Your Best Email Subject Line in January?

EmailEmail newsletters. Nonprofits spend A LOT of time on them.

I haven’t talked about them very much lately, but am going to refocus a bit on email strategy and tactics in the coming weeks and months. Today, I’ll be giving several of our All-Access Pass holders some feedback and fine-tuning tips on their e-newsletters. I’m also working on a new webinar specifically on email newsletter strategies, which I’ll let you know about when the time comes.

Today, let’s talk about email subject lines. You can find all kinds of advice and examples about which subject lines work best in the business world (here are a few articles), but we don’t have very much discussion about it in the nonprofit world. Let’s change that!

Will You Share Your Best Subject Line from January?

Go take a look at your open rates for the emails your organization sent in January.  Which subject line had the best open rate? I asked this same question on Facebook on Monday.

When I looked at our emails at, our best ones were “It’s Here! Download the 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report” for a segmented email (40% open rate) and “Email Newsletters and Facebook Take Too Much Time?” for the regular e-newsletter (18.8% open rate).

What about you? Let’s get the sharing and conversation about nonprofit subject lines started. Please tell us your best subject line from January in the comments. 

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  • At Open Arms of Minnesota, our newsletter is weekly, and January’s best subject line
    was “Goodbye & Pudding Pie” with a 29% open rate

    • Why do you think that one worked for you?

      • Susan Pagani

        Kivi! I think it implied two things that people really like, news and a tasty snack. Also, our audience tends to respond to a fun subject line. They have not typically responded well to subject lines implying an ask — with the exception of Give to the Max Day, a local day of giving here in Minnesota. On the latter, they expect to be asked, so they are looking out for us.