9 things that will strengthen fundraising subject lines

Success in email fundraising depends heavily on subject lines. The best copy, best offer, best landing page all get you nowhere if people don’t open your emails.

Here are some things you can do to make subject lines stronger, from the Soapbox Engage Blog, at 9 Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit Email Subject Lines:

  1. Send emails from an actual human, not a generic address. Have it come from a real person, not something like info@organization.org.
  2. Email subject line length matters. Shorter subject lines generally work better.
  3. Add time-specific details to add urgency. “One day left…” or “Last chance…”
  4. Personalize your email subject lines for the best results. “Joan, one day left…”
  5. Write intriguing email subject lines to spark curiosity. As with direct mail, curiosity is powerful!
  6. Don’t give away all the details in the subject line. If your subject line tells them the whole story, they’re less likely to open it.
  7. Say thank you in your email subject lines.
  8. Send emails at a strategic time and day. There’s no single day or time that magically works for everyone. If there were, it would stop working almost as soon as word got out when it was! Test and experiment what works for you.
  9. Track your email performances. Learn from your own experience. It’s the best way to succeed.


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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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