Walking down the streets of New York City, you can feel the history, almost hear the newsboys call up from your kneecaps, saying, “Read all about it, 7 Ways You Can Save The World!”
A headline like that feels more at home on an email than a newspaper, but either way, you’re interested.
The right headline grabs our attention, and makes us feel the need to know more. Using a carefully crafted headline in your email marketing campaigns will help pull readers down the rest of their screens, all the way to the call-to-action button.
There are many ways to craft a headline, but experimenting with the techniques below may help to boost your nonprofit’s email marketing.
Be direct about what your email is about
With so little real estate for your headline, each word has to mean something. The direct approach means your headline conveys the single purpose for sending your email. After reading it, your audience should know why they’ve received the email, but still want to know a little more about the specific event, or cause your organization is helping.
If your organization needed volunteers for your next beach cleanup walk, your headline could simply read, “Volunteers Needed to Walk the Beach.” This is direct, but also feels inviting at the same time. Who doesn’t like to walk the beach?
Pull people in with a little mystery
No matter how often they’ll tell you otherwise, people love to be teased. Giving just enough information in your headline to give the reader an idea of what your email is about, but still withholding some information, makes them need to read the rest.
A more indirect headline teases what your email is about without giving everything away. One example “Walk the Beach and Save the Planet,” lets readers know what they could soon be doing, but doesn’t specifically call for volunteers, yet. That’s been saved for later in the email.
Tie your headline to the latest related news
Connecting your headline with the latest news in the world helps your email stand out as timely, but it also reinforces why your cause is important. Instead of referencing current affairs each time you have an opinion, wait for news to surface that specifically involves your organization, or your overall cause.
Saving this kind of headline for when the news is strongly related to your cause helps to make it count. It shows your organization’s importance and signals that action is necessary right now. “Study Shows a Clean Beach Boosts Town Happiness,” pairs new information with a nonprofit’s next event, and shows how helping betters the local community.
Headlines build on the success of your subject line
It’s true, your headline will only be read by those who have already opened your email, but while an effective subject line boosts your open rate, your headline is still vital to keep people reading. With the wrong headline, readers could open your email and then get bored, tossing your email in the trash, never to be seen again.
Instead, let your headline build on your subject line to keep the momentum rolling. If your subject line sets up a joke, your headline could come close to answering it. If you’ve mentioned an event in your subject line, name the event in the headline and start involving the reader by showing them how they fit into the solution.
The right headline does the heavy lifting for you
Like sending out a group of newsboys to find the right audience, your headline can pull a reader into your email and keep them reading all the way to your call-to-action. Once you start carefully crafting your headlines, your volunteers and donors will become more engaged with your nonprofit organization and more likely to join in on your cause.
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