Your alarm goes off—you know the sound—that horrible shrill beeping, or for many of us using our phones as alarms, the “radar” noise.
Time to start your day. What’s the first thing you do? If you are like 58% of us, you check your email (11% before getting out of bed).
And with 99% of email users checking their email daily (regardless of when), your supporters are right there ready and willing to hear from you.
But with our inboxes flooded with an average of 121 emails each day, you face a steep challenge: standing out amongst the overwhelming deluge of emails.
Employ these 4 strategies to create emails your supporters will read and act on.
1. Show Them You Know Them
A handwritten card in my mailbox puts a smile on my face. I know it’s going to be from someone I know who cares about me. The same can be true for emails—if they are done right.
First, if you know their name, use it. The subject line or the preheader are impactful spots to incorporate your supporter’s name, as these are the first things a reader sees. Above all else, use it right out of the gate in your greeting.
Second, make sure the recipient knows who the email is coming from. According to research, the sender’s name is the most important factor in an email being opened and read. Make sure you are sending from a person’s name or an organization’s name that your supporters will instantly recognize and connect to.
- Write emails as though you are talking to one person. A friend. A donor. A volunteer. A board member. Picture that person while you write.
- Align the content you send with your donor’s specific interests and giving preferences. You’ll need good data to make this work. Don’t have it? A donor survey can get you started.
2. Clear Is Kind
We have a saying at Stelter—in fact, it’s part of our company charter—”Clear Is Kind.” We found that using clear, respectful and candid communication with each other is most effective for us. I think this holds true in any situation—and most certainly with your donors. Clearly state your email’s purpose up front, ensuring readers understand your intent and feel compelled to act.
Whether you are writing a thank you, sending an appeal video or sharing a quarterly newsletter, the content needs to be clear about its core message and what you are asking from them.
- Remember you are having a conversation. Your tone should sound natural while delivering accurate information.
- Present a clear call to action that sets expectations and guides your donors to act.
- Use the call-to-action throughout the email to reinforce your need and provide multiple opportunities for your reader to respond.
3. Ignite Curiosity
Wondering about the second most important factor in opening an email? The subject line.
Subject lines serve as enticing teasers, beckoning your supporters to delve deeper into your message. Concentrate on making a lasting initial impression, piquing curiosity and compelling your readers to explore further. Always approach subject lines from a reader-centric perspective. And while you want to pique interest, remember, clear is kind—don’t use your headline to bait-and-switch.
There’s a saying in the world of copywriters that you should spend half the time you have to write your entire piece (be it an email, article, or blog) to write the headline. It is that important. Same goes for your subject line. Don’t make it an afterthought.
- How long should your subject line be? According to a study from Marketo, the optimal length is between 41 characters or 7 words. However, everything is worth a test. Your readers might respond to longer subject lines. An A/B test would give you some insight.
4. Make It Easy On the Go
According to HubSpot, 41% of email views come from mobile devices. Crafting emails that seamlessly transition from desktop to mobile is vital. How do you ensure your email looks good and is easy-to-read for your donors on the go?
- Maintain a single-column layout for optimal mobile viewing, as multi-column designs can appear distorted on smaller screens.
- Use bullet points and chunk your copy to make it easier to read, remember and scan.
- Choose 1 or 2 impactful visuals. Doing this will ensure a speedy loading time and overall better mobile experience.
- Use buttons for your call to action. Your readers will be able to see the buttons better than a text link and they eliminate the need for zooming in.
Looking for more email inspiration? Check out our webinar “You’ve Got Mail: Timely Email Insights & Trends.” Our team digs deeper into your mail list, design trends and testing strategies.