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Try These 6 Giving Tuesday Email Subject Lines to Drive Donations

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By Hannah Durbin

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Published September 10, 2021
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Do you remember the last subject line that made you stop to open an email?

Your Giving Tuesday email subject lines are what get donors in the door to see the work you’ve put into your compelling campaign. To compete against the 121 emails an average office worker receives every day, it’s crucial to stand out. 

Get to know the research behind email marketing to make your Giving Tuesday email subject lines stand apart. Get inspired by these creative ideas, and learn which tactics are worth trying to catch your donors’ attention. 

Giving Tuesday Email Subject Lines: What You Need to Know 

Familiarize yourself with these five basic best practices to make the most of your Giving Tuesday email appeals.

1. Make it personal 

Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and lead to revenue that is 5.7 times higher than those with generic subject lines.

Donors don’t want to be treated like just another name on your email list. Personalize your subject line to show them that you acknowledge and appreciate their unique value. Prove that you’ve taken time out of your day to make each person feel special. 

2. Tell donors why your cause needs immediate support   

Donors are quickly skimming their inboxes to see what messages are important right now and which ones can wait. To avoid being overlooked, ensure your subject line is both timely and relevant. Create a sense of urgency to give donors a reason to explore your message further. Otherwise, your critical call to action may be skipped over as they move on to the next notification. 

3. Say a lot with fewer words 

Mailchimp recommends no more than 9 words or 60 characters per subject line, and research shows that roughly 41 characters is the optimal length. 

You don’t have much time to get your point across before a donor scrolls past your message, so include your call to action at the beginning of your subject line where it’s most likely to be seen. 

4. Incorporate words that spark interest  

Influence your open rates by including words that are proven to catch donors’ attention. Peak their curiosity and motivate them to explore your message further.

Here are a few ideas from CoSchedule’s 100 Words That Increase Email Subject Line Opens to get you started:

  • Celebrate 
  • Contest
  • Exclusive 
  • Introducing 
  • Register 
  • Special 
  • Today Only 
  • Upgrade 

Explore the rest of the list here

5. Be aware of words that trigger spam filters 

While you’re at it, make sure to avoid words that could land your email in a donor’s spam folder. 

CoSchedule’s list of 100 Words That Decrease Email Subject Line Opens includes:

  • Alert 
  • Congratulations
  • Free
  • Greetings
  • Midnight 
  • Prize 
  • Request 
  • Time limited 

Be sure to avoid these, and the 92 others on this list

Try Something New With These 6 Giving Tuesday Email Subject Lines 

With the basics in mind, think about how you can add a Giving Tuesday twist to your email subject lines this giving season to elevate your campaign, spark interest in your cause, and incentivize donors to stop the scroll.  

1. Urgent: Tax Deadline Approaching

Giving Tuesday email subject line

Lean into the timeliness of tax season to incentivize charitable giving. 

Although seemingly simple, the urgency of this subject line highlights an important deadline that donors don’t want to miss. It reminds people that this is the last opportunity to contribute to your organization while simultaneously boosting their personal tax deductions—a true win-win. 

2. Re: Your Giving Tuesday Donation to [Organization Name]

Giving Tuesday email subject line

Draw your donors in by peaking their interest, then land the hook with a strong appeal once they’ve opened your message.

By leaving this subject line open-ended, donors are left with a need to know more. Brevity tends to leave people questioning the information they’ve received, so keep it short and allow their curiosity to take over.

3. [Name], thank you for your monthly gift. Can we ask a favor for Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday email subject line

A strong recurring donor base is the lifeblood of any nonprofit. Highlight the generosity of your recurring donors with a compelling subject line and lean on them to fuel your campaign goals. 

With a hint of personalization, speak to each recurring donor like you’re speaking to a friend. Pose a direct question to make it clear what they can expect from your message, and be sure to include “Giving Tuesday” so the timeliness of your ask is top of mind.

4. Can you introduce me to your friend? 

Giving Tuesday email subject line

When done well, humor can be a great way to naturally attract donors and create a deeper, more authentic connection with your organization. 

This subject line is perfect for a peer-to-peer fundraising appeal, which invites donors to tap into their personal networks to raise money on behalf of your nonprofit. When coupled with a simple line that makes your audience crack a smile, this call to action is sure to motivate action.

5. You’re Just Minutes Away From Saving a Life

Giving Tuesday email subject line

Communicate the ease and impact of making a donation by highlighting the seamless user experience your organization offers. Set the tone for your email by evoking emotion and speaking directly to the hearts of your supporters. Tap into strong storytelling tactics to introduce your campaign narrative in the subject line, then seamlessly expand on your story in the email appeal itself to drive conversion. 

6. Are you free on November 30? 

Giving Tuesday email subject line

Make sure the date for Giving Tuesday is marked, circled, and underlined on your donors’ calendars by including it in a handful of your subject lines leading up to the giving day. 

An informal, conversational tone lends itself well to a receptive response, so be sure to keep it casual. Attaching a date to your message also helps support the timeliness of your message and the relevance of your call to action. This approach is particularly helpful if it’s your first year promoting a Giving Tuesday campaign, so donors know when to provide the most value.

Get Started 

Every email you send is another opportunity to secure a donation for your Giving Tuesday campaign and take a step toward achieving your goal. 

Get your foot in the door with a strong subject line, and then continue the donor journey with an email that inspires immediate action. 

To elevate your email appeal, remember to:

  • Optimize for mobile devices to avoid the risk of leaving donations on the table
  • A/B test your message prior to sending to see which appeal resonates most with your audience
  • Include visual content to demonstrate how your organization is working to solve a very real, very tangible, problem
  • Segment your audience and adjust the suggested giving level options accordingly
  • Offer a recurring giving option to establish predictable funding for your mission and allow supporters to give effortlessly over time

For more ways to take your Giving Tuesday fundraising efforts to the next level, check out our Giving Tuesday Resource Center for 50+ free resources all in one place, including everything from templates and checklists to creative campaign examples. 

3-month giving tuesday checklist

The 3-Month Giving Tuesday Checklist

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