Two ways to improve subject lines

From the Lyris HQ Blog, here’s a post: Creating Extraordinary Email Subject Lines. It offers two great ways from commercial email marketing to improve subject lines:


  1. Personalization. The donor’s name in the subject line can grab her attention. But so can other things you know about her. Like her location. Or date of last gift. Or something else you’ve noted in her behavior. (Be mindful of seeming too “Big Brother” by displaying a creepy amount of knowledge in the subject line.)

  2. Urgency. Use a time or date. Or a deadline, or scarcity of some kind. But put the urgency in the subject line.

Most of all, test those subject lines. Test, test, test. It’s the element that matters more than any other, and you can get a good read fast.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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