As the end of the year approaches, the pressure is on to convince potential donors that your nonprofit deserves their attention. You know that email marketing is one of the best ways to reach out to this target audience, but so does every other nonprofit.
A study for the Huffington Post found that December 31 was the busiest email day of the season for nonprofits, so how can you ensure that these eyes of the potential donors are on your organization’s message? Start with a great subject line.
As a window into the message your recipient is about to receive, the subject line is an extremely important element of the email. In fact, 35 percent of email recipients open an email based solely on its subject line.
An effective subject line needs to be creative, informative and intriguing, without coming on too strong. Additionally, successful emails must be short (Hubspot recommends less than 50 characters), personalized (include a name or location), action-oriented, and urgent.
Consider this list of year-end subject lines concepts when constructing your December email campaign.
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Pose A Question
Give your reader something to think about before they open the message by posing a question in the subject line. Questions lead to answers. When you lead with a question, your recipient is provoked to open the message to learn more.
Make your question relevant and thought-provoking to ensure your reader is intrigued. The following subject lines will force your potential donors to consider the answer to your question, thus increasing your open rates.
- Can you help me out?
- “First name,” I have a question.
- Will you help “beneficiary’s name”?
- “First name,” can I have a moment?
- When was the last time you made someone smile?
- Don’t think you have enough to make a difference?
- How many lives can you save with $50?
Giving is the reason for the season, which makes the end of the year the most popular time for charitable donations. When sending out your last appeal of the year, consider using a subject line that reminds readers of the giving season to give them an incentive to open your message.
Make the most of the holiday spirit by emphasizing the good your organization is doing. Use your subject line to remind potential donors that their gift can make a difference, especially during the holidays.
- Did you forget someone on your holiday list?
- Last-minute gift ideas
- The best gift
- ____ reasons to give
- We have a gift for you
- Make a gift, change a life
- Think outside the box this holiday
- Be a hero like “donor name”
- Help “organization name” deliver hope this season
- Don’t wish you had done more this year
- One click can change lives
- Join us in the _____ challenge
- What we need next year
- ________’s story is so inspiring
- Give the gift that keeps on giving
Making your message seem urgent is a proven method to compel readers to act. When potential donors feel that a deadline is looming, they’re more likely to make a quick decision to give.
- Don’t let this year pass you by
- Campaign update: still ______ from our goal
- Every gift doubled – make twice the impact
- We’re so close!
- Time is running out
- Hours left to give in 2016
- It’s never too late to make a difference
- We’re almost out of time
- Help us reach our goal before midnight
- End 2016 on a positive note
- Time is almost up to make your tax-deductible gift
- Re: Your tax-deductible gift
- The last day to give
- Double your impact – one day left
- Urgent: tax deadline approaching
- 1 day left; 5 reasons to give
- Make an impact with your IRA
Intriguing subject lines work to arouse your reader’s curiosity and pique their interest. Since the ultimate goal of a subject line is to convince your potential donor to open the email, the mystery surrounding your intriguing intro should give your recipients a reason to read on.
The sense of mystery surrounding the following subject lines will provide enough intrigue to convince potential donors to open your message.
- Important news
- Let’s do it!
- Re: Your gift to “organization name”
- “First name” – review your donation
- I have a job for you
- Your donation status
- As you requested
- “First name,” I have great news
- Don’t open this email
- You won’t believe this
- Following up
- FW: thought you’d want to see this
Say Thank You
Use your end-of year email to say thank you to donors or wish them a happy new year. Thank you messages not only demonstrate gratitude to current donors, but also remind potential donors that your nonprofit is always in need of further support.
The following subject lines give your organization a chance to demonstrate your gratitude and make your donors the star of your year-end campaign.
- Holiday greetings from “organization name”
- Help us celebrate the New Year
- It’s been a great year at “organization name”
- Thank you!
- Happy New Year!
- We couldn’t do it without you
- Watch the incredible things we’ve done this year
The bottom line – you should know your potential donors better than anyone else. When constructing your year-end email subject lines, put yourself in their shoes. Consider the language and appeal that will you believe will spark action among your target audience and apply those concepts to your organization’s message.
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