Effective email fundraising can seem like a mystery. As a nonprofit, you take a lot of time to craft your email. You balance images with words. And you often build up to the ask.

Unfortunately, donors aren't reading your emails like they read a book! They're skimming. So you need to make the point of the email obvious.

A case study of buttons in fundraising email

One such example is when it comes to giving buttons in nonprofit emails. Last week, our client Love146 was preparing to send out an email appeal.

The top of the email was gorgeous

The email is beautiful. The story below it is powerful and written with the donor in mind (rather than being about Love146).

And the giving buttons illustrate the power of the doubling.

My suggestions

When they asked for my response, I replied:

Pretty. And the doubling buttons are clearer to me.

I like the "you" language.

I guess I'm wondering what could go at that top for all the people who might not scroll down. Maybe a link "Would you help another person like Brianna? Have your gift doubled by clicking here" < -- that can go either to an anchor link in the email attached to the giving buttons, or to the landing page

What they did in the fundraising email they sent

When I received the actual email, I knew they'd made a change. Look at how clear the donation ask is:



I loved that "DOUBLE YOUR GIFT TODAY - GIVE HERE" jumped out at me. But when I opened the email, it looked the same. I didn't even notice the major change they'd made.

Can you see the change?

I totally missed the button on top!

Did the button placement matter?

I congratulated the team on getting the "DOUBLE YOUR GIFT" wording to show in the preview. Later, Love146's Creative Director Marilyn Murray told me the results. She wrote:

I was apprehensive at first just putting a give button up above the rest of the content, but figured, "I'll make it really simple and blend in, and hey, MailChimp tells me if things work. So we'll see what the numbers say."

Got some numbers - you can see the attached screenshots for percentages of clicks. Suffice to say, that button you suggested adding was clicked twice as much as any other button in the email!

It blended in so well, I completely missed it. But Love146 readers didn't. Look at these results.

The blended in top donation button received over 25 percent of clicks

The bottom donation buttons got no more than 13 percent of clicks - one even only received 1 percent
Even with its unobtrusive design, the top button receive more than 25% of the clicks. The bottom three were, from left to right: 13.4%, 10.4%, and 1.5%.

The moral of the story?

Test. Even if you're also a reluctant donation button designer, test. If it works, keep it.

And in this case, the results are in. If your email is a fundraising email, make sure to have a give button right up where the reader will see it!

It could make all the difference.


Special thanks to Love146 Director of Development Matthew Miller for letting me weigh in on the email. And Love146 Creative Director Marilyn Murray for sharing the wonderful results.

To see the entire email, go to: http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=7a6b54e2653155839888b560b&id=f5bf4ff93e&e=89dd29ba41

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