December 31
December 31
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‘Tis the Season…Are Your Year-End Emails Ready?

As you make your list and check it twice, have you prepped your year-end emails? A year-end email series allows your supporters a final opportunity to make one last gift before closing out the calendar year. It’s quick and easy – and for many of our clients, it’s one of the highest performing email series of the year.

Here are a few things to think about as you prep your year-end emails:

  • Make it a series of 2 or 3 emails over the last few days of the year. It’s a busy time. People are focused on their time off, family gatherings, traveling, and on and on. Many are not at their computers on their normal schedules. To make sure you’re catching them at a time that’s convenient for them, give them more than one opportunity to give. We recommend a 3-email series spread out over the last four days of the year.

  • Vary the content and style of each email. For those in your list who open all 3 emails, you don’t want them to feel like they’re being spammed. Here’s a typical content schedule to ensure we’re varying our messages:

    • Email #1 – Year wrap-up: In the first message, remind your donors of all the great things that have been accomplished thanks to their support. Highlight a few bullet points you’re particularly proud of. Tell them how their gifts have changed real lives. Close out the email with a direct request to consider one more gift before the new year.

    • Email #2 – One more day: The second email should be a quick reminder that there’s only one day left to make a gift before the end of the year. While the first email focused on impact and how they’re making a difference, the second email should create a sense of urgency. Time is running out! One more day! As with the first email, don’t forget to be direct with your ask.

    • Email #3 – Final day, personal note from the CEO: For the final email, consider trying something new – write and design your email as if it were a personal note from the desk of your CEO. Strip out the graphics, make the language casual – have it look and sound like your CEO is emailing a familiar acquaintance from his or her own email account. Make sure the reply email address is active and checked regularly. People will reply as if they are communicating directly to the CEO. While this type of email shouldn’t be overused, we do see a boost in response rate when it’s used strategically.

  • Schedule the emails. If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s planning to take some time off over the holidays, schedule the emails before you head out. There’s no reason to put down your hot chocolate to press send on these. Most all email services allow you to schedule days and times for your sends.

Before you close out another successful year of changing lives, make sure you provide your donors one more opportunity to give. A year-end email series is a quick and easy way to do just that.

If you’d like to learn more about setting up a year-end email series, I’d love to hear from you!

Matthew Slay
Matthew Slay
Matthew Slay is Vice President of Client Service for Brad Cecil & Associates. He's been a fundraiser for 12 years and particularly enjoys digital fundraising. He loves his wife and kids and really likes cooking, music, and podcasts.
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