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4 Giving Tuesday Subject Line Ideas That Your Donors will Gobble Up

Published by Riley Landenberger

In preparation for Giving Tuesday, you may be wondering if there are some easy changes you can make right now to reach more donors and gain more revenue.

One easy thing you can take a look at is your email subject lines.

When you receive a letter, the first thing you do is examine the envelope to decide whether or not it is important enough to open. 

The same thing goes for emails. The subject line is your “envelope.” It’s the first thing people see when you email them, so it must be good enough to get them to open it.

So, here are 4 research driven subject line ideas that you can use for the emails you already have planned for Giving Tuesday or the remainder of your year-end fundraising. 


1. Focus primarily on the value to the reader.

Give and you shall receive, am I right? On Giving Tuesday, it shouldn’t be all about your donors giving to you. You should use it as an opportunity to show them how much you appreciate their support. 

So, use the subject line to reflect what value the recipient will find in the email.

Is it an eBook, a guide, an idea, a course, an opportunity, or a free gift?

Whatever it may be, keeping your subject line donor focused is your first step to writing more enticing subject lines. 

2. Say their name. 

By addressing your donors by name you get their attention and really make them feel like they’re talking to a friend.

Like this one time I received an email that said “How are you doing, Tom.” I thought it was my mom, but I guess Butterball wanted to make sure I was still bulking up and meeting my minimum calorie requirement for the week.

Nevertheless, the data shows that I’m not the only one who is enticed by my own name. This organization saw a 12% increase in their email open rate when they included the recipient’s name in the subject line.

3. Add a little bit of… spice.

Not to your turkey brine. I mean that you should try using mystery to get the attention of your donors.

In this experiment, saying “It’s ready for you!” instead of “The webinar recording is ready for you” made donors curious and ask – “what’s ready for me?” This mystery increased the open rate of the email by 11%. 

4. Specify how much time is left.

Emphasize the limited amount of time remaining for your campaign or to directly help your cause. 

Urgency is really heightened when you know you’re running out of time for something. If someone sent me an email with the subject line “Turkey hunting season begins tomorrow” I’d be running to the trees.

If you really want to workshop your subject lines and go through a step-by-step process create by data-driven insights, then download a free copy of the subject line worksheet here

Published by Riley Landenberger

Riley Landenberger is Audience Engagement Manager at NextAfter.