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The Nonprofit Email Report: Data-Backed Insights for Better Engagement

Browse The Report

  1. Introduction
    1. A Note from Neon One
    2. Who’s Represented In This Report?
    3. Why Is Email So Important?
    4. Anatomy of an Email
  2. Nonprofit Email Deliverability & Engagement Benchmarks
    1. Introduction
    2. Nonprofit List Sizes
    3. Ask The Expert: Is List Segmentation Really That Important?
    4. Nonprofit Email Bounce Rates
    5. Nonprofit Email Open Rates
    6. Nonprofit Email Unsubscribe Rates
    7. Nonprofit Email Click-Through Rates
    8. Nonprofit Email Fundraising Performance
    9. Nonprofit Email Performance by Date & Time
    10. Email Sender Superlatives
  3. A Data-Driven Approach to Subject Lines & Preview Text
    1. Introduction
    2. Convey Positive Emotions in Subject Lines
    3. Ask the Expert: How Did You Use AI for Subject Line Sentiment Analysis?
    4. Words to Include (or Avoid) in Your Subject Lines
    5. Experiment with Emojis in Subject Lines
    6. Write Compelling Preview Text
    7. Words to Include (or Avoid) in Your Preview Text
    8. Put It All Together — Performance Benchmarks & Word Usage
  4. Creating Effective Emails
    1. Introduction
    2. Ask the Expert: What Should I Keep In Mind When Creating Compelling Emails?
    3. Tip #1 — Include Imagery in Your Emails
    4. Tip #2 — Pay Attention to Salutations
    5. Ask The Expert: Do Salutations Really Make a Difference?
    6. Tip #3 — Use the Word "You"
    7. Tip #4 — Make Your Message Scannable
    8. Ask The Expert: How Do I Create a Great Call to Action?
    9. Tip #5 — Include Great Calls to Action
    10. Put It All Together - Build Clear, Compelling Emails
  5. Lessons from the Most Engaging Email of 2022
    1. Introduction
    2. Top Engagement Email Dissection
    3. Go Build More Engaging Emails
  6. Data-Backed Insights for GivingTuesday and Year-End
    1. Introduction
    2. Who’s Included In This Data?
    3. GivingTuesday Fundraising Totals
    4. GivingTuesday Email Data
    5. End of Year Fundraising Totals
    6. End-of-Year Email Data
    7. Use These Data-Backed Best Practices to Nail Your GivingTuesday and Year-End Goals
    8. Now Get Out There And Write Some Emails
  7. Methodology & Appendix
    1. Methodology
    2. The Dataset
    3. Terminology and Definitions
    4. Metrics Definitions
    5. Analysis by Mission & Organization Income
    6. Analysis by Time & Date Sent
    7. Analysis by Content Sentiment
    8. Data Privacy & Security
  8. About Neon One
    1. Learn more about Neon One

Anatomy of an Email

Throughout this report, you’ll see references to different parts of an email message. If you need a refresher on email terminology, here’s a quick breakdown of the different parts of an email.
A screen capture of an email with numbered annotation to illustrate the common parts of an email, also listed below this image

Example screenshot of an email and its parts

  1. “From” email address/display email address This is usually something you can customize. Take this email, for example: The message may have been sent from this nonprofit’s email platform (think MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Neon CRM), but it looks as though it’s coming from [Name].
  2. Subject line Your email’s subject line is the first thing a recipient reads once it lands in their inbox.
  3. Preview text The preview text is a short snippet of text that helps the reader further understand what they’ll find when they open and read your message.
  4. Header image The header image is a large picture or graphic that appears at the top of your message. Since this is the first thing someone sees when they open your message, it’s a valuable way to capture your reader’s attention and make them want to read what you have to say.
  5. Salutation This is how you address your email recipient. Many email service providers include the option to use personalization tokens that add a name or title. Having a personalized salutation is a great way to prompt engagement.
  6. Body copy This is the main portion of your email.
  7. Call to Action A call to action (CTA) is any request you make of the person reading your message. The most common ways to include a call to action is by including it in the body of your email, adding a CTA button, or including it in an image.
  8. Signature Not all emails require a signature, but they’re common additions to some types of emails including personal updates and appeals.
  9. Postscript Many readers will skim over an email to decide if they want to read the whole thing. Your postscript stands out from the rest of your body copy, which makes it especially noticeable when scanning. Use it to reinforce your main message or call to action!
  10. Footer Your footer is the block of content at the bottom of your email. This is a great place to put your contact information, links to your social media channels, and unsubscribe buttons.