Get those emails opened with personalized subject lines

In email fundraising, the first hurdle — getting the email opened by the recipient — is the hardest one.

Here’s some help with subject lines from the Constant Contact blog, at 6 Ways to Use Personalization In Email Subject Lines for Better Open Rates:

  1. First names. (Big winner for open and click-through rates.)
  2. Interests. (What do you know about them based on their behavior?)
  3. Birthdays/Anniversaries. (“Happy Birthday” is often a big winner.
  4. Transaction history. (Refer to their giving history, such as “What you did exactly one year ago.”)
  5. Urgency/scarcity. (Refer to something you know they’ve responded to before, such as “Last 24 hours for Thanksgiving meals.”)
  6. Location. Refer to their local weather. Or just name their city or state.)


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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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