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How Email Subject Lines Can Help Drive Donations


How many times a day do you go into your inbox just clicking away at the spam , newsletters, offers and DELETE?  At least twice a day!


It can really get out of hand.  Gmail even has features that divides "social" and "promotion" emails out of your inbox! So, the trick becomes not only how do you stay out of the delete column, but more importantly how do you get your email to stand out and be opened??!

 A killer subject line is your answer.  There are great masters out there who write about this topic, but I favor an article talking about the “Karate-Chop” Approach!  Now, stay with me here, yes we are referring to martial arts and writing subject lines – But as you read on you will see that these both have 3 main components. 

Related: The Karate Chop Method

They are…

  • Short
  • Quick
  • Powerful

In email marketing land, this would mean short in terms of how many words it contains, quick in terms that you it can catch your attention even if you’re just skimming through, and powerful in that it shocks you enough to stop and makes you so curious about what’s inside that you open the email.

When you write email subject lines, you’re essentially deciding on what the story is going to be and the angle you are taking. It essentially sets the stage for what’s in the actual email. This may not be 100% true all the time, but it is that more often than not.

The article here goes on to talk about how tabloid headlines are shocking and make you want to read on, and isn’t that what we want?  To grow your mission with kick ass events, donations and strong advocates out there in the world - you need your audience TO OPEN your emails. 

So get moving – write a bunch of subject lines.  Throw them out!!!  Then write a bunch more. Practice makes perfect and don’t forget to take note to what emails you open- inspiration is just a few clicks away in your inbox ( or in your recently deleted folder!).

Tapp Network

Written by Tapp Network

Tapp Network is a marketing & technology firm serving nonprofits and organizations seeking to accelerate their social impact, capacity building, and revenue growth for good.