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Email. Every charity is doing it, yet some are really knocking it out of the park.

We recently ran a live 30 minute lunchtime webinar, we took a look at some of our favourite emails from charities (both big and small).

We discussed why they are so effective and how your charity can start smashing email marketing too. Enjoy!

Our Picks:


Subject line: ‘Found: one home

Shelter email

What worked?

  • Good subject line
  • Strong imagery
  • Short, concise copy
  • Targeted (I’m in a list where they know I’ve donated before so they can thank me)
  • Large CTA button


Subject line: ‘This is about to get akward

scope email

What worked?

  • Great subject line
  • Easy ask – share on social media
  • Great tone of voice – “Yours embarassingly, Head of Awkwardness”
  • Use of P.S.

Action Aid

Subject line: ‘Could you live on £1 a day?

actionaid email

What worked?

  • Question in subject line
  • Front-loaded email
  • Challenge/Join
  • Focuses on one action
  • Stands out – use of white space in text and a strong image

NHS Information Service for Parents

Subject line: ‘You and your baby at 9 weeks: How much will childcare cost?

nhs email

What worked?

  • Timely
  • Genuinely helpful
  • Not getting me to buy anything
  • Nice CTA buttons

Child’s i Foundation

Subject line: ‘This is Priscilla’s Story

childsi email

What worked?

  • Emotive
  • Always story based
  • Impactful image
  • Bold text highlighting for skim readers
  • Included a text fundraising ask – perfect for mobile readers


What do you think?

Do you agree with the charity examples Matt and Fran picked out? Or have you seen some great emails which you rate more? We’d love to hear what content you think is smashing! Feel free to plug your own charity if you think you’ve got something great to share – just tweet us at @PlatypusDigi

2 thoughts on “Which charities are smashing email marketing?”

  1. I’d like to give a shout out to Good Street –

    They send an email everyday focusing on 2 approaches to one issue, which you can choose between (or split your donation). It’s a great way to get you thinking about a number of different issues and how they can be tackled.

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