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Boost your email open rates

Tips to make sure people open the delivery email

Grant Dewar avatar
Written by Grant Dewar
Updated over a week ago

Our experience is that recognition, and messaging is crucial to recipients taking the first step of opening your delivery email address. The key steps are to ensure you are sending from your own email address, with a targeted subject line and have good email reputation. The two most important things that will drive your open rates are your sending email address and your subject line.

1. Make sure you have connected your email 

Until you connect your email and create a custom email address, we send your Bonjoro messages from a unique default Bonjoro email address on your behalf.  This was automatically created when you register your account. Any replies to those messages are forwarded onto to your account email address by default. However we cannot guarantee how well these addresses will perform against various spam filters.

When you have your email connected and you are sending from your email address it can yield higher open rates due to better delivery and lower chance of spam filtering as:

  • Your email is often already in customers address books

  • As only you use your email, its likely to be pretty 'healthy', particularly if it's a business email rather than a personal

  • Customers will recognise your email address at a glance

You can connect your email by easily by integrating Bonjoro with your existing mail service (Google's Gmail / Microsoft Outlook) or connecting your verified Business Domain.

Head to the Email Setup settings page to get started!

2. Connect your Business Domain!

This will give you the very best result in terms of deliverability. Once you have done so you can create a custom email address for your domain for yourself and your whole team.

Note: If you currently use Google to host your domain via Google For Work or similar you can setup both an oAuth mail integration and a business domain. They are comparable when it comes to deliverability but the verified domains process is more reliable over time.

3. Subject lines

Customise the subject line of your delivery email to boost open rates. See here for how to do it and consider testing subject lines in relatively large batches of 40-50 bonjoros a piece to test their impact. We use a range of welcome subject lines, the idea of all of them is to convey that it is a personal video message. People are so used to automated messaging that it's definitely worth reinforcing the point! High level advice - don't make the recipient think - make your subject line clear, concise and easily linked to your organisation. Using your brand / product / course name etc. is usually a good shortcut to understanding.

  • A personal video welcome to [brand name]! [Yes, we individually record each one :D]

  • A personal video thank you for your [store name] purchase

  • CEO welcome message just for you!

  • Howdy there! Just a little personal video for you. 🐻

Note: If you are on a team account and would like to have a different subject line per team member - you'll need to set up a separate message template for each user.

4. Check your domain spam rating

You can check your spam rating of your email account (that you've integrated with Bonjoro) with a bunch of free tools - our favourite is

Depending on your rating, follow their advice to increase your score and ensure maximum delivery for ALL your email. Once you have integrated Bonjoro - please send one to Mail Tester and share your results with us so we can suggest areas to improve.

5. Timing

If you are using a user action - like signing up for an account or making a purchase - as a trigger for your messages then the best open rates are achieved in the first 4 hours after that event. After that the open rate trends down by about 5-10% over the subsequent 72 hours, and drops precipitously after that.

Moral of the story - send your messages while the interaction is fresh in the customer's mind and they are more likely to recognise & engage with communications from you.

6. Test plain Text Emails

You can send your messages in a plain text email, rather than our HTML template. We've found that the results vary with audience type so we recommend testing with at least 50-100 Bonjoros in both formats to check the impact in your context. To enable plain text emails head to any message template and Check 'Plain text' button > Click update.
Note: this setting will be applied to all message with that template - so if you set up more than one you can A/B test plain text vs HTML, different subject lines etc.

7. Consider your audience 

Feedback from the Bonjoro community is that cold outreach is is a tough use case. Much better open and view rates are achieved with a warmer audience or customers and leads that are likely to recognise your company, email address and comms. That's not to say that Bonjoro is unsuccessful in this role - just that cold open rates are typically only 15 - 25% of that for warmer leads or existing and engaged customers.

8. The Promo folder

If you find that some of your recipients are receiving their Bonjoro delivery emails in the promo folder it's worth keeping in mind that Gmail will treat your messages differently for each recipient. In our testing we have had messages land in primary inboxes and promo folders depending on the recipient. We do have one key piece of advice:

- DO NOT use an email address to send Bonjoros that you also use for mass email campaigns, newsletters or automated message sending of any kind. Using an email address that Gmail knows is used to send mass messages makes it much more likely that your Bonjoros will end up in the promo folder.

What's a 'good' open rate?

Well that depends on what you compare it to. Marketing emails get an average 24.9% open rate in 2018. Generic on-boarding and welcome email open rates are higher, around 40-50% but the average reports are a few years outdated so likely lower. Average Bonjoro open rates are around 70% but really vary on the use case and how it's woven into the strategy. Cold mailing and outreach have very low open rates, while conversion of warm leads, welcomes, and retention message perform far better.

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