2 min Read
November 4, 2015

Quick tips for writing effective year-end emails

It’s that time of year again—year-end email writing season! Online giving in response to email is steadily increasing among all demographics, which means that it’s more important than ever that you nail your digital mailing game. But how exactly do you make your organization’s emails stand out from the crowd?

Big Duck has worked with nonprofits to draft many, many year-end emails—and we’ve produced lots of blog posts and webinars over the years detailing what we’ve learned along the way. To set you up for this season, we’ve taken a look back at some of the most useful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Write with a sense of urgency. With all the emails flooding your donor’s inbox, make sure your message is an urgent one. Phrases like “give now” and “our project can’t wait” will drive donors to immediately take action. Something else to keep in mind: if you time your emails to correspond with specific events or milestones, they’ll have a built-in sense of timeliness and urgency.

  1. Include your call to action throughout. You should include more than just a donate button at the bottom of your email. Links to donate should appear early and often (think every third or fourth paragraph) so the donor is sure of the action to take. Repetition is your friend.

  1. Improve your subject lines (better yet, test them)! Every subject line should be specific, relevant, and urgent—and brief. To get a better sense of which subject lines your donors respond to, test a few different ones for open rate, click-through rate, and response rate.

  1. Make sure your email message answers these questions:

    1. Why now? Let your donor know why year-end is a crucial time to give.

    2. Why me? Persuade them to give to your organization by emphasizing the compelling work that your nonprofit does.

    3. Will it help? Tell the donors that their money is going to an important cause.

    4. How much? Make it about the donor by showing them exactly what their gifts can do.

Of course, there’s more than just great writing involved in a successful year-end fundraising campaign, but clear, persuasive emails are a crucial part of driving donations. Bonus: check out our campaign checklist to help you think big-picture about your campaign. Now get to writing!

Got any other tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments!