Charity Marketing

How To Win At Email Marketing For Your Charity

How To Win At Email Marketing For Your Charity
Written by MicroStartups

Despite the omnipotence of social media and the enduring appeal of visual advertising, email remains the marketing tool with the greatest engagement level and return on investment. But just because it’s the best, that doesn’t mean you will succeed without a plan and a winning strategy.

As a charity it’s important that every ounce of value is squeezed out of the money you commit to your marketing budget. You don’t want to be wasting precious charity funds: you need to attract a healthy level of donors for your efforts. That’s why I’ve outlined how you can win at email marketing. Read on to be the best at the best.

Recommended reading: How to Fundraise For A Family Charity: 6 Easy Ideas

Email marketing: it’s all in a subject line

While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the bare facts are that first impressions really do count, especially in marketing. Your subject line is your first impression in email marketing and these stats show how important a good subject line is to your potential donors:

  • 47% of your donors will open your email based on the subject line
  • 69% of your donors will spam your email if they don’t like the subject line
  • 92% of your donors won’t open your email if it has no subject line

There are a few things to consider in order to craft a winning subject line:

  • 3 word subject lines have the highest engagement rate
  • Using soon in your subject line will increase your engagement rate
  • Including daily, or weekly, has a higher open rate than adding monthly   
  • Subject lines with numbers in have a higher open rate

So it’s clear, if you want to win at email marketing for your charity you need to create a winning subject line for your emails. What I’ve covered is just the tip of the iceberg. For more professional advice on writing a winning subject line, watch the brilliant video below…

Make your email marketing personal

Personalization is a big deal in charity marketing and emails are no exception. When you’re asking people to contribute to your cause, they want to feel like you are speaking to them, not a synthetically constructed image of them built upon faceless data.

Like subject lines, the importance of personalization in your charity email marketing is backed up by the stats:

  • 74% of your marketing peers are certain that personalization increases engagement
  • 24%, is how much more likely your target audience are to engage with your emails if you use personalization
  • 760% is the increase in revenue that comes from employing segmentation

Segmentation is key to making your campaigns personal, as it splits your email list into groups with similar interests and characteristics; using email marketing software with advanced features and audience segmentation means that you can make sure you are sending the right emails out to the right people.

But while segmentation is a hugely important facet of personalization, it isn’t the only one. To give yourself the best chance of creating emails that are personal, check out the excellent video underneath…

Structure your email marketing content in the right way

How you structure your emails is enormously important to your donors and you know this from personal experience: when you’ve opened emails sent out by other charities as part of their marketing campaigns, if they haven’t got your attention quickly you don’t get to the end and you don’t donate to their cause.

If you’re going to win at email marketing then you need your patrons to get to end of your emails and complete the calls-to-action that you include in them. These are some of the things you need to think about in order to achieve that.

Use the inverted pyramid

Using this writing style grabs your benefactors’ attention and sells the value of your email to them as quickly as possible. See below for how it works…

Inverted Pyramid

Include click-throughs

You don’t have to include the full story in a given paragraph if you already have content on your charity’s website that does that for you. Where relevant, include a click-through to your website.

Make your call-to-action clear and obvious

The purpose of your email marketing is to get your patrons to do something that benefits your charity and this is where your call-to-action comes in. Check out the video below to find out how to create a winning call-to-action…

If after that you’re still lacking confidence when it comes to structuring your emails, then you are able to use email marketing templates to avoid having to create your own from scratch.

Email marketing automation wins

Time is not your friend. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the email marketing you need for your charity. Allocating your email marketing to automation software lets you fight time and to do it on your own terms.

How does automation help you?

  • It allows you to send out emails in bulk – you can plug your email list into automation software and email your entire list of benefactors with a click of a button
  • It lets you send out emails at the right time – if your donors need to receive an email at 3am your time, you can schedule your emails go out at that time, but do so whenever is most convenient for you
  • It lets you systematize your follow up process – no longer will you have to remember to go back to campaigns because you can tell your automation software to do it for you

These are just a few of the benefits that email marketing automation software can bring to your charity. The key thing you need to remember in order to use this software to win at email marketing is that you pick one with the right features.

Look out for these powerful email marketing features to help you create winning campaigns for your charity:

  • Advanced list segmentation
  • A range of templates
  • In-depth reporting and analytics
  • Unlimited emails
  • A user-friendly campaign editor, that lets you create custom newsletters

Email marketing is such an important tool for your charity because it’s so effective at getting your message across to your target audience, and showing them about all the great things you are doing.

So don’t be shy about the wonderful work your charity is doing. Put the teachings of this article into practice and start winning at email marketing.

About the author


A team of writers and marketers, MicroStartups was founded to inspire the entrepreneurial and business community to give back. We believe in business growth through giving and supporting the local community.

Leave a Comment