Better subject lines for email fundraising

Here’s a handy list from the Constant Contact blog of Improve Your Open Rates with These 12 Subject Line Tweaks:


  1. Cut it down. Shorter subject lines tend to get better open rates. (Test this, because there are many variable factor!)
  2. Take out anything spammy (exclamation points, overtly promotional language like “Buy now” or “Free”)
  3. Ask a question
  4. Include a deadline
  5. Try a teaser
  6. Give a command
  7. Add a list (“X great ways to Y”)
  8. Make an announcement
  9. Be unique
  10. Tell a joke
  11. Say something unexpected
  12. Use multimedia

Test these things! What works in email can be very specific to your list — and the landscape is constantly changing with new technology.


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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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