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How to Increase Your Grassroots Advocacy Email Open-Rates

February 27, 2016 at 11:56 AM

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For leaders of advocacy organizations, no matter what issue you are advocating for, your supporters are crucial to your success. To build your supporter base, you have probably sent your fair share of emails educating citizens about relevant issues, asking them to join your advocacy group. So, why are a majority of your recipients still not opening your emails? One possibility is that your subject lines just aren’t working. In fact, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.

But there is good news! Subject lines are extremely easy to change and make heavily influence open-rates. Here are some tips and examples of effective subject lines for advocacy.

  • Personalize (if you can) -- Ideally, you should send all of your recipients advocacy emails that are customized just for them. Nobody wants to be just a name on a massive email blast list. People are much more likely to open an advocacy-oriented email if their name is in the subject line instead of a generic ‘you’. In fact, emails with ‘you’ in the subject line are opened 5% less than those without. Which one would you rather get: We need you to make a difference or Nick, help us make a difference.
  • Short and Concise -- A simple rule of thumb: 30 characters or fewer. This helps in a couple of ways. First, a reader’s attention will be grabbed by the first few words of a subject line. If you do manage to reel them in, you will not hold their attention if your subject line creeps above the 30 character count. Second, short subject lines optimize them for mobile devices. 40% of emails today are opened first on cell phones, which makes it all the more important to shorten your subject line so it doesn’t get cut off on your recipients’ devices. Here are a couple of good examples: BIG news in Virginia or Take the first step
  • Include an Extreme Percentage -- While specific, this tip actually proves to be effective. With the hundreds of emails entering your recipients’ inboxes, a shocking statistic could be the difference between somebody opening your email or moving it to the trash. Here are some good examples (not real statistics): 47% of Americans are entitled to tax refunds or 80% decrease in sea turtle population! 

The chart below highlights several words that prove effective when included in subject lines, and words that should be avoided: 

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All of these great tips and guidelines can be found on HubSpot’s blog. Check it out!

For more information on advocacy-focused communications, view our webinar to gain insight on how to best prepare your organization for state-level government relations.  

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Topics: email technology

Nick Howe

Written by Nick Howe

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