Here are some of the different types of email you can or should be sending along with a brief overview detailing what they include, why to send them and a few tips along the way.

We’ve also included design examples for each type that we’ve used for some of our clients.


The primary purpose of an email newsletter is to build upon your donor relationships and keep them informed. Of course, this may indirectly result in an increase in conversions, but the focus here should be on providing relevant, useful content that your subscribers might be interested in.

This content however doesn’t necessarily have to be directly related to your products. For example, an online grocer might send a monthly newsletter featuring a few recipes, a story on the benefits of organic produce and a column with exercising tips. Use these to drive engagement and strike up a dialogue with your donors without them always culminating in an ask.

Charity Email Example Design
Charity Email Example Design

Quick Announcements

Often called postcard emails, these are short announcements your clients might want to make informing donors of a special offer, a popular new product or quick fire sale. These types of emails are typically restricted to a single call-to-action and should be easy for the recipient to scan and understand in a few seconds.


Special appeals are a staple of most charity marketing plans. By sending appeals via email you have access to the various analytical data metrics to measure performance. This gives even greater control over tests and a clear understanding of responses. You could even complement your mail DM Appeals with reminders and followup emails which in most cases help increase donations. Be sure however not to hound your donors.

Charity Email Example Design
Charity Email Example Design

Press Releases

Email press releases can be a great way to raise awareness and attract news coverage. There are a number of services that can distribute your press releases to the media but maintaining your own list of media contacts is a great way for you to send targeted, personalised press releases only to those contacts who will be interested.

Catalogue Emails

Catalogue emails are fairly self explanatory. They are electronic versions of a print brochure listing particular products with the primary goal to drive traffic to a website or store and encourage customers to purchase.

Charity Email Example Design
Charity Email Example Design

Welcome Campaigns

Welcome emails are definitely a best practice. Transactional emails such as order confirmations and shipping notifications aside, these typically have the highest open rates of any marketing send. It’s more than likely each relationship is new so you’ll want to start them on the right foot and make a good first impression. Subscribers who receive a welcome email increase their long-term engagement with a brand by 33%.

Thank you Emails

An important part of the loyalty cycle is thanking customers and donors. Everybody wants to feel valued and these emails will achieve that as well as humanise your brand. For e-tailers this might be offering service advice or hints about their new purchase. For charities this could be showing donors the impact each contribution has and the work they’re able to do as a result

Triggered Campaigns

Some of the above campaigns may fall into the category of triggered campaigns, sent when a user performs a certain action. For example a welcome email may be automatically sent once someone signs up to your list. A reminder or abandonment email could be send if a donor leaves a form or shopping cart incomplete. If you know a recipient’s birthday you could go one step further and trigger an email to send on the day just to say Happy Birthday, maybe offering them a discount code or special gift.