Picture this: You have a great cause, you have a great story, and you need to raise funds. Sound familiar? As a fundraiser you are working for the greater good, and unlike marketers who entice customers with the latest fashion accessory or tech gadget, your mission is to spark interest in a cause and motivate donor support.
You spend time crafting your message, perfecting the pitch, and emailing your donors. But once that message reaches a donor’s inbox, what motivates them to open it?
KISSES is a simple approach that can help you craft a more effective email subject line, increase email open rates, and thereby reach more donors:
Keep It Short, Specific, Enticing, and Scrutinize your results
Keep it Short – Your subject line should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid flowery language or lengthy descriptions. Once your donor opens the email, you have much more space for explanations and requests. A subject line needs to be direct, succinct, and compelling.
Keep it Specific – There are two components to keeping your subject line specific. The first is to personalize the message. You may wish to include the donor’s name, or use other language that implies a customized approach. For example, a subject line including the word “you” or “your” will appear to be speaking directly to the recipient.
Another aspect of being Specific is to tie your email to a specific deadline, to spark a sense of urgency. Email marketers often use terms such as limited time, exclusive, last chance. Using this type of language in your subject line positively impacts open rates.
Keep it Enticing – There are many possible approaches to entice your donor with a good email subject line. You can create a sense of urgency by including a time frame or deadline as described above. You can appeal to the donor’s sense of curiosity by asking a question, enticing them to open the email for an answer. You can also use humour or elicit interest through exciting descriptors such as “ground-breaking”, “innovative”, “discovery”.
Scrutinize Your Results – You can’t know how effective your email subject line truly is unless you test it out. This means segmenting your email database and sending the same email to various groups, however with different subject lines.For this method to yield useful data, you will need to use an email platform which allows you to access and analyze the email open rates connected to each email subject line. With this information, you can compare which subject line is opened more often. Giving Gateway’s email fundraising tools also track how many emails have been sent, when the emails were sent, and how many opened emails were converted to gifts.
Keep KISSES in mind when crafting your next email marketing message. This simple approach will help you create an interesting, enticing subject line which will increase the open rates and get your email beyond the inbox.