Giving Tuesday Free Email

Free Email for GivingTuesday

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Your nonprofit can use our free email system to engage your supporters on GivingTuesday this year. This blog will explain how to use our email features to:

  • Import past donors (limit of 500,000 per list)
  • Remind them of their previous giving level
  • Send a free email (or many free emails!)

You can check out our GivingTuesday Hub to find lots of other resources for your GivingTuesday campaign, or check out our webinar that shows lots of GivingTuesday how-to examples.

We will use this fictional example of a nonprofit called Save the Lake. Here is the nice cover page:

Setting Up Email

The first step is to find the Email Settings on your Dashboard. For Donation Websites, it looks like this:

For Donation Forms, there is a link for the overall nonprofit at the top and one for each donation form:

You can set the reply-to email address, as well as the sender name that appears, with the fields shown above.

Uploading Custom Lists

Next, you’ll want to upload a Custom List — this is typically your past donors. In this example, we have a spreadsheet that contains a column for each of the following data points: donor first name, last name, email address, and how much they donated in 2020. This way, we can send them an email thanking them specifically for how much they gave last year and asking if they can increase that amount this year. For those contacts who did not contribute last year, you would upload a separate list, and then create a separate email for them.

Remember, there is no limit to how many lists you create and how many emails you send. Everything is free.

To create that 2020 donors list, click Add a New List:

Then, you will be directed to a page for that list — of course there are no contacts in there yet:

Click Add New Contacts. Remember, you can keep adding contacts to this list (as well as delete them later). You can add them one at a time like this:

But we want to upload a CSV spreadsheet (if you are using Excel or Google Sheets, you would export your spreadsheet in CSV format).

Here is our sample spreadsheet:

It will ask you if there is a header row. This is recommended because we can create placeholders in the email later that will show the custom data you import.

Here is how the Custom Placeholder is created, with a special tag that you will use in your email:

Then start the import. It will take a few seconds to run:

Your data now shows in your GiveSignup custom list!

Sending Your Email

Now you are ready to send an email:

First, select your recipients — your custom list (or multiple lists):

Now edit the default text in the email. (Note: This interface will be changing quite a bit in the next couple of months to have much more enhanced email creation capabilities, but it will get the job done for your nonprofit for now). In the screenshot below, we have edited the header title and have added our first name placeholder (%FIRST_NAME%).

Note the easy drop down where you can insert a Replacement Tag that will get replaced with the custom data for each email recipient. We have inserted %FIRST_NAME% so far. Note on the upper right, there is another drop down that explains each tag:

We can add the placeholder for the amount of their 2020 donation like this:

Now, we need to edit the call-to-action button. Click on the little link symbol at the top of the editor:

You will want to replace the URL with the one from your website or form:

It should look like this when you are complete:

Your email is now ready. It should look something like this:

Click Review Email at the bottom of the page, and you will see this page. Note the ability to set default text when there is missing information. In this example, we used “Friend” if there is no first name and “(sorry, we could not find your donation from last year)” for the 2020 donation. You can choose to send now or to send on the day before GivingTuesday with the scheduling time:

If you send immediately, it does not send right away, but batches all sends every 5 minutes in our system.

Your Email

This is what your email will look like in a mobile phone:

Reports and Unsubscribes

One of the powerful things in our email system is managing unsubscribