Fundraising email marketing promotions analyzed

I have analyzed 22,749 fundraising email promotions over a 12-month period from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.  Data came from the (ECA)database. Fundraising Categories

There are 15 fundraising categories represented in this analysis. The highest volume of email promotions came from the Social Action (Causes) category with 6,336 promotions (28%), followed by Politics with 2,510 promotions (11%), and Culture with 2,269 promotions (10%).  The pie chart lists the categories and illustrates the percentage of volume within the fundraising category.

Fundraising Average Word Count

In the 2nd quarter of 2011 the average word count of fundraising emails was 540.  For all email, the average was 370.  Clearly, fundraising, with a 46% higher word count, relies on long copy in email promotions.

Fundraising Email Promotion Volume by Month

Fundraising email promotions have some seasonal distribution.  The highest month of fundraising emails were received in December, most likely as end-of-year appeals.  October and September were also above average.  January took a significant dip in email volume.


December and October are heavy months for email promotions, but November is light.  While November certainly isn’t December for the urgency of year-end appeals, November could be a month that merits greater testing to avoid, and get ahead of, competition.

Email Delivery by Day

The fundraising category day of email delivery differs somewhat from that of all email marketers.  Thursday sees a much higher percentage of fundraising email promotions and all email.  And weekends see a significant reduction in the percentage of fundraising email promotion as compared to all other categories.


I recommend that you test either Wednesday or Friday to get a one-day separation from your competition since Thursday is the most popular day for fundraisers to deploy messages. Another possibility is that with weekend deployments so much lower than all email that weekends may be another time for fundraising email promotions to be deployed.

Time of Day

There is another notable difference between fundraisers and all other email marketers when it comes to time of day for email delivery.  Fundraising email marketers send email at a higher rate between 12 noon and 4 pm than all other emails (35% vs. 25%).  Evenings, from 4 pm to 8 pm also see a greater proportion of fundraising email promotions.


For fundraisers, I recommend testing earlier in the morning before most competition for other fundraisers, and that of all email marketers, in the 7 am to 8 am hour.

The full newsletter, complete with graphs and charts, can be found here:

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.