Power Play: Combining Noah Kagan’s Double-Opens Growth Hack with MailChimp Automation

If you didn’t already set up email automation, MailChimp just made it easy af (and free).

Double-opens is a simple growth hack, coined by Noah Kagan, that gets results. Quick. It's so simple it hurts. MailChimp just launched free email automation for all users and it takes only a few minutes to set this up. Get on it. Kagan’s explanation of this growth hack is best, so I'm going to just paraphrase his Double Your Open Rate blog.

What’s your normal email open rate?




The point here is that even with a strong 40% open rate, over half of the people on your mailing list aren’t even opening up what you send them. MailChimp has a great resource showcasing email marketing benchmarks. See where you stack up with your industry average. For marketing and advertising, it’s at a very low 17.81% open rate. That’s because most people are garbage at marketing. Nothing wrong with that. We all start somewhere.

Even if you had a 50% open rate, think about what this entails. You worked hard to get those emails. You learned to write better content. Your CTA was on point as fuck. Now you’ve created a well-polished email campaign and 1 in 2 people see it, at best? Feels bad man.That sucks.

Noah Kagan claims Double-Opens Increases Open Rate 30%+

Here’s an email campaign I sent out a week ago introducing HelloBar signups from ChrisTweten.com introducing them to the STB blog:

Here’s the growth hack: Send the same email campaign to everyone that didn’t open your email 7 days later with a new subject line. That’s it. That’s the “secret” to increasing email open rate. Double-opens is that fucking simple.

Honestly, this is a really bad example of showcasing the benefits of double-opens because I just sent out this campaign, but my results so far got me 6 new email opens. That’s a 3% overall increase with just a couple minutes of work.

How to Set Up Double-Opens with MailChimp’s Free Automation

The purpose of this article is twofold: Introduce you to Noah Kagan’s double-opens growth hack and show you how easy it is to set up in MailChimp. They just made a whole slew of email automation available but it can be hard to navigate. It took me some time going through menus to find the right options.

Head over to that brand spanking new Automation tab in MailChimp and click the Add Automation button.

There’s a lot to explore here, but just go to Custom and click Add Automation again.


Name your automation accordingly, choose your list and hit Next.

Here’s where things get complex. Sort of. I had trouble with it at first.

  1. Clicking the question mark first. Give your automation workflow a name and write your new subject line. Hit Next.

  2. Now you’ll be at the regular email campaign design screen. Go to Campaigns, choose the last email you sent then click Save and Continue.

  3. Now you’re back at Trigger screen again. Click Edit trigger.

  4. Change the Delay to Wait 7 days. Then click Change trigger.

  5. Under Select a new trigger, go to the Campaign Activity tab.

  6. Click on Not opened campaign (A subscriber does not open a specific campaign.)

  7. Under Select a Campaign, choose the last email campaign you sent. Make sure it’s the same as the one you selected earlier in Step 2. In the top right corner, click Update Trigger.

  8. Back to the Trigger screen again. In the bottom right corner, click Next.

This screen should look familiar. It’s almost identical to the regular review screen when sending a MailChimp campaign. Review everything before going forward with your first double-opens growth hack. The bottom right corner of the screen has a blue Start Workflow button. You’re done. Get ready for increased open rates, click through rates and hopefully sales.

The Takeaway: Work smarter, not harder. Take a lesson from Noah Kagan. Bill Gates might have once said, "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." Kagan is that lazy man. STB is the company that will help you implement those lazy growth hacks. If you have any trouble setting up double-opens in MailChimp, just email us and we’ll help you out.

Speaking of email, subscribe to our no-bullshit marketing newsletter?

Chris Tweten