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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

Nonprofit Email Open Rates

Your open rate is one of the most important metrics to track: It’s a great indicator of high-level engagement. Nearly every platform you can use to create and send email campaigns will include your open rates in any performance reports. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of delivered emails (so it doesn’t include bounces) by the number of messages that are actually opened.

Why Is This Important?

Your open rates give you a good high-level understanding about how engaged your audiences are with your content. High open rates mean your contacts find your emails interesting and valuable. Low open rates can be a good indicator that something is awry with your email campaigns. If you discover that you have relatively low open rates, you can start investigating other metrics to identify opportunities to improve your performance.

Nonprofit Email Open Rate Benchmarks

  • Illustration of an envelope that is open with a note sticking out of the top representing email open rates

    is the average nonprofit’s open rate

  • Illustration of a small blue fish
    The average small nonprofit’s open rate is 45.70%
  • Illustration of a large orange fish
    The average large nonprofit’s open rate is 27.64%

What This Means For You

If your open rates are in line with these benchmarks, your readers perceive your emails as valuable, interesting, or compelling. If your rates are lower than these benchmarks, it’s time to start doing some research. Luckily, you can use your open rate alongside other performance markers to get a deeper understanding of what you can do to improve. Start by looking at other benchmarks, like unsubscribes and click-through rates. If you don’t notice anything off there, you can try tweaking your subject lines and copy to see if your open rates improve.