1 min Read
July 8, 2009

Want to make sure your emails are being read? Start with a great subject line.

In our July enewsletter, we’ve compiled some tips for making the most of your email subject lines. And while we’re on the subject, here are some especially effective nonprofit email “envelopes” we’ve seen recently.

  • From: Chelsea Clinton
    Subject: For the dads in your life
    A Father’s Day appeal to support the Clinton Foundation, sent from a name that is both recognizable and clearly relevant.
  • From: Gail McGovern, American Red Cross
    Subject: Your vote changes lives
    A direct and emotional appeal, in an effort to drum up votes for Target’s “Bullseye Gives” challenge.
  • From: Bill Piper, DPA Network
    Subject: Michael Jackson and 70 More Americans Every Day
    Sent a week after Michael Jackson’s death by accidental drug overdose, it references a very high-profile news story and makes a clear tie-in to the Drug Policy Alliance’s work.
  • From: Sierra Club
    Subject: Help Gov. Sanford Find the Appalachian Trail
    Uses a clever reference to current events (it blasted just a few days after the scandal broke over the governor of South Carolina) to promote the launch of an online community.
  • From: Patrick Schmitt, MoveOn
    Subject: Will Brooklyn fight for the public option?
    A locally-targeted call-to-action makes good use of the neighborhood connection to capture attention, and feels personal without being too spammy.
  • From: ASPCA
    Subject: Fireworks and Your Furry Friend
    A timely message sent on July 2, as many pet lovers begin to worry about how their animals will respond to fireworks.
  • From: Mitch Stewart,
    Subject: Can I run this by you?
    A recognizable name asking for the reader’s opinion sparks curiosity.
  • From: Jewish Funds for Justice
    Subject: 12 hours left to double your gift!
    A to-the-point fundraising appeal that’s specific and communicates a good sense of urgency.

Have you seen any good subject lines lately? Share your favorites in the comments.