According to the latest DMA Email Benchmarking Report, not-for-profit emails have the lowest average open rate of any sector at 6%. If your emails aren’t getting opened, they’re not getting clicked. Something needs to change to make them more effective. Engaging subject lines can be the deciding factor as to whether your supporters open your emails or not.
If your charity’s emails are struggling, get in touch and we can help you write and optimise your subject lines.
In the meantime, here are some useful insights and best practice from a recent Subject Line Benchmarks Report, along with our own thoughts for you to test and perhaps implement.
Personalising Your Subject Lines
Subject lines containing personalisation saw 50% higher open rates, 2.5 times the unique click rate and 58% higher click-to-open rates of those without. Despite this, only 2% of the emails surveyed contained any personalisation. With those benefits apparent, what are you doing with yours? You could include the supporter’s name, information unique to them such as a project or sponsored child’s name or perhaps reference an action. Why not do some testing to see what your supporters are most receptive to?
The Best Subject Line Length
Almost 75% of the subject lines surveyed were made up of 21 – 60 characters. Shorter ones however, those of 1-20 characters, performed the best. They saw 34% higher open rates, 2 x the unique click rate and 34% higher click to open rates. From a writing perspective, keeping your subject lines shorter helps you to focus them. As for viewability, it makes sure that they stay on one line and won’t get cut off. Consider auditing of your subject lines to see how long they are and to identify any trends in performance.
Optimising For Mobile
54% of all emails are opened on mobile devices so don’t forget to take this into account when writing your subject lines. Aiming for a maximum of 35 characters should ensure that they fit on mobile screens. You can then use your preheader to reinforce or enhance the subject line, making the most of the available space.
Choosing Your Words
With all of this in mind, one final thing to consider is your choice of language itself and the message your subject line should convey. If you’re sending an appeal, is it emotive and active enough? If you’re sending something lighter such as a newsletter, is it interesting and engaging? Make sure to choose the right words, supporting our your message and introducing your propositions in the simplest way possible.
Get In Touch
Let us know if you’d like our help writing and optimising your subject lines. We’ve written and tested subject lines for a number of different charity emails and initiatives. We also have our own insights from testing across a variety of newsletter, sponsorship, gifting and ask emails.
We can also conduct a subject line audit and develop a testing plan to help identify and write the most effective subject lines to get your emails opened.