Case Studies

Today, I sent an email with a 100% open rate. Here’s what I did.

Jul 11th, 2018
By Netta Kivilis

Today at 2:15pm, I sent a marketing email. At 4pm, the open rate was 100%. Fun!

How did it happen?


This was totally a case of that old marketing cliché about “the right message to the right person at the right time.”

  • The right message: The email itself contained an attractive message: an invitation to a breakfast with industry leaders. Naturally, the only messaging element that impacts open rate is the email’s subject line, as it’s the only thing the recipients sees before deciding whether to open the email (and sometimes one preview line from the email itself). The subject line was “personal invite.”  I can write an entire post about subject lines, but overall, this one exemplifies a lot of our subject line principles: It’s short and intriguing, making the recipient want to read the entire email. At the same time, it’s not misleading, not clickbait-y, and reads like something written by a human, not a copywriter or a sales person. It’s not “five things you must know about breakfast” or “Adam, check this out.” We also usually avoid humor or puns in subject lines. Instead we keep it short and to the point.
  • The right person. The email was sent to 75 people. The list included active customers, churned customers, and leads in active sales conversations. It was built in collaboration with the sales and customer success teams, by pulling a few hundred relevant contacts from Salesforce and whittling them down to the final list of 75 who know us, have heard about us, and in some cases, have worked with us.
  • The right time. All recipients are based in the NYC metro area. We were fortunate (or unfortunate?) to have a big snowstorm in NYC the day of the email send, which made a lot of people stay home that day. It’s hard to prove, but I think it contributed significantly to the email’s success. Snow day = working from home = lots of cancelled meetings = a calmer day = more time to read emails.

Obviously, it’s hard to schedule snow storms. So what can you do? Be thoughtful about days and hours that typically results in high open rate and engagement with your target audience, and implement your learning with important emails. There are a lot of nuances here, but here’s one example: We noticed that Friday is a good day for emails with lots of content – people (in the US) have a bit more time to read on the last day of their work week. Of course, it shouldn’t be too late on Friday – because they might have left the office already. Also, remember that if most of our audience is in the East Coast, they’ll go home three hours earlier than West Coasters.

The bottom line


Tight targeting, thoughtful timing, and a subject line that’s short & to the point can get you to a 100% open rate.


About Blue Seedling

Blue Seedling works with Israeli B2B startups as a plug & play marketing team or as a complement to existing marketing capabilities. We’re “full-stack marketers” across all marketing activities: messaging and positioning, website design, sales enablement, marketing planning and budgeting, running marketing programs (webinars, content, PR, events & conferences, prospecting), generating sales opportunities, and recruiting marketing talent.

Our remote team and network include marketing managers, marketing strategy experts, copywriters, graphic design partners, a website development agency, PR agency partners, a Facebook / Google advertising expert, and a 15-person remote team.

About The Author

Netta is the founder and CEO of Blue Seedling. She loves third wave coffee, thin crust pizza, and B2B marketing.
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4 thoughts on “Today, I sent an email with a 100% open rate. Here’s what I did.”

  1. ‎״Naturally, the only messaging element that impacts open rate is the email’s subject line, as it’s the only thing the recipients sees before deciding whether to open the email״ –
    That’s not 100% accurate, as the recipient also sees the From field, which in your case probably contained Blue Seedling and/or Netta Kivilis, both of which are hard to replicate, world-class brands.

  2. Thanks! that’s a good point. Content-wise, only the SL “counts,” but you’re right that other elements such as the sender, send time etc definitely make an impact as well.
    While we’re on the subject, we prefer using the sender’s name – so it seems as close as possible to a “real” email. So it’d be “Netta Kivilis” instead of “Netta from Blue Seedling” or the worst, “”

    Lastly, this email was sent on behalf of a client, but we appreciate the compliment. =)

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