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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

Words to Include (or Avoid) in Your Preview Text

Your subject line should catch readers’ attention, and your preview text should give them an idea about the type of content they’ll find when they open your message. But preview texts are generally short, so every word counts. Koshy used the same methodology to identify words that both help and harm open rates.

Why Is This Important?

Different sources will recommend slightly different character limits for preview text. But, while recommendations range anywhere from 40 to 140 characters, one thing stays the same—preview text should be succinct. And, since preview text can have a dramatic impact on your open rates and fundraising performance, every character you include in this part of your message should be carefully chosen. Koshy’s findings can help you identify what words you do (and don’t!) want to include.

Preview Text Word Usage Data

Word Impact on Open Rates
Together + 225% impact
Hear + 206% impact
Video + 193% impact
Deadline + 190% impact
This 15% impact

The machine learning system also identified a few words that had a positive impact on click-through rates, including:

Word Impact on CTRs
Programs + 22% impact
Program + 18% impact
Nature + 18% impact
News + 18% impact

What This Means for You

Preview text may seem like a minor element in your overall email message, but it can make a big impression on donors. Take a look at these words and their impact on email performance. What do the words “together,” “hear,” “video,” “deadline,” “program(s),” “nature,” and “news” have in common? What kind of emotion or expectation would you feel when you saw one of those words in your own inbox? You might feel like you’re part of a group, that your feedback or experiences are valuable, that you’ll find engaging content in the email, or that you’ll learn about a program or campaign you might want to support. Channel those feelings into your own messages’ preview text and see how your audience responds.