Apr 2017 AFR: 2.6%
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What Type of Language in Subject Lines Generates High Open Rates for Planned Gifts?

As part of Crescendo's 2016 email study, we tested the performance of common planning and planned giving terms in subject lines.  On April 15, we sent two emails with similar designs comparing the words “bequest” and “estate plan” in the subject line and content area. We wanted to test immediacy using the words “Act now” in one of the subject lines.

In Version A, the subject line read “What is a bequest and how can it benefit you and Michigan Tech?” This email had an open rate of 25.53% and CTR of 11.76%. The subject line in Version B used the language “Act now: Impact Michigan Tech through your estate plan.” Implying a sense of immediacy with the words “Act now” and using the words “estate plan” generated a much higher open rate in Version B (30.3%).

When using urgency in the subject line of an email, it is important that the content, such as the call to action, has the same level of urgency.  To learn more about effective subject lines for planned gifts, please contact Crescendo at 1-800-858-9154.

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About Kristen Schultz Jaarda, JD, LLM

Kristen Schultz Jaarda

Kristen Schultz Jaarda is Executive Vice President of Crescendo Interactive, Inc. She specializes in charitable tax planning and online marketing for planned gifts. She is responsible for client education and leads Crescendo's marketing services and support team. She is a nationally recognized speaker, conducts seminars nationwide and is a principal faculty member of GiftCollege.

Kristen serves as a board member for the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) and as a member of the ACGA Rates and State Regulations Committees, Editorial Advisory Board member for Planned Giving Today, Committee Member for the ABA Charitable Planning and Organization's Group, past Legislative Chair and a board member for the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles (PPP-LA), a member of the Ventura County Planned Giving Council and a committee member and volunteer for several California charities. She writes weekly for CrescendoTweet and her planned giving blog.

Previously, Kristen served as Counsel to the Assistant Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C. and was Oversight Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. Prior to that, she worked in a public affairs law practice. Kristen graduated from UCLA School of Law where she was Law Review Editor. She completed her Tax LL.M. with honors at Loyola School of Law. Kristen is a member of the California State Bar, D.C. Bar and the Maryland State Bar.

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