2 weird subject line tricks for fundraising

Want to improve response to your fundraising emails?

The most important element to work on is the subject line. When you don’t get a winner there, it really doesn’t matter how brilliant the rest of your work is.

Strange thing about subject lines: There are two contradictory “tricks” to win eyeballs. You can read about them on the Bloomerang Blog, at Fundraising Magic Tricks to Boost Year-End Response.

Trick #1: Clarity. Use the subject line to tell the recipient exactly what they’ll find inside.

Trick #2: Curiosity. Create mystery. Don’t reveal what they’ll find inside.

In my experience, #2 is the go-to approach most often. #1 works better only when the thing you’re revealing is either an amazing “deal” or some situation everyone is thinking about — like a natural disaster.


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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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