here are 15 examples of great thank you pages:

7/ 1440

13/ Demand Curve 

Welcome Email

Your welcome email is even more important than your thank you page.

Here’s how to make it great:

1/ Don’t use double opt-in

This is a common mistake. By using a double opt-in you’ll lose 20%-40% of subscribers.

Yes, those numbers are accurate. 20%-40% of subscribers will never confirm their email, and they’ll likely never hear from you again.

Many of those subscribers wanted your newsletter but they forgot or got busy and didn't click your confirmation email.

That’s why it’s better to send emails to everyone and remove non-openers after 30-60 days. You can also use email validation tools to prevent bots from getting on your list.

2/ An amazing subject line

There’s no perfect subject line. You need to create a unique subject for your newsletter and test more subjects to increase your open rate over time.

Split testing your subject line is key. Keep testing new copy until your open rate is at least over 50%.

Avoid generic subject lines like “welcome” and “thank you”.

Ideally, your subject line should be catchy but still relevant. Don’t get too crazy with it. It’s better to be clear than clever.

Here are some of my favorite examples:

The Hustle - Look what you did, you little jerk…

MorningBrew - ☕️ Caution: Morning Brew coming in hot

Jay Clouse - Hey! Quick question for you…

Corey Haines - 📂 Start here

Justin Moore - 🧙‍♂️ Welcome + 5 Sponsorship Pricing Mistakes (Don't Do This)

Psychology of Marketing - Welcome! (response needed)

The Milk Road - bada bing bada boom. You're on my private web3 list.

Marketing Dive - Thanks for signing up! A few things to know…

The Publish Press - Quick favor to ask

TheFutureParty - Meet your new(s) plug

Growth Design - ✌️ quick intro {first name}

Inverse Daily - ❗️wtf

Niall Doherty - You're in. Here's what's next…

Tim Bourquin - Who said you could join my newsletter?

3/ Include these 5 elements in your welcome email copy

A. Welcome them to your newsletter.

Let subscribers know they just joined your newsletter.

Give them a “welcome” and/or “thank you”. This only required 1 or 2 sentences.

B. Tell them what to expect and how your newsletter will help them

Share what your newsletter covers, when you send it, and how it will help the reader.

C. Ask them to move your email to their primary inbox

If your audience is tech-savvy include one sentence on how to do this:

“If this email landed in your promotions folder, move it to primary to make sure you see the next edition!”

If your audience is not, you can include more clear instructions:

“Gmail users: Move us to your primary inbox

On your phone? Hit the 3 dots at top right corner, click "Move to" then "Primary."

On desktop? Back out of this email then drag and drop this email into the "Primary" tab near the top left of your screen

Apple mail users: Tap on our email address at the top of this email (next to "From:" on mobile) and click “Add to VIPs

For everyone else: follow these instructions”

D. Ask them to reply to your email

There are 2 best ways to get replies to your welcome email:

  1. Ask for a simple 1-word reply that’s easy for the reader to do.

    “Hit reply and send a simple 'yes.' It tells google (and other email providers) you actually want to get this.”

Always explain the reason why readers should reply - don’t just ask for it.

  1. Give a “bribe” if readers reply to your welcome email. Your bride could be a free report, course, cheat sheet, checklist, database, swipe file, tool, resource, template, etc.

E. Ask them to click a link

This could be a link to your social profile, past newsletter issues, blog, product, or anything you want to promote.

Include at least one link in your welcome email readers can click.

This helps readers learn more about your brand. Plus, it tells Gmail (and other email providers) your email is valuable so future emails are less likely to land in the promotions folder.

Here’s my favorite welcome email of all time:

Here are others I love that you can sign up for and check out yourself:

  • The Newsletter Operator

  • Growth In Reverse

  • Stacked Marketer

  • World Builders

  • MorningBrew

  • Justin Moore

  • Jay Clouse

  • Tip News

3 Examples You Can Steal

1/ In your newsletter into section, provide a peek into what the rest of your newsletter is about.

Insight from Daniel Berk.

2/ Partner giveaway from StackedMarketer

Here’s the link to the giveaway.

More newsletters need to test partner giveaways like this.

Here’s how this works:

  • Partner with 3-5 other newsletters.

  • Pick a prize to giveaway together.

  • Create a landing page about the giveaway where users can sign up for all the newsletters to be entered to win.

  • Each newsletter promotes the giveaway to its email list and its followers.

  • Share the subscribers you all get from the giveaway.

3/ Estimated read time in your preview text - from Ari Murray

Great way to increase open rate on your short emails.


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