An Analysis of 40 #GivingTuesday 2016 Email Appeals

giving-tuesday-2016-header

Another Giving Tuesday has come and gone with over $168 million donated, up 44% from 2015.

That gift volume doesn’t come without an even greater number of appeals, with email likely driving a majority of it. If your inbox was anything like mine, it was full by Noon.

I isolated all of the email appeals I received and grouped them into two categories: orgs I have never given to and orgs I had given only once to (last year).

Below is an analysis of those emails, highlighting several features of the message and their asks.

Group 1

This group is comprised of 17 emails sent and received on 11/29/2016. Email recipient has never donated to these orgs.

# of orgs: 16

Emails #9 and #17 are from same org (a donation was not made between emails).

Time Sent (eastern):

  1. 12:00 am
  2. 7:35 am
  3. 8:31 am
  4. 8:32 am
  5. 9:01 am
  6. 9:04 am
  7. 9:17 am
  8. 9:29 am
  9. 10:01 am
  10. 10:18 am
  11. 10:30 am
  12. 11:06 am
  13. 11:06 am
  14. 11:35 am
  15. 12:05 pm
  16. 12:44 pm
  17. 11:00 pm

14/17 emails were sent before Noon eastern.

Subject Lines:

  1. “#GIVINGTUESDAY IS HERE!”
  2. Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to support (Org Name)
  3. Today Is The Day! ?
  4. #GivingTuesday is today – REPRESENT with (Org Name)!
  5. TODAY IS #GIVINGTUESDAY – PLEASE SUPPORT (Org Name)
  6. Open the door for a child!
  7. It’s #GivingTuesday and we’re launching the (Org Name) Christmas Catalog!
  8. On this #GivingTuesday, consider the gift of healing and justice
  9. Happy #GivingTuesday!
  10. Veterans to Sailors – Giving Tuesday
  11. Donate TODAY for #GivingTuesday!
  12. Join me on our conference call… #GivingTuesday
  13. Our match challenge just got bigger!
  14. Your Giving Tuesday gift supports critical community services
  15. Happy #GivingTuesday!
  16. (Org Name) love on Giving Tuesday
  17. JUST 4 HOURS LEFT TO GIVE

13/17 email subject lines mentioned Giving Tuesday.

Was Email Sent from Role-Based Email Address (info@, donate@, etc.)?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Yes
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. No
  10. Yes
  11. Yes
  12. Yes
  13. Yes
  14. No
  15. Yes
  16. Yes
  17. No

7/17 emails were sent from a role-based email address.

Did Email Reference What Type of Donor I am (never given)?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. No
  10. No
  11. No
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. No

0/17 emails referenced donor type.

Did Email Use My Name?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. No
  10. Yes
  11. No
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. No

2/17 emails greeted donor by name.

Did Email Explain what Giving Tuesday is in the Body Content?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. Yes
  10. Yes
  11. Yes
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. Yes
  16. No
  17. No

7/17 emails explained what Giving Tuesday is in the body content. 6 of those 7 also referenced Giving Tuesday in the subject line.

7/17 emails referenced Giving Tuesday in the subject line but did not explain it in the body content.

Did Email Ask for One Specific Gift Amount?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Yes
  4. No
  5. No
  6. Yes
  7. No
  8. No
  9. No
  10. No
  11. No
  12. Yes (monthly)
  13. No
  14. No
  15. No
  16. Yes
  17. No

4/17 emails asked for a specific gift amount.

Did Email Ask for a Gift Towards One Specific Purpose (unique defined campaign, fund, project, match challenge, etc.)?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. No
  6. Yes
  7. Yes
  8. No
  9. Yes
  10. No
  11. No
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. Yes (same as #9)

6/17 (5 orgs) asked for a gift towards one specific purpose.

Email Links to This Type of Donation Page:

Native = an embedded donation form on a dedicated webpage on nonprofit’s domain (“nonprofit.org/donate”)

  1. Third-Party (PayPal)
  2. Native
  3. Native
  4. Third-Party (Razoo)
  5. Third-Party (PayPal)
  6. Third-Party (iCheck Gateway)
  7. Native
  8. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  9. Native
  10. Third-Party (Crowdster)
  11. Native
  12. Native
  13. Native
  14. Native
  15. Third-Party (MobileCause)
  16. Third-Party (PaymentSpring)
  17. Native (same as #9)

9/17 (8 orgs) directed recipients to a donation page on their organization’s website/domain. 0 of those 9 uniquely referenced Giving Tuesday.

Group 2

This group is comprised of 23 emails sent and received on 11/29/2016. Email recipient has only donated once to these orgs.

# of orgs: 23

Time Sent (eastern):

  1. 5:00 am
  2. 5:04 am
  3. 6:03 am
  4. 6:06 am
  5. 6:27 am
  6. 7:01 am
  7. 7:04 am
  8. 7:34 am
  9. 8:05 am
  10. 9:01 am
  11. 9:16 am
  12. 9:22 am
  13. 9:30 am
  14. 9:39 am
  15. 9:43 am
  16. 9:57 am
  17. 10:10 am
  18. 10:17 am
  19. 10:41 am
  20. 10:58 am
  21. 10:30 am
  22. 1:49 pm
  23. 4:49pm

21/23 emails were sent before Noon eastern.

