9 ways to write better subject lines

The subject line is the most important part of an email. It’s typically seen by your recipients in their inboxes alongside dozens of other subject lines. They are highly likely to delete it without a second thought.

Here, from the NextAfter Blog, are some guidelines for getting your emails noticed — which gives them a chance of being opened … and must maybe being responded to. 33 Fundraising Email Subject Lines Your Donors Will Open (And Click):

  1. Write your fundraising email subject line before you write the email.
  2. Deliver on your subject line’s promise. (An amazing subject that that nothing to do with the email inside is not a smart tactic!)
  3. Write your subject line like you talk.
  4. Use mystery in your subject line.
  5. Use a person as your sender name.
  6. Convey opportunity in your subject line.
  7. Use the recipient’s name in your subject line.
  8. Use time indicators in your subject line.
  9. Humanize your subject line.

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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.