Knowledge Base - Step 3: Five Key Elements of Irresistible Email Subject Lines

Optimize the subject line of your invitation templates

invitation letters being sent out to existing supporters and donors are very important in order to kick start and fuel your fundraising campaign. The subject line of the invitation email is critical in that sense. It will affect opening ratios of the email, which is your number one goal when sending mass emails, and it will affect the readers' attitude, which is of equal importance. Writing a good and effective subject line is not a simple task: it has to be short and clear, yet compelling and inspiring, with a sense of urgency. Here are the top 5 tips for writing Irresistible e-mail subject lines


1) Make it personal

It's harder to ignore emails that are addressed to you personally, even when you realize it's just a marketing tactic!

We highly recommend putting the first name place holder into your subject headings every now and then. Don't go overboard obviously, but personalizing two-thirds of the emails you send is a sound strategy.

2) Use a number

For some reason people just love a subject line (or any kind of heading for that matter),that contains a number. possibly because it just gives them some certainty regarding the benefit of what they are about to read.

"6 Tips", "5 things you didn't know about" "10 kids smile..." — whatever the exact reasons behind it, most people can't help but find this type of subject line very appealing.

3) Ask a question

You can mix your 'number' subject lines up with another type of winning heading: the question.

For example: "Abby, when was the last time you made a kid smile?"

Asking a question gives people pause for thought and is another proven way to get them to open the email.

4) Use "punchy" phrases

People are more likely to read emails that sound like they are going to be exciting. How do you make an email sound exciting? You use punchy words and phrases.

Put these phrases into your subject line and you get something that's hard to resist:

  • "3 facts everyone should know about lung cancer"
  • "1 way to change A life today"
  • "3 ways to save A dog today"
  • "The #1 Reason why patients trust mount Sinai hospital"
  • "Lend A hand to women in need"


5) The time factor

Everyone worries about not having enough time and this is a great concept to play on in your email subject line:

"Double your donation ends in just 12 hours"; or "Only 12 hours left to double your donation"; both very successful.



The best advice is to test several approaches on smaller groups of donors, see which version is the most successful and then send it out to your entire list of supporters.

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