Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: More and more communication is taking place online. The weekly or monthly printed bulletin mailed to congregants has become more expensive, too time-consuming and less effective. But in this new hybrid church world, people are increasingly bombarded with more communication due to the ease of email. Therefore, here are insights for helping congregants open your email amid today’s cluttered communication channels.
“How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get a ResponseIf you want action, you need to tell your reader what you want,” by Elizabeth Danzinger, Inc. Magazine, 5/16/22
… Here are three elements to include in your subject line to trigger a response from reluctant readers.
1. Tell the reader what to do.
⁃ Tell the Reader What to Do. By writing “Please Respond” or “Action Required” at the beginning of a subject line, clients tell me that their response rates soared. In your subject line, write phrases like:
• Please Respond
• Response Required
• Immediate Action Required
• Please Approve
• Please Confirm
• Please Respond: Closing your file.
2. Tell the reader when you need it.
People respond to deadlines. When everything seems urgent, how do people decide whom to respond to first? Often, the message with a credible deadline moves to the top of the pile.
So your subject line might say:
• Friday Approval Needed: Purchase of new scanner
• Respond by 5:00: Audit report review
• Please Confirm Now: Lunch Today at 1:00?
3. Tell the reader why it matters to them.
Adding a “hot button” spin to the subject line will generate more responses. How will your reader benefit by opening your email? What will it cost him to ignore you? Don’t be manipulative or salesy when you touch hot buttons. For example, you wouldn’t write Act now while supplies last! because that sounds like spam. But you could write Send docs today to avoid late fee.
If you met a person and exchanged email addresses, remind them briefly in the subject line to remind them that you are a person they want to know.