05 Nov 2019

Given the chance, all businesses want to boost email marketing click-through and click-to-open rates. And charities are no different.


According to a new survey, email marketing is an effective marketing method for charities and nonprofits. The data from Campaign Monitor reveals the average nonprofit opening rate is 20.39%. But by making a few changes to content and format, organisations can give their email open and click-through rates a much-needed boost.


The survey suggests some tips on how to improve email rates:

  •  Try new copy tactics to create snappy subject lines
  • Experiment and test the subject line length, tone, and content before you send
  • Optimize for previews with preheader text
  • Test sender name and email address
  • Test send day, time, and cadence
  • Ensure content is relevant and relatable by personalizing and segmenting


The research also revealed an average click-through rate of 2.66% in nonprofit emails. By looking at your click-through rate in relation to your open and click-to-open rates, it is possible to highlight the weaker areas of an email marketing campaign. More importantly, it also flags where you can make improvements in future campaigns.


Here are some ways you can improve your click-through-rate.

  • Send the most relevant content by creating stronger segments
  •  Keep your voice on brand when messaging
  • Use clear copy and better design to boost your CTAs
  • Offer strong incentives to capture subscribers’ attention
  • Make sure your subject line accurately reflects the content of your emails
  • Put A/B test to good use and find out what works


The click-to-open rate is a key metric used to measure the success (or not) of an email campaign. It gives an idea of the immediate response rate of an email’s content, showing how many people who read the email were inspired to act. The survey revealed an average click-to-open rate of 12.99%.


Here’s how you can improve your charity or nonprofit’s email click-to-open rate.

  • Test well to make sure your email renders well across devices
  • Collect the right data so you can segment and personalize your content
  • Optimize your email design and copy to inspire your audience
  • Include an enticing, simple-to-click call to action
  • A/B test each email element individually
  • Automate your emails to scale what works


Other benchmark results charities need to keep an eye on include: unsubscribe rates (averaging 0.17%); email bounce rates (averaging 1.09%); spam rates (averaging zero).


The survey also looked at the best and worst days in terms of engagement rates.

Best days for email marketing:

  • Highest email open rates: Sunday
  • Highest click-through rates: Tuesday and Saturday
  • Highest click-to-open rates: Wednesday
  • Lowest bounce rates: Monday
  • Lowest unsubscribe rates: Monday


Worst days for email marketing:

  • Lowest email open rates: Wednesday
  • Lowest click-through rates: Monday
  • Lowest click-to-open rates: Monday
  • Highest bounce rates: Wednesday
  • Highest unsubscribe rates: Friday


At Stopgap, we help charities and nonprofits find the right talent to take their marketing strategies forward. If you are looking to move into a marketing role within a nonprofit organisation or want to expand your charity’s marketing team, get in touch with Stopgap to see how we can help.

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