Often, the first impulse is to re-send your emails to your unopens. It’s easy to pull that list and re-send. And, if it’s a targeted message to a specific group, that is not a bad idea. But here’s another way to go about it…
University of Tennessee made a choice to find people who never opened their email, and then to flag them to be removed from future emails. They are experimenting to see if they’ll open a ‘quarterly update’ message, and if so then carefully communicate with them to try and increase future opens. So, in this case, they are not re-sending the same email to people who did not open the initial one.
On the flip side, there’s the report of who did open your emails. Obviously nice to have and obviously you can assume those people are more engaged and open to your communication, but what do you actually do with the information? It may depend on the purpose of the email.
For instance, if you send a general membership campaign email (or fundraising solicitation), why not look at who opened your email (instantly more engaged than those who did not even open it) and then from those opens, look at who did not ultimately end up participating in the campaign. Reach out to those people – maybe they need a phone call or a more personal “push” to take action.
Or, do you need volunteers? How about looking at people who opened an email about a specific event and reaching out to see if they would volunteer at it? Again, they are instantly more open to engagement than those who did not open the email, and they’ve hopefully already read the event details – so a little less effort on your part!