6 Giving Tuesday Email Strategies that Actually Worked

6 Giving Tuesday Email Strategies that Actually Worked

6 Giving Tuesday Email Strategies that Actually Worked

To help you maximize your “Giving Tuesday” email strategy, we asked six experienced CEOs, founders, and marketing managers to share their most successful tactics. From promoting a unified nonprofit message to leveraging nostalgia and data, discover the top six strategies that have proven to boost donations and engagement in the past.

  • Promote a Unified Nonprofit Message
  • Boost Donations with Authentic Storytelling
  • Run a Personalized Matching Challenge
  • Use the “Impact Story” Strategy
  • Recognize Donors with a Roll Call
  • Leverage Nostalgia and Data

Promote a Unified Nonprofit Message

At Share Detroit, our mission is to support the missions of over 360 nonprofits in our area. During Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season, we do this by creating content and messaging that all Detroit area nonprofits can use to promote their mission work and be a powerful part of a larger community of nonprofits.

With this common branding and messaging, led by Share Detroit, we know that supporting all nonprofits with consistent messaging and collaboration allows everyone to be seen and attracts more support from our community of caring neighbors, clubs, religious groups, and corporate foundations. Our advice is to collaborate and promote a unified message to receive more visibility, which will lead to more support.

Karly Moore
Director of Nonprofit and Community Impact, SHARE Detroit

Boost Donations with Authentic Storytelling

Personalized storytelling is a Giving Tuesday email strategy that has delivered remarkable results. Emails crafted to share impactful, real-life stories of those positively affected by donations have led to a 45% increase in engagement and a 30% boost in donations.

For instance, consider a nonprofit organization that, instead of generic appeals, sends out emails featuring stories of individuals whose lives had been transformed through their programs. These heartfelt narratives resonated with donors, inspiring them to contribute.

In essence, this strategy elevated Giving Tuesday campaigns from mere requests for funds to powerful, emotion-driven connections. Weaving authentic stories into emails taps into the empathy of supporters, driving higher engagement and donations.

Himanshu SharmaHimanshu Sharma
CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

Run a Personalized Matching Challenge

The Personalized Matching Challenge was an email approach for Giving Tuesday that proved to be very effective. In this method, personalized emails were sent to supporters to inform them that the director of the group would match their donations.

This not only made their money go further, but it also gave the effort a more personal feel. By emphasizing “I will match your donation,” a feeling of trust and urgency was created, which encouraged supporters to act quickly.

As a result, a lot more money was donated because people wanted to maximize their contributions. Additionally, the level of engagement increased when donors shared the campaign enthusiastically on social media, encouraging their networks to participate in this unique, limited-time opportunity.

Carl PanepintoCarl Panepinto
Marketing Manager, Easy Allied Health

Use the “Impact Story” Strategy

The “Impact Story” strategy has proven highly effective in the past as a “Giving Tuesday” email strategy. Instead of merely requesting donations, a compelling story that illustrated the impact of our organization’s work in the real world was shared. This narrative highlighted an individual or community that had benefited directly from our efforts.

This strategy resonated with supporters because it created an emotional connection between them and the cause. They could observe the tangible impact of their contributions. Vivid images, personal testimonials, and progress metrics were included in the email to increase engagement.

The outcome? Donations and participation soared. Not only did donors donate, but they also became part of a meaningful narrative. Sharing the results of supporters’ efforts resulted in a sense of satisfaction and a stronger desire to continue supporting the cause. This strategy transformed ‘Giving Tuesday’ into a day of genuine giving and connection.

Martin SeeleyMartin Seeley
CEO, Mattress Next Day

Recognize Donors with a Roll Call

One Giving Tuesday email strategy that has worked well for us in the past is what we call “The Donor Roll Call.”

This particular strategy involves reaching out to your current donor list and emphasizing their impact on the organization, thanking them by name for their continued support. In this email, it’s important to highlight how your donors have made a difference and why their gifts are so important.

Rehana AslamRehana Aslam
Marketing Assistant, Instantly API

Leverage Nostalgia and Data

One “Giving Tuesday” during the early days of my startup journey, I recall we leveraged a heartfelt, nostalgia-driven email strategy. I called it the “Remember When” campaign.

Do you remember your first bicycle? The feeling of freedom, the wind in your hair? We drew a metaphorical connection between that innocent joy and the change a single donation could bring. We incorporated visuals from our startup’s early days, a tiny room, three people, and a dream—juxtaposed with where we were 10 years down the line, serving thousands. Stats were sprinkled in, showing a 120% growth in user engagement and how 70% of our milestones were community-backed.

The results? A whopping 45% spike in donations compared to the previous year. It’s amazing what a stroll down memory lane, coupled with hard data, can do for engagement. Isn’t it fascinating how emotions and numbers, when strung together rightly, can craft magic?

Ankit PrakashAnkit Prakash
Founder, Sprout24

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What is one ‘Giving Tuesday’ email strategy that worked well for you in the past? Share how this strategy boosted donations/engagement.”

Submit your answer here.

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Should You Still Send Plain-Text Versions of Your Emails?

Should You Still Send Plain-Text Versions of Your Emails?

Should You Still Send Plain-Text Versions of Your Emails?

