There are 8 key elements of an effective email that you must use or your emails will get ignored!  The caption in the picture might be funny unless it is your emails that are getting ignored.

Let’s face it.  Your members are going to be getting tons of emails from charities asking them to give.  Those emails are professional done and well written.  Yet your story, reaching people for Jesus is better.  So, let’s consider how to make your email appeals effective with these 8 key elements.

Here are 8 key elements to consider…

  1. Have an interesting subject line. If they don’t open it your message is lost.  So, create interest in your subject line that will make them want to open the email and read it.  Try Googling, “best subject lines for email appeals.”  That will give you some ideas that you can baptize to fit your culture, context and message.  The more effective the subject line the better the open rate of the email and thus the better your results.
  2. Personalize it! Dear Church Member, is not personal.  Dear Mark and Valerie, is.  Work to make your appeals as personalized as possible.  There are many mail programs like MailChimp, Constant Contact and others that can easily and affordably do this for you automatically.
  3. Be short and to the point! I saw recently that a major city has passed legislation banning texting and walking.  People are multi-tasking as they work and walk.  They won’t read an epistle from you no matter how compelling the message.  You can be longer in a snail mail piece but keep emails short and to the point.  With that in mind think…
  4. Two to four paragraphs. This is hard for we preachers who can’t say hello in under five minutes!  Yet in our fast paced society people will only give you a few brief seconds to make your point.
  5. Use bold and underlined text. People skim articles and emails.  With that in mind use bold and underlined text to draw your readers attention to key points.  This makes your appeals more readable and thus more effective.
  6. Provide clickable links to your giving page. We want people to respond because we believe in what we are doing and we believe it is worth funding.  So, if donations are a reason to send an end of year appeal make sure they can easily give.  Use embedded links that go straight to your giving page such as this one from one of my clients…
  7. Use multiple links to your giving page. Again, since people skim you need to put your giving link in more than one place.  I like to have my link listed in the first paragraph and somewhere further into the text.  I then put another link in the PS.  Speaking of which,
  8. Always have a PS! Studies have consistently shown that people almost always read a PS.  I like to use the PS to focus on online giving or to sum up the gist of the appeal.  The opening sentence and the PS might be the only two lines of your appeal a donor reads.  So, make sure they are appealing and to the point.

If you follow these 8 points you will create more readable and effective emails.  Let me leave you with one last key of an effective email.

Effective emails get sent!  To raise dollars through online giving using emails you have to send them to begin with.  Stop thinking about it and get started on yours.

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

Need it done for you?  Get my manual for end of year giving called, “The Two Minute Drill: A Winning Plan of Action for End of Year Giving,” now for 1/2 here, 2 Minute Drill