Published: 1 March 2016

Email is your secret weapon

It was Picasso who said “action is the foundational key to all success.” He probably wasn’t talking about digital marketing, but if he was, he was talking about email.

When it comes to digital, email is your secret weapon. The ace up your sleeve. People who see your message on email are more likely to take action than if they see it on social media. That’s a huge opportunity. 

How can you make email work harder for your charity?

Send more email 

A newsletter once every two months isn’t enough to keep your supporters in a state of heightened excitement. 

Your licence to send them emails has a natural expiry date, even if they don’t bother to tell you. If you don’t email them regularly and they forget about you, it expires even more quickly.

Look at Aviva. The insurance giant used to only email customers once a year, when their insurance policy was up for renewal. It then asked subscribers how often they should email, and with what content. This led to monthly emails, a change which increased email revenue by a stonking 45%.

Send single issue emails

In the famous jam study, researchers set up two jam sampling stations – one with 24 flavours of jam, the other with just six.

Only 3% of people sampling from the station with the large selection ended up buying some jam. But when just six options were available, a whopping 30% purchased at least one jar of jam.

What’s jam got to do with your emails, I hear you cry?

Simple – the more stories you include in your emails, the fewer clicks and results you’ll get. So if there’s just one call to action – yes, just one – you will get way more results.

Check out this email from Age UK after a recent controversy. Just one story and one call to action from one very clickable button (especially on mobile). As a result, way more people reading the story than if it was buried under others.

Retain via email

42% of customers across all industries say email is a crucial channel for retaining them as customers

You can’t rely on your donors to check your website. They probably didn’t see your last tweet. So if you want to keep them warm and in a state of readiness to donate again, you’d better send them some sweet emails. 

Back to Age, but Age NI this time with a story about older models at Belfast Fashion Week. Awesome! Entertaining, interesting, and it keeps you engaged to support them in future.

Email is your secret weapon. So if you raise money, campaign or even deliver services (that’ll be all charities then), it’s time to start deploying it more effectively.

More like this
Keep your eyes peeled for the complete guide to email marketing for good, coming soon from Platypus Digital.
Join Matt at our charity content marketing conference in April to find out more about making email work for you.


Matt Collins, managing director, Platypus Digital

Matt is a digital marketer who helps charities use digital channels to raise more money and reach more people. He spent 10 years working for charities large and small, trained with General Assembly and delivers campaigns and training for charities who want to use digital better.