The subject line is arguably the most important part of your email campaign; it’s the first impression that you make and your best chance to stand out in a busy inbox filled with messages all demanding the recipient’s attention.
For inspiration, check out the subject lines below, which came from a brainstorming exercise at the Digital Charity Lab ‘Improving Your Charity’s Emails’ Workshop. Each group took a theme that you can use when developing your subject lines – themes that are likely to provoke a response in the user.
(In the exercise we chose an appeal for Syria as the topic)
Create a sense of urgency, so the subscriber feels they need to open the email right now, rather than filing it to read later.
- You have 24 hrs left to save Maria
- Syria: time is running out
- Tomorrow will be too late to save Maria
- Do you have 20 seconds to spare?
By asking a question, you can open a conversation. Phrase the question well and the subscriber will be compelled to click through to discover the answer.
- What would YOU do with 1 million children?
- Syria – how can you help?
- What does Kobani look like today?
- It seems kind of futile, doesn’t it?
- How has your donation helped Ahmed?
- What do you and Ahmed have in common?
Possibly the most powerful approach to take. Directly point out how the situation is relevant to the subscriber.
- Find out how you can help 3 million children today
- You saved a life last year – will you save a life today?
- You can save a life today
Try something cryptic or compelling, that will stand out in the inbox and pique the user’s interest. Don’t overdo this one though!
- Do you know what a barrel bomb does?
- Where are the refugees going?
- 1 million have left, 3 million are left behind
- Which of these two would you choose <name>?
Big thanks to everyone who participated in our workshop and helped come up with these great ideas.