To shed light on the relevance of plain-text emails in today’s digital age, we asked eight professionals, including marketing managers and founders, to share their insights. From the potential resurgence of plain-text emails to how the recipient and purpose guide email style, discover the diverse perspectives on this topic.

  • Potential Resurgence of Plain-Text Emails
  • Authenticity Through Plain-Text Emails
  • Deliverability and Accessibility as Plain-Text’s Strengths
  • Enhancing Deliverability and Authenticity
  • Accessibility Advocacy in Plain-Text Emails
  • Audience and Goals Determine Email Format
  • Legal and Ethical Imperatives for Plain-Text
  • Recipient and Purpose Guide Email Style

Potential Resurgence of Plain-Text Emails

Email marketing platforms typically include a text version with every HTML sent, with no additional effort required. However, the question arises—is the plain-text version seen and used? Likely not, which may lead to platforms discontinuing this feature.

Consider the “view online” text link found at the top of many emails. Initially, this was included so recipients could read their email online if it wasn’t rendering correctly in their email client. Over time, it became almost obsolete as reports showed minimal clicks.

However, with the rise of mobile device usage for reading emails, these links experienced a resurgence in clicks.

Could a similar trend occur with plain-text emails? It’s uncertain. But for now, there’s no compelling reason to stop including them with your HTML versions.

Jeanne Jennings
Email Marketing Strategy, Consultant, Trainer, Speaker, and Published Author, Email Optimization Shop

Authenticity Through Plain-Text Emails

There are technical reasons for choosing plain-text emails over HTML-based ones, but there is also a psychological rationale to consider.

In today’s saturated landscape of sales and marketing emails, where graphics and HTML formatting are ubiquitous, a plain-text email, accompanied by compelling copy, can create a more authentic and personalized experience for the recipient.

Our minds have developed an association between heavy graphics and excessive formatting with advertisements, whether encountered on websites, through direct mail, or in email promotions. As a result, a plain-text email stands out from the crowd, presenting a more human touch that resonates with the recipient on a deeper level.

Nikhil Prasad
Marketing Manager, Fello

Deliverability and Accessibility as Plain-Text’s Strengths

Absolutely, sending plain-text versions of emails is a must, as deliverability is an enormous factor. Many corporate email filters suspect HTML-heavy emails and push them straight to the spam or promotions folder.

Plain-text emails have a better chance of bypassing these filters, so your message lands directly in the recipient’s primary inbox. We also have to think of accessibility. Visually impaired recipients might use screen readers, which work best with plain-text content.

Jon Mazza
Head of Marketing, DealPad

Enhancing Deliverability and Authenticity

Yes, plain-text versions of your emails should still be sent alongside HTML versions. Plain-text emails tend to bypass spam filters more often, increasing the chances of reaching the recipient’s inbox.

By including both versions, a wider audience is catered to, deliverability is improved, and the professionalism and authenticity of your communication is enhanced.

Jorie Wisnefski
Marketing Manager, Urban Machine

Accessibility Advocacy in Plain-Text Emails

For accessibility, it is recommended to still send the plain-text version of emails. HTML emails may not be as clear to the recipient for various reasons, such as device settings or user preferences.

In addition, plain text is a more inclusive form of email. Some visually impaired individuals use screen tools to aid them in reading messages. Communicating to attain understanding is the goal. If email is the available tool presented, then all possible ways to make it effective must be tried.

Tristan HarrisTristan Harris
Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

Audience and Goals Determine Email Format

It really comes down to your goals and audience. For example, if you’re an e-commerce business, your audience needs to see visuals of what you’re selling, so sending plain-text emails would be a bad move. But if you’re offering some kind of personalized service or sharing industry insights, plain text works just fine.

In fact, it works better because you want to talk and act like a human and not as a commercial brand. We’ve seen impressive results with plain text because our content has fewer bells and whistles and more authenticity, so it helps us stay true to our brand.

Ewen FinserEwen Finser
Founder, The Digital Merchant

Legal and Ethical Imperatives for Plain-Text

The answer is a resounding yes—including plain-text versions is still crucial. When considering the accessibility of your emails, plain-text versions play a vital role. Not all recipients use email clients that support HTML formatting, and some individuals rely on assistive technologies like screen readers to consume content.

By sending a plain-text version alongside your HTML version, you ensure that your message is accessible to everyone, regardless of the technology they use or any visual impairments they might have.

Accessibility is not only a matter of ethical responsibility but also a legal requirement in many regions. Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States emphasize the need for digital content, including emails, to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in legal consequences for businesses and organizations.

Harsh VermaHarsh Verma
SEO Head, CodeDesign

Recipient and Purpose Guide Email Style

Deciding this depends on who your email is going to and why you’re sending it!

Plain-text emails are great for cold outreach and any other email where your goal is to be personable and direct. On the other hand, if you’re looking to send out drip campaigns or promotions, a more visually appealing email is what we recommend.

Both plain and rich-text emails have a great place in marketing and e-commerce business management. Another easy way to determine which email style to use is to consider the sender: a corporation/brand or an individual?

If your email would perform best coming from an individual, plain-text is the better choice. If it would perform best coming from a brand, then a rich, polished email design is the better choice!

Chelsea Evans-FlowerChelsea Evans-Flower
Owner, Scott Social

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “Should You Still Send Plain-Text Versions of Your Emails? Elaborate on one specific reason why or why not?”

Submit your answer here.

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