Maximise a Christmas e-appeal: An essential guide to boost the last fundraising campaign of the year 5 months ago

Email campaign blog

As the season of giving reaches its crescendo, it’s time to organise the Christmas e-appeal.

You’ve worked hard all year and this is the last opportunity to roundup 12 months of hard work and for one final fundraising flurry.

Whether you’re integrating an email campaign with direct mail, or if it’s the primary request source, email is a fast, convenient and relatively low-cost way to reach a lot of people. If the campaign is planned strategically.

Follow our essential guide to maximise the potential of you Christmas e-appeal and boost results for 2019.

  • Choose the story wisely

At this time of the year, you’ll no doubt have a collection of testimonies from people your donors have supported. Choose the most compelling story and the one which best represents the outcomes of donor spend and contact them to arrange to share their details.

While it’s an option to use anonymous subjects, your donors want to know about real people. They want to know their support is helping people who could be their family, friends, or indeed, themselves. Choose a story that’s powerful, authentic, and best describes the charity’s impact in the community. 

SupporterHub tip: Your appeal piece doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Emotive copy and engaging images can be just as persuasive as complex designs.

  • Segment data

Data segmentation is absolutely critical to the success of a Christmas campaign. Don’t forget; this is the last chance of the year to increase fundraising income to meet board-approved targets. While email is cheap and convenient, you must still evaluate the ROI for each email sent and avoid compromising the integrity of data by keeping unsubscribe rate low.

Criteria for segmentation is within the confines of an organisation, but some things to consider are:


  • Those who only donate at Christmas
  • Those who donate every appeal
  • Donors who have lapsed over two years
  • Those who visited the website in response to previous appeal material but haven’t yet donated


  • Those who only donate at tax time
  • Those who haven’t donated for over five years
  • Those who have unsubscribed

SupporterHub tip: SupporterHub provides an easy-to-use email platform that integrates seamlessly with a website and SRM.  The system manages email data to provide a campaign list made up of those who are most likely to donate. 

  • Allow time for a follow-up

Donor communication isn’t just about asking for money. It’s about creating a dialogue that builds ongoing relationships to keep donors engaged. A timely follow-up email will spur on those who haven’t yet donated but intend to. It also allows the opportunity to report on how gifts received from the initial appeal are already being used.

SupporterHub tip: The follow-up appeal must be strategically timed to avoid looking greedy. Segment data accurately to avoid contacting people who have already given or have asked to unsubscribe. 

  • Optimise for mobile

With more than 70% of recipients likely to read your appeal on their handheld device, you must optimise the campaign for mobile readers.

Consider the character count of the title and introductory paragraph. If someone’s reading the appeal on-the-go, you need to capture their attention in just a few powerful words and give them a compelling reason to go back when they have more time. 

SupporterHub tip: Preview emails before sending to make sure they’re user-friendly on both desktop and mobile.

  • Insert appropriate suggested gifts

By analysing the giving history of donors, you can insert an appropriate donation amount to gently encourage an increase in average donation. For example, if someone has always given at $15, insert an $18 tangible ask. This subconscious increase is likely to see them give at the increased level into the future.

SupporterHub tip: This is subtle messaging. If you’re going to recommend an amount, it shouldn’t be significantly more than the average donation to avoid causing offence. 

  • Personalise your email

Your donors are all individuals and shouldn’t be approached with a blanket ask.

Swap out key phrases that refer to gender, age, location (for example), so your donors receive information relevant to them. 

Create specific sentences that refer to the analysis of previous donor surveys that show you why someone gives and incorporate this into segmentation.

SupporterHub tip: Always refer to donors by name and mention previous donations to thank them specifically.

  • Create an effective donation landing page

Once a recipient has clicked on a link from the email, donating must be seamless and easy to avoid losing their interest. The landing page should be charity-branded and include the following:

  • Pre-selected donation amounts
  • Guarantee of security
  • The option to become a monthly donor
  • More emotive copy about how their donation will help
  • A thank you
  • Easy integration with a payment gateway

SupporterHub tip: SupporterHub can integrate an email campaign with a landing page and secure payment gateway to provide a seamless user experience for donors.

  • Time your emails

With so much content to consume, it’s important to maximise every opportunity for an email to be received at a time the recipient is likely to donate.

Analyse previous data to identify the gift-giving potential of existing donors to assess the best time to send your appeal.

SupporterHub tip: Stagger emails to be sent at a time the user is likely to make their donation (this may be in the evening, or before work).

We’re currently entering the most significant giving season of the year. To find out how SupporterHub can make your Christmas campaign the most successful one yet, contact us today.