Subject Lines:

  1. Steve, you can make a difference today!
  2. The Story of Bobbie & Paul
  3. Today is #GivingTuesday
  4. Join Us for #GivingTuesday — Invest in Women & Girls!
  5. Up early? Us too.
  6. #GivingTuesday: Support (Org Name)!
  7. Something special is happening today…
  8. Don’t forget! Today is Giving Tuesday
  9. Support (Org Name). Change the Future of Chicago. #GivingTuesday
  10. Will you join me?
  11. Can (Org Name) Count on Your #GivingTuesday Gift Today?
  12. Consider a gift to (Org Name) this #GivingTuesday
  13. Embrace your power to act
  14. Today is Giving Tuesday!
  15. Join us on #GivingTuesday
  16. #GivingTuesday Is Here – You Can Help!
  17. RE: the global day of giving back
  18. Giving Tuesday: Lessons from a 15-month-old brain tumor patient
  19. Give A Mentor this #GivingTuesday – TODAY!
  20. Your Donation Connects Kids to a Whole New World of Edible Learning
  21. #GivingTuesday: READY. SET. GIVE! ?
  22. Mentor, Advocate or Donate on #GivingTuesday
  23. We know you’ve gotten a lot of emails today.

14/23 email subject lines mentioned Giving Tuesday.

Was Email Sent from Role-Based Email Address (info@, donate@, etc.)?

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. Yes
  6. Yes
  7. Yes
  8. No
  9. No
  10. No
  11. Yes
  12. Yes
  13. Yes
  14. Yes
  15. Yes
  16. Yes
  17. Yes
  18. Yes
  19. Yes
  20. Yes
  21. Yes
  22. Yes
  23. Yes

20/23 emails were sent from a role-based email address.

Did Email Reference What Type of Donor I am (LYBUNT)?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. No
  10. No
  11. No
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. No
  18. No
  19. No
  20. No
  21. No
  22. No
  23. No

0/23 emails referenced donor type.

Did Email Use My Name?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. Yes
  6. No
  7. Yes
  8. Yes
  9. No
  10. Yes
  11. Yes
  12. No
  13. Yes
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. Yes
  18. Yes
  19. Yes
  20. No
  21. No
  22. No
  23. No

10/23 emails greeted donor by name.

Did Email Explain what Giving Tuesday is in the Body Content?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Yes
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. Yes
  10. Yes
  11. Yes
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. Yes
  16. No
  17. Yes
  18. No
  19. Yes
  20. No
  21. No
  22. Yes
  23. No

9/23 emails explained what Giving Tuesday is in the body content. 6 of those 9 also referenced Giving Tuesday in the subject line.

8/23 emails referenced Giving Tuesday in the subject line but did not explain it in the body content.

Did Email Ask for One Specific Gift Amount?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Yes
  4. No
  5. No
  6. Yes
  7. Yes
  8. Yes
  9. Yes
  10. No
  11. No
  12. No
  13. No
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. No
  18. No
  19. No
  20. No
  21. No
  22. No
  23. No

5/23 emails asked for a specific gift amount.

Did Email Ask for a Gift Towards One Specific Purpose (unique defined campaign, fund, project, match challenge, etc.)?

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. Yes
  9. Yes
  10. Yes
  11. No
  12. No
  13. Yes
  14. No
  15. No
  16. No
  17. No
  18. No
  19. Yes
  20. No
  21. No
  22. No
  23. No

5/23 asked for a gift towards one specific purpose.

Email Links to This Type of Donation Page:

Native = an embedded donation form on a dedicated webpage on nonprofit’s domain (“nonprofit.org/donate”)

  1. Third-Party (PaymentSpring)
  2. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  3. Native *
  4. Native
  5. Third-Party (GiveGab)
  6. Third-Party (Agile Ticketing)
  7. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  8. Third-Party (GiveGab)
  9. Native
  10. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  11. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  12. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  13. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  14. Native
  15. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  16. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  17. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  18. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  19. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  20. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  21. Third-Party (GiveGab)
  22. Third-Party (Donor Database)
  23. Third-Party (Donor Database)

4/23 directed recipients to a donation page on their organization’s website/domain. 1 of those 4 uniquely referenced Giving Tuesday.

Takeaways

  • a majority of these appeals reference “Giving Tuesday” in the subject line
    • few that did also explained what it is in the email body
  • most emails were sent before Noon eastern
  • most orgs only sent one email appeal on Giving Tuesday
  • due to the fact that emails lacked personalization, it is safe to assume that these Giving Tuesday campaigns were not segmented

How do these results compare to your efforts? Assuming this is indicative of the whole sector, could we have seen a higher gift volume if certain things about these emails were different? Let me know in the comments below!

The Art & Science of Digital Donor Retention

Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to "Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition" and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member.
Steven Shattuck
By |2017-12-04T08:48:28-04:00December 5th, 2016|#GivingTuesday, Email, Fundraising, Online Giving|

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