Creating Email Campaigns for Giving Tuesday - Ideas and Best Practice

By 23. November 2020Uncategorized

In the run up to the holidays, it's easy for businesses to get carried away with sales campaigns and promotional emails. Creating a Giving Tuesday email campaign is one good way to give your subscribers a break from sales-heavy content, while also demonstrating your company's values.

This guide covers all you need to know about Giving Tuesday emails, including campaign ideas, best practice tips, and real examples from big name brands.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a relatively new concept that was founded in 2012 and is described as a "global generosity movement." The day encourages participants - whether businesses or regular citizens - to give back and help others.

Giving Tuesday logo

Although founded in the USA, Giving Tuesday is now celebrated in participating countries worldwide, including the UK, Germany, Brazil, India, Australia and Canada - making it a fantastic cause for your business to get involved with.

When is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday falls annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which makes it a great event to add to your holiday marketing calendar to break up your sales campaigns.

Ideas for Giving Tuesday Email Campaigns

Depending on the size and nature of your business, there are plenty of campaign ideas you can try out for Giving Tuesday. Here are five great ideas for Giving Tuesday campaigns plus examples from big name brands.

1. Run a promotion

One of the simplest ways to get involved with Giving Tuesday is by running a promotion for a good cause. Instead of presenting this as a typical sales promotion, be sure to emphasise the fact that your proceeds will be going to charity or a similar good cause.

Strategy tip: Hold an exclusive extended Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale and pledge X% of your profits to a charity. You could also choose a particular product and pledge all profits to the cause.

Giving Tuesday email campaign by Casper

Casper use a promotion on their mattresses to give back to a good cause.

Giving Tuesday promotion by J Crew

J Crew also ran a similar promotion on coats to support those in need during the winter season.

2. Partner up with a charity

This concept may take more planning but can certainly be worthwhile. Partnering up with a charity to release a limited edition product or hold a special event (virtual or physical) is another great way your business can use your platform to give back.

Strategy tip: Inform customers about your new partnership by sending a dedicated email a few weeks before the actual launch. You can also prepare a PR and raise awareness on social media to reach even more people. By the time your event tickets or product go on sale, there will already be a buzz surrounding the launch.

Giving Tuesday campaign by ONA

Camera strap brand ONA partnered up with charity: water to create a limited edition product.

3. Donation matching

Donation matching is another great way to raise awareness of a key cause. Use your email newsletter to encourage customers to donate to a chosen cause by pledging to match their donations.

Strategy tip: Include a section in your newsletter explaining why you've chosen this particular cause. This will help inspire more readers to donate and give your campaign a more personal touch.

Giving Tuesday email by Patagonia

Patagonia encourage customers to support a good cause with this donation matching campaign.

4. Rounding up to the nearest $/£/€

This is also a good technique to motivate your customers to take action. Encourage customers to round their purchase up to the nearest $/£/€ so you can donate the extra "tip" to a charity of your choice.

Strategy tip: Make the CTA (call-to-action) on your website super appealing so that customers can't resist donating that little extra. You could also try building in a counter to show how much you've raised so far to inspire more people to get involved.

Giving Tuesday campaign by Lyft

Lyft highlighted two good causes to support with their Round Up & Donate campaign.

5. Give back to your local community

Particularly for small businesses, an awareness campaign is also a great idea. Helping out the local community by promoting worthy causes and encouraging customers to donate or volunteer is also an effective way to show support.

Strategy tip: As well as mentioning them in your email newsletter, you can also use your social media platforms to point out key causes such as food banks, homeless shelters, and hospitals which may be in need this holiday season. Of course, if you are able to do so, you can also combine this with any of the above ideas for maximum impact.

What to Include in Your Giving Tuesday Emails

The #GivingTuesday tag and logo

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that is growing each year. If you are running your campaign as part of the movement, it's a good idea to stand in solidarity and show this in your emails. This instantly makes the appeal more familiar to recipients.

The GivingTuesday website has a selection of logos you can use if you're getting involved in the movement.

Powerful imagery

A picture speaks a thousand words. Whether it's a moving photo, or a touching illustration, including powerful imagery in your email design is a guaranteed way to convey your message clearly.

Incorporate a bold headline to create a strong feature graphic that really shows readers the meaning of your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Giving Tuesday campaign by PayPal

PayPal use a simple yet strong header graphic to encourages donations in this campaign.


Using name placeholders in your subject line and email body is a great technique to make your appeal more personal and make the recipient feel directly addressed.

Not only does this help to capture the reader's attention faster, it's also an effective way to appeal to them on a one-to-one basis and encourage more support.

Real life stories

Another way to strengthen your appeal is by including real life stories from the group you are trying to help. Again, this helps you connect with the recipient on a more personal level and makes your campaign more relatable.

Incorporating stories from people in need, or success stories of people who've been helped by your chosen charity helps you convey the importance of your cause.

Giving Tuesday campaign by Charity: Water

This email campaign by Charity: Water shares an encouraging success story with recipients.

A heartfelt call to action

Your call to action (CTA) is what signposts your recipients to your main campaign action. This could be a link to a donation page, your sale's landing page, or a blog post raising awareness.

Whatever your CTA is, make this clear in your email by using actionable, emotive text. If you are using a button, it's also good practice to choose a bold color that stands out well against the rest of your email design. Here are a few ideas:

  • Give back today
  • Support the movement
  • Donate now
  • Help the cause

We hope reading this post has inspired you to join in with Giving Tuesday this year. Creating a campaign for a good cause is your chance to give back to the community and show customers you care.

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

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