Four more emails that show you how it’s done

Four more emails that show you how it’s done

Felix Davey | 20 July 2015

In this blog, I’m going to finish off my list of ten good emails (and ten things that all charity emails should do). Here’s the final pick and the reasons why they’re on the list.

Because it gives you a clear to-do list

Ever left a meeting with a long list of things to do, but no idea about who’s actually supposed to be doing it? That’s how supporters feel when they’re asked to make a one-off donation, give a regular monthly gift and sign up for a newsletter – in one email.

So send emails that are about one thing, and one thing only. One petition to sign, one event to go to, one video to watch, one story to read. This also means you’ll keep it nice and short – aim for paragraphs of two to three sentences, and emails of two to three paragraphs.

charity:water have perfected the short and sweet email. Like this one.

email 4

Because it’s full of joy

Fundraising is a serious business. The work of charities is often a matter of life and death. But giving feels good – it’s scientifically proven. So how can we sell supporters that feeling? How can market what Jeff Brooks calls the 'joy of giving’?

If you send your supporters a feel-good email, you’ll make them want to give – not feel like they have to. Thankfully, technology is always giving us new ways to brighten up people’s days. Like this charity:water video, which could get you grinning on the rainiest of Mondays.







Or this email for Virgin Holidays, which wolf whistles at the person who opens it.













Because it turns the cyberspace blue 

As well as writing your email for the Six O’ Clock News, you might want to add a few words that are only appropriate for a post-watershed audience. In Obama’s fundraising emails, mild curse words on call-to-action buttons proved most popular, like ‘Hell yeah, I like Obamacare’. 

Passionate language can be inspiring and infectious, and it will certainly help your email stand out. This one for Tourettes Action tricks its way through filters, making the point that people with the condition are often filtered out of society (warning: contains swearing throughout).















Because it comes from a person, not a machine

An email is really just a way for two people to stay in touch. And all the technology around it, all the dynamic content and responsive videos, should enhance that feeling of connection – not get in the way of it. That’s why I like the sign-off in this feedback email.

It comes from ‘Sam Smith, recently returned from Haiti, British Red Cross.’ No job title. No corporate jargon. Just the name of someone who’s seen how my gifts are making a difference, and who’s gone to the trouble of telling me about it.

So taking a leaf out of Sam’s email, I’ll end this series of blogs without further ado. Thanks as always for reading.



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