Animal shelters and rescue groups need to communicate with their supporters. That’s how you get more volunteers, foster homes and donations. While social media has taken a big slice out of the communications pie, direct email remains a powerful tool to reach people interested in your organization and its work for animals.
But just as you probably have hundreds, even thousands, of unread emails in your inbox, a large percentage of the emails you send are never read. What can you do to increase the likelihood your emails will be opened rather than ignored?
There are two factors that dictate whether an email will be opened: The subject line, and the relationship between the sender and the recipient.
- When writing your emails, think about your readers as individuals. Write with a personal style, rather than with a newsletter tone.
- Make sure you use your emails to communicate good news to your supporters, and make them feel they’re an important part of your work — because they are!
- Create value for your readers in your emails, and they’ll learn to expect good things when they open them.
- Show respect for your supporters by not bombarding them with constant emails, particularly those pleading for money.
- Try to be respectful of your mailing list, and if you notice a fall-off in your open rate, reduce how frequently you’re emailing as your first response.
The Subject Line
- Less is definitely more when it comes to subject lines. Stay below 30 characters to maximize your open rate.
- Ever wonder why so many headlines have numbers in them? They’ve been proven to increase click rates. That’s equally true of email subject lines: Try to work a number into yours.
- Write good subject lines that are reflective of what is actually in the email, rather than using a vague or clever message. You want your readers to trust you, so make sure your subject line reflects what they’ll find if they open the email.
One last tip: Make sure your email template is mobile-friendly. Far more people will view your email on their phone than on a computer, and that number will only grow as time goes on.