Giving Tuesday Email Examples

Looking for a way to add some charitable giving to your company's holiday messaging? Find background info, strategies and Giving Tuesday email examples here!

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Conceived in 2012 as “#GivingTuesday,” a social media project by the 92nd Street Y in New York City as a way to spread “radical generosity” during the holidays, Giving Tuesday has since morphed into a global nonprofit organization that has raised more than $1 billion for local charities and is supported by charitable heavy-hitters like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Giving Tuesday takes place the Tuesday after Cyber Monday and thus follows the “Cyber 5,” the five days between the U.S. Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in November.

Since it debuted in 2012, many ecommerce and retail brands have added a Giving Tuesday campaign to their Cyber 5 portfolios, especially when they are allied with a specific movement or charity, such as social justice or the environment.

We’ve gathered some email examples below to use as inspiration for your own Giving Tuesday email campaigns.

Giving Tuesday Email Examples

Let customers pick the project

Instead of using the day to drive donations through sales, Hill House Home turns its Giving Tuesday email over to the causes the company supports and lets people donate directly to each organization.

The design of this email is simple: one organization name per colorful block accompanied by a support button to raise funds. It’s proof that Giving Tuesday email templates don’t need to be complicated.

When you use this strategy, it’s important that each charity or cause you mention reflects your brand values as each mention is an implicit endorsement.

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Emphasize your brand connection

The subject line of this email presents a widely used Giving Tuesday strategy: for every purchase made, the brand will donate a percentage of the revenue to a cause.

Toad&Co also makes it easy for people to donate by explaining the donation process, and the image of people that are working at the warehouse the brand co-founded with a non-profit helps sway potential donors.

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Include staff recommendations to stimulate purchases

UK apparel brand L.K Bennett created a matching campaign for the cause it supports: this email promotes a special women’s wear gifting collection while the brand will donate 10% of all sales from this collection to Women for Women International.

Instead of simply showing product images, L.K. Bennet presents the items as gifts staff members will be giving to the women in their lives and adds a quote to each product category.

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Share the result

A great way to motivate people to donate again and to increase donor retention is by sharing the results of your fundraising efforts. Picture framing brand Framebridge does this well.

For Giving Tuesday, it partnered with 100cameras and this nonprofit’s mission is to provide photography education across the US. The February after, the brand emailed its subscribers to let them know how many hours of education 100cameras was able to provide, and to how many students, thanks to their purchases.

Also note how Framebridge doesn’t use this email marketing campaign to sell, but instead seizes the opportunity to build excitement around 100cameras and invite subscribers to volunteer with the cause.

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Focus on the win-win

No matter how worthy your cause is, you have to show customers what’s in for them to participate. Mizzen+Main gets right to the point, telling shoppers what they get (30% discount) and what happens when they shop (10% of proceeds to the charity). Framing your message like this helps customers see benefits for themselves, especially if you’re asking them to contribute to a local cause that might geographically be far away from where they live.

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Direct customers' focus to specific products

Williams Sonoma starts its email with a clear explanation of what they’ll do for Giving Tuesday, and how subscribers can participate. the shop-and-donate button is a clear call to action, and the organization name of each cause the brand will donate to is listed both in the email copy and as a logo.

While the focus of this email is on Giving Tuesday, it also promotes the brand’s extension of its Cyber Monday promotion and adds a few personalized product recommendations.

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Choose a single product to drive sales

Instead of trying to sway potential donors with a general request, or trying to generate donations by donating a small percentage of site-wide sales to a cause, Cuyana decided to donate 100% of the profit it gets from one of its signature bags to a cause it’s been partnering with for a long time.

By highlighting its ongoing work with the charity, Cuyana keeps the attention of subscribers who may already have the bag, or aren’t interested in it.

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Thank your customers

Instead of asking subscribers to buy or donate, SPANX sends them a Thank You email explaining how it’s been able to donate $5 million to female entrepreneurs over the last year. It goes even further and mentions how the support of its customers helped the brand help over 1,000 women over the years.

