Do Your Emails Get People to Act?

Are your email open rates dismal? Are your audiences not taking action on your email asks? 

This long, but helpful article from Zapier provides very specific, actionable tips to ensure you receive responses to your personal emails.

But these tips can help with your organizational emails and eNewsletters too. Here are some tips from the article that can be particularly helpful for your camp emails:
  1. Be Scannable – We all know how quickly we go through our own Inboxes. Your readers are the same way. Write your emails with bullet points or – worst case – short paragraphs so they can be read quickly. Use bolding to highlight the ask and other especially important information.
  2. Less is More – Edit your emails ruthlessly so they are as short, yet informative, as possible. (If you’ve ever read any of my personal emails, you know I struggle with this. 😊) People are reading your emails in line at the grocery store on their phone. Make the content short and to the point so they don’t have to scroll much at all.
  3. Preview Your Email on a Phone – Again, people are reading your messages on their phones (check your email metrics if you don’t believe me!). Every email that goes out should be easy to read on mobile. And any links should be very easy to click with a thumb – think buttons and whitespace where possible.
  4. Spend More Time on Your Subject Line – With a full Inbox, a relevant, catchy Subject Line (and Preview text) is your only chance to ensure your email is read. Does the Subject Line provide (true) urgency? Would it catch someone’s attention? Is it relevant to the reader? Think about how the Subject Line will look in a sea of incoming messages. And use tools to optimize your subject lines over time.
  5. Provide a Deadline – Be very clear when you need them to act. If the ask is urgent, this is especially important.
  6. Lead with the Ask – Don’t bury the lead (or is it lede?). Be sure the ask is clearly stated right up front. If it works as a good Subject Line and/or Preview Text, you may want the call to action to be included there as well.
Written by Kevin Martone. Kevin is the Technology Program Manager with JCamp 180. His focus area is in applying technology (database management, communications) to support fundraising and outreach efforts. Kevin leads JTEC (JCamp 180 Training in Effective Communications) and co-leads Data2Donors, a program to help camps prioritize their database for improved Alumni outreach and fundraising.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at