Creating Subject Lines for Thank You Emails (+ Examples)

With the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you can reach out to your audience and share your appreciation for their support all year long.

While many retail marketers can do this with a few words and some special promotions, nonprofit organizations have little to work with, besides their words.

That’s why crafting subject lines for thank you emails and messages that truly show your adoration for your subscribers is so crucial.

Why should nonprofits be using thank you emails

While all marketers should be making use of thank you emails in their email marketing strategy, it’s especially important for nonprofit organizations as the end of the year approaches. The fall months and holiday season tend to see the most charitable giving.

Donating is an emotional act. People give to others because they want to feel as if they’ve done something good, so you need to play your part and make sure they feel appreciated for going out of their way to donate to your cause. The best way to do this is by sending them a thank you message.

 Tinker Watches thanks their customers for helping them have a great year.

Source: Really Good Emails

Crafting a quality thank you email to send to donors

During a time when consumers are constantly being bombarded with messages to “download,” “buy,” or “get,” it can be quite refreshing to open a message that’s nothing more than a thank you for helping a good cause.

Due to the unusually high number of emails landing in their inboxes at the end of the year, many consumers suffer from email fatigue. So, while you may be looking for that last donation to push your nonprofit over their annual goal, make sure you’re taking the time to truly appreciate your current donors by sending them a genuine thank you email.

Deliver only the most compelling message.

When crafting your thank you email to your donors, you want to make sure you’re still delivering only the most compelling messages. Remember, donating is an emotional act made by donors, so you want to match or exceed that emotion to not only make them feel appreciated, but to keep them coming back as returning donors.

In this message from charity: water, they thank donors for participating in the Giving Tuesday efforts and thank them for being a constant inspiration in creating “a perfect picture of the world we believe in.”

This message from Charity Waters is compelling on multiple levels and thanks readers for donating and always being a constant source of inspiration.

Source: Really Good Emails

Humanize your message with your design.

Design plays a more significant role in your nonprofit email messages than you may think. The right image can be more impactful than your best copywriting, so humanizing your message with the proper use of imagery, typography, and layout can make or break your nonprofit’s thank you email.

A fitting design is crucial to stir up the right emotions. Just take this example from UNICEF. They make use of smiling, happy children playing in the water to help cement the idea of water = happiness into the reader’s mind.

UNICEF even uses blue layering over the image and in the text to create an emotional experience. In fact, blue colors are often associated with feelings of calming and soothing, which is great for this image. These are kids that are suffering from lack of water, so adding the calming and soothing tones to the image helps to bring that emotion to the surface. If this example were used as a thank you email campaign, the imagery would compel readers to feel as if they did some good.

Imagery can be more impactful than your best copywriting

Source: Really Good Emails

Focus your attention on your reader.

Finally, you want to turn the attention to your readers. Throughout the year, they hear plenty about your cause. So, instead of making the focus of your email your cause, how much you made, or how much you still need, focus the attention on the donor.

In this example from charity: water, they focus solely on the reader and the fact that, thanks to their contributions, they’re now able to help bring water to those in need in Rwanda. They still get to bring up their cause, but they’re focusing on the reader and what they did for the cause, nothing more.

Charity Waters makes their message all about the reader and their efforts.

Source: The Balance Small Business

4 tips for crafting subject lines for thank you emails that get noticed

While crafting a compelling and emotional message is an essential part of your nonprofit’s campaign, crafting the right subject lines for thank you emails is of the utmost importance. If you don’t have the right subject line, your readers are simply going to skip over it, and your message will go unseen.

Keeping these four tips for crafting subject lines in mind is crucial when designing and testing your thank you email campaign.

1. Get personal.

Personalization is vital for any email marketing strategy; however, it’s particularly important when it comes to nonprofit email marketing. Consumers have come to you to fulfill their emotional need to give back, so, in return, they want to be recognized for their efforts.

When creating your subject lines for thank you emails, consider incorporating their name, donation amount, or any combination of information you have on them, such as their habits or whether they’re viewing, sharing, or donating.

The more personal you can make your subject line and accompanying message, the better.

Unsplash uses personalization in their thank you email

Source: Really Good Emails

2. Spark emotion

The ability to spark emotion plays a significant role in whether your email message will be overlooked or opened. Take this example from a political campaign:

Email subject line: A leader the world respects

Joe Biden's marketing team sparks emotion with their email subject line, playing to a community that’s preparing for the next presidential election.

Source: Gmail

During a time when a country is preparing for the next big election, playing into your audience’s emotions can and will determine your ability to get readers to open your message. The subject line in this example stands out, thanks to tension created in the news, ensuring readers are going to click and learn more.

When it comes to nonprofit thank you emails, you can spark emotions by using words such as:

  • Thank you
  • Grateful
  • Gratitude
  • Thankful
  • Appreciate 

3. Keep it short.

As with your email message, you want to keep your subject line specific and to the point. More and more people are using their mobile devices to view their emails, which means that longer subject lines are truncated. An ideal subject line is five words or less—around 50 characters in total.

4. Use emojis.

Thanks to emojis, your email subject lines can be more expressive than ever.

A few examples of subject lines for thank you emails include:

  • We appreciate your contribution 💕
  • You Did It! 🎉
  • Thank You >Name< 🤗

Nonprofit thank you email subject line examples

Need some extra help crafting a subject line for your thank you emails? Here’s a list to help get you started:

  • Thank you for your donation!
  • Thank you from >Organization<
  • Thank you for your gift >Name< 💕
  • 😍 Thank you for your generosity!
  • Thank you for supporting >Organization<, >Name<
  • >Name<, Your Donation Means A Lot 🤗
  • >Name< Your Gift Means The 🌎 To Us
  • We thank you for your support >Name<
  • Thank You! 💕
  • It’s Thanks to You, >Name<

Wrap up

Crafting a thank you email campaign takes time and creativity, especially for nonprofits. However, if you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to make your readers feel appreciated enough to return to your organization:

  • Create a genuine thank you
  • Make it about your reader and their contributions
  • Use your subject line for thank you emails to spark emotion
  • Personalize your message to your readers

Need a little more help with your nonprofit’s email marketing? Then be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Nonprofits.

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