Scroll-Stopping Appeals: Four Creative Trends in Giving Tuesday Emails

Going into Giving Tuesday and the end-of-year season in a challenging year for fundraisers, the stakes were high for nonprofit creative teams. They had to produce compelling content and eye-catching visuals that would break through higher-than-ever competition in inboxes, make the urgency of their mission clear, and motivate donors to take action and give. As our Giving Tuesday Report suggests, dialing up creative and strategic efforts in 2022 paid off: Our partners saw their Giving Tuesday results increase year over year, thanks to exciting and scroll-stopping creative alongside a full suite of best strategic practices.

Top-performing emails across our nonprofit partners had a few things in common – they led with impressive graphics, leaned into the matches that multiplied impact, emphasized donation records and matches in their subject lines, and offered supporters early, easy ways to remember to make their donation on big giving days.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most successful tactics alongside examples of creative that drove results for our partners at Giving Tuesday this year:

1. Graphics came first.

An emphasis on graphics right at the top, ahead of an email’s message, often compelled supporters to stop scrolling and donate. Across our nonprofit partners, we saw this trend result in top-performing emails on Giving Tuesday. In this example from our partners at Save the Children, a GIF at the top of their fundraising email rolls through attention-grabbing graphics and compelling reasons to give:

2. Match-heavy language (and graphics highlighting matches!) paid off.

For organizations that were able to secure matches in a difficult economic climate, leading with those matches across graphics and copy yielded strong results. While multipliers may vary from one program to the next, emphasizing the opportunity for increased impact was key to driving clicks and donations.

In this email from our partners at Americares, an 8X match is immediately clear in a graphic above the email’s text:

3. Subject lines increased urgency and personalization.

This straight-from-the-top strategy of leading with match-heavy language found its way into subject-line strategy, as well. In the inbox pictured below, Giving Tuesday messages largely leaned into matches to increase urgency:

4. Calendar invites helped supporters save the date.

Each year, messaging around Giving Tuesday seems to stretch even further beyond the confines of a single day. With extensions expanding the life of campaigns and early access to matches rolling out over Thanksgiving weekend, some organizations found success this year by looking even earlier. Save-the-dates and calendar invites to join a Giving Tuesday match sent as early as a month in advance and helped organizations keep their missions and the upcoming giving day at the top of supporters’ minds.

If you want to read more about trends and results from Giving Tuesday, take a look at the 10 takeaways in our Giving Tuesday Report. To learn about brand-building strategy from MissionWired’s creative leads, read When Inspiration Meets Insights.