When you support a cause all year long, as SPANX does, you don’t need to fish for sales on Giving Tuesday. Instead, you can spread awareness about the work you’ve done over the year and make your customers feel proud to be part of something great.

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Simply ask for a donation

Similar to SPANX, Olipop highlights an ongoing partnership in this email but contrary to SPANX, it does use this opportunity to add a donate button and invite subscribers to join the brand in supporting the co-op it works with.

To help potential donors decide if they want to help, the Olipop includes a link to a video of its partnership with the co-op. It’s a great way to provide more information as well as to get subscribers over to its website.

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Extend the giving

ThredUP ups the Giving Tuesday game by turning the holiday into a 5-week event. Each Tuesday during the course of the event, subscribers can shop a different category to have the brand donate to Feeding America. This is a great tactic to bring subscribers back to your site and guide them along different types of products, without needing to cramp your entire store catalog into a single email.

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Email Strategy for Giving Tuesday

Use the Giving Tuesday examples and subject lines above as inspiration when creating your own Giving Tuesday email templates and keep the best practices below into account for a successful email campaign.

Be authentic with your email message

“Authenticity” has become trendy in marketing in general and ecommerce email marketing in particular, especially where Giving Tuesday is concerned. The idea is to ally your brand with a cause people care about, but be careful: consumers are quick to call out brands that say one thing in public and do another in private.

To achieve authenticity, select a cause that your company has supported in the past or one that fits naturally with your market niche or customer interests. Some of the best ways to build authenticity is by explaining how you are taking action, whom the money will benefit and how you are collecting the money (percentage of total sales, percentage of profits, dollar-for-dollar match, product donation, etc.).

Check out the emails above for a few examples of brands that do this well.

Put the charity or project first in your message content

Be sure to include the organization name of the charity or cause you’re supporting in a clear way, and add its logo if it has one. If you’re not dedicating an entire email to the holiday, make sure to put your Giving Tuesday message right at the top, followed by the rest of your copy.

Explain why your brand chose that particular cause

With Giving Tuesday becoming more popular, can expect that your customers will be seeing plenty of other appeals in their inboxes that day. You can stand by tying your brand directly to the cause – explain why you chose, how your brand or company supports the cause beyond Giving Tuesday, and what the cause is all about.

If your brand has a personal connection, explain that in the email, too.

Tell a story with your brand support

As the saying goes, people buy from other people, not from the brand. The same is true for charitable giving: They donate to help people, not to charities. Show how recipients will benefit from the impact of your brand’s donations, whether in cash or products.

If your employees or company founders have personal connections to your cause, go ahead and feature that, too. Donating or products shows that your company goes beyond checkbook charity – that will also build brand affinity and authenticity.

Explain clearly how people can participate

Many brands donate a percentage of the day’s profits or sales, so all a customer has to do to participate is to buy. But if a customer has to buy a specific product, or a on a form to have the sale count toward the donation, your email should explain that in a few simple instructions.

Send your email marketing campaign more than once

The inbox is pretty crowded the day after Cyber Monday with all of the “Cyber Monday extended” promotions many brands send. Consider sending your email twice – once earlier in the day, and again later in the day.

If have tested sending times already, use that data to guide your sending time for your Giving Tuesday campaign. If not, try sending your first campaign at your regular time, and then follow up several hours later when opens and clicks have dropped off for a while.

Follow good email marketing sending practices

Doesn’t matter how feel-good your message might be – needs a top-notch design, images, and copywriting to make the greatest impact.

It starts in the inbox with a recognizable sender line (the “from name”) and an attention-grabbing subject line that focuses on your cause. Follow it up with copy and images that tell a good story to engage attention but also support your brand.

Put all your persuasive powers to work in your Giving Tuesday campaign! If you’re offering a discount on all purchases, for example, add staff recommendations or social proof to point customers toward suggested purchases.

