According to Radicati, the average consumer sends/receives 104.9 emails per day.

104.9 emails per day! That’s not including business email!

With that many emails coming and going every day, it can be challenging to get your nonprofit’s emails noticed. However with the tips below, you can increase the open rate and click through rate of your marketing emails.

nonprofit emails stand out

Tips to Make Your Nonprofit Marketing Emails Stand Out

Use the Right Subject Line

The subject line of your email is like the window to a department store. It’s a sneak peek inside and you have to draw/entice window shoppers (recipients) to come inside (open the email).

Subject lines should tell recipients what they can expect when they open the email. What are they going to gain? How are they going to benefit?

Good subject lines typically fall into one of these categories:

  • Self-interest
  • Curiosity
  • Offer
  • Urgency / Scarcity
  • Humanity
  • News
  • Social Proof
  • Story

You can see these categories in action here: 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016

Design for Mobile

According to Litmus’ 2017 State of Email, 54% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Over half of emails opened are on mobile – meaning if your emails aren’t designed for mobile, you could be hurting your click through rates.


Not only does your email need to be responsive (mobile-friendly), but it also needs to be action-oriented. When someone opens your email, it should be clear what action you want them to take.

Do you want them to donate? Read an update on the mission on your blog?

Whatever action you want them to take, you need to make it clear. In fact, tell them. Tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Example: American Red Cross

American Red Cross Email
In this email, the American Red Cross wants the reader to schedule an appointment to donate blood. The header image clearly shows a calendar. The copy is all about how easy it is to schedule an appointment online or through their Android or Apple apps.

And their call-to-action (via button) is ‘Schedule Now’.

It is very clear what to do from this email.

Target the Feels

The best way to get someone to take action from your email is to target their feelings.

Take this Charity Water email for example:

Charity Water Email
Their copy explains just how donating to their cause helps them deliver clean water to families in need. How it allows families to spend more together instead of walking and waiting in line to get water for their home.

The last line ‘This holiday season, give time’ pulls at the heart strings. The holidays are when you spend more time with family so they are leveraging your holiday memories and experiences to get you to take action.

Even the image they use – a boy and his dad – pulls at you to donate.

Email marketing is the best way to engage current and active donors. By writing compelling, action-oriented emails that look great on mobile devices, you’ll be able to increase your opens and click through rates to increase donations.