Email marketing for nonprofits – Subject lines that boost open rates

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Email marketing for nonprofits – Subject lines that boost open rates

Are you about to launch your emailing campaign and you want to improve your open rate?

All good marketers know it: choosing the subject of an email is a fundamental step, too often neglected, in the design of a campaign. In B to B as in B to C, most Internet users consider the subject of the email as a trigger for opening. Other factors, such as the name of the sender or the time, also come into play.

Although there is no miracle recipe for creating effective objects, respecting certain basic rules will significantly optimize the open rate of your emails.
Here are 2 examples of objects that have proven themselves. But before :

Why take time to choose the subject of your emails?

  1. Your recipients have little time
    For many, opening e-mail today is a real challenge.

Between cluttered inboxes and brands squabbling to capture the attention of their subscribers, a fraction of a second is often enough to decide whether to open, ignore, or delete an email
So needless to say that a promotional email with a standard or annoying subject, has every chance of never being opened. An email asking for donation – even less. Worse still, in many cases, it will end up in the trash, or even in SPAMs, which will degrade your reputation in the future.

In a maximum of thirty characters, you must therefore be able to arouse the interest, curiosity and envy of your recipient thanks to a powerful object. This is all the more true if it is the first contact between your brand and the recipient.

  1. The open rate largely depends on your object
    The open rate of your emails is one of the key performance indicators of your campaigns. Afterwards, this statistic will allow you to analyze the effectiveness of your hooks and draw conclusions for your future marketing initiatives.

How do you get your fundraising emails to pass the openness test?

Here is a list of 5 examples to adapt and test in your nonprofit fundraising campaigns to increase your performance.

“You are not alone”
Play on feelings and the effect of inclusion. No one likes to be alone. Knowing that other people are making or have made the same choice as you is often enough to trigger action. This subject line is particularly effective for emails offering a case study or testimonial.

“Your challenge in {sector of activity}”
Most people would rather talk about themselves than listen to others. Several studies conducted by Harvard University have shown that when people talk about themselves, certain areas of the brain associated with motivation and the reward circuitry show signs of activity.
The core of this hook (the possessive pronoun ” your “) is amplified by the use of the activity sector as a personalization token . Then all you have to do is link the content of your email to this subject: by reminding you of what challenge or problem the prospect might encounter and how your brand proposes to help them meet it, with the help of donors.

Give numbers
The numbers speak, they make it possible to evaluate, to imagine future profits and to see the big picture. It is good practice to use numbers in email subject lines. Use them sparingly, and wisely!

Avoid certain words to avoid spamming
The use of certain words can lead ISPs to classify your emails as spam. Among these words: gift, especially for you, promotion, free, urgent, etc.

Test several variations
You cannot trust your own predictions. A good way to test email subjects is to choose two really different variables. Play with all the elements at your disposal: value, length, tone, content.…
Show these two versions to two audiences of similar size, and analyze which gave the best results. The subject line of an email sent to several thousand people can very easily be a / b tested.

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