Share results

We’ve mentioned it before and we’re mentioning it again because this is such a powerful strategy and still very few brands are using it. You can increase donor retention significantly, as well as create a stronger emotional connection with your customers, by sharing the results of your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Use your Giving Tuesday email to tell subscribers when you reach your fundraising goal, share the donation amounts you’ve been able to contributed thanks to customer purchases, and highlight the important role your customers have played in turning Giving Tuesday into a success.

Go multi-channel

Giving Tuesday began on social media as #GivingTuesday before the project founders discovered that email is actually a more lucrative channel to generate donations through.

But why choose? Promote your campaign via email and social media to get maximum results. Include a link to your store or donation page in your social media posts and create a Giving Tuesday campaign hashtag so you can ask subscribers to spread the word via social media – perhaps giving them the chance to win a prize or a feature on your Facebook page.

You can even create Giving Tuesday social media templates to run A/B tests on.

Create Giving Tuesday templates for your email campaigns

To make sure you optimize your campaign year after year, it’s a good idea to create Giving Tuesday templates for the different audience segments you’ll be emailing. Run A/B tests on each template and adjust your Giving Tuesday templates as you figure out what works best for each of your audiences.

Let customers choose how to participate

As an alternative to promoting one cause or charity, suggest several causes that customers can support. This reduces the chance that your environment-focused charity might not appeal to a customer who has a strong bent toward social justice or public health.

6 Strategies for Giving Tuesday Email Subject Lines

Go beyond the obvious Because more brands are hopping on the Giving Tuesday bandwagon, your subject lines have to work even harder. Unless your testing results tell you otherwise, a simple “It’s Giving Tuesday” might not be strong enough to stand in a busy inbox. Here’s how Joie catches the eye with “Giving Tuesday” but expands it to let customers know what’s in the email:

  • Subject line: Giving Tuesday | Knits with a Purpose
  • Preheader: Joie Sweaters for a Cause Sweaters for a Cause Now Offering Free 2-Day Ship

Use the subject and header together for maximum impact:
When take advantage of every element in the inbox, can create a more attention-getting and informative subject line. The subject line can be short and catchy, while the preheader delivers the charity name. Or can name the charity in the subject line and use the preheader as your first call to action.

We discovered an interesting inbox test from Nordstrom as we reviewed Giving Tuesday emails for this strategy page. One email had this combination of subject line and preheader:

  • Subject line: It’s Giving Tuesday! this best-selling blanket and help local kids this holiday season
  • Preheader: Buy the blanket. Plus, Cyber Deals and an extra 25% off Clearance end tonight

Note: Discovering what your competition is testing in its emails can help you sharpen your own testing and campaign planning – it’s another benefit of using MailCharts!)
Let people know how their or donation will help others. Here’s how J. CREW focuses on the benefit from the donation:

  • Subject line: This Giving Tuesday, help us warm 50,000 people
  • Preheader:J.CREW *50% discount valid on the of select in J.Crew stores<

Explain what they in return:“What’s in for me?” That’s what some customers will think when ask them to contribute to your cause. ‘s not bad; ‘s just human nature. Explain what they in return for helping – what the “win-win” will be. Here’s how Ivory Ella does:

  • Subject line: GIVING TUESDAY: Donate $5 40% OFF Sitewide
  • Preheader: Ivory Ella FREE Shipping and FREE Returns on ALL US orders over $80

Make it easy for customers to find your store: Although Giving Tuesday was born online and figures prominently in many email campaigns, many retailers also honor it in stores. If you operate multiple stores, add a store address, as Pottery Barn/Pottery Barn Kids does:

  • Subject line: It’s Giving Tuesday: You donate, we’ll match
  • Preheader: POTTERY BARN PB FLATIRON NYC 12 W 20TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 212-488-6280

Tell people what you want them to do: That’s another bonus of Pottery Barn’s subject line above. People are busy; they might be a little burned from the relentless parade of Cyber 5 emails. make them guess at what want them to do. Here’s a PopSockets example:

  • Subject line: We Give 100% to our Charity Partners ❤
  • Preheader: SOMETIMES MORE IS MORE. Today 100% of Poptivism sales are donated