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Allyson Kapin 4 min read

Seven Tips To Boost Your Email Open Rates

Even though the sidewalk may be frying eggs at the moment, it’s not too early to start thinking about your year-end fundraising. Convio helps jumpstart your brainstorming with their new guide - Crafting Subject Lines That Work: Making Email Appeals More Effective.

This guide focuses on the importance of your email’s subject line, especially at a time when everyone’s inbox is flooded with messages. Getting even your most devoted supporters to open your carefully-crafted appeal can be quite a challenge, and you need to keep these seven factors in mind.

1. What’s the message about? Make sure your subject line accurately reflects the content of the message.

2. Keep it short! Many mail platforms, especially mobile ones, don’t support more than 50 or 60 characters. Think micro-Tweet!

3. Where’s it coming from? The “from” address tells your recipients a lot, and they’ll more likely open mail from an address they recognize. Keep it consistent, and make sure it’s clear it’s your organization reaching out to them.

4. Deliverability is key. Make sure your subject passes muster with spam filters – your email marketing software can help you avoid words and phrases that could trigger them, but use common sense as well.

5. Include a time factor. Give your reader a clue that now is a great time to support you – and if you’re sending a series of messages, increase the sense of urgency with each one.

6. Put the horse before the cart.  Try writing the subject line first, or at least keep it in mind as you craft your message content, rather than leaving it until just before you hit “send.” It’s a great way to focus on what’s important about your message.

7. Test! Try sending the same message with different subject lines to small segments of your list, and note the results – note click-through rates as well as opens. Then send the one that works best to the rest of your list.

Your subject line is an important part of how you tell your story – make sure you use it to stand out from the crowd.


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.