10 Creative Strategies to Cut Through the Clutter
9. Sometimes the most effective subject line doesn’t mention the subject.
Often the most effective subject line doesn’t mention the subject — particularly in e-mail and online communication, donors demonstrate a low tolerance for institutional-sounding headlines and messages.
The more intriguing, noninstitutional subject line is almost always the more effective one, the one that gets opened and clicked.
For example, testing the subject line, “They’re easy to make but hard to keep,” achieved a two times higher clickthrough rate than, “A resolution for longer healthier lives.”
A few more examples to illustrate this concept:
- Instead of saying: “Give in honor of Mom this Mother’s Day,” say: “This Sunday”
- Instead of saying: “Stop the number one cause of cancer,” say: ”In case you were wondering”
- Instead of saying: “Help us fight back against The Right,” say: “What kind of dummies do they take us for?”
10. Don’t just reinstate, PREinstate.
Good direct-response membership programs put a great deal of effort into recapturing lapsed donors and constructing dedicated, and often complex, reinstatement programs — and for good reason. But for all the effort our programs put into saying “we want you back” to our donors when they’re practically gone, many don’t put the same effort into saying “stay” to the donors who are on the fence. Nor do many programs define what being on the fence is, for that matter.
Don’t wait for your donors to lapse to focus special analytics, strategy and creative on them. Rethink your reinstatement strategy, and think about starting earlier, by starting a PREinstatement program.
Three steps to get started:
- Know the vulnerable times in your donor relationships with your organization. Preventing donors from lapsing means understanding when and why they typically lapse. Use good analytics to develop a prelapse donor profile.
- Develop and test strategies to prevent donors from lapsing. Now that you’ve identified the vulnerable times in a donor’s relationship with your organization, you can intervene with things like a special anniversary mailing, involvement communications like surveys, phone calls, premium offers.
- Measure your results. Don’t be daunted if it takes a few different approaches to make an impact. Above all, measure your attrition rates before launching your preinstatement program and after so you can track the real impact of your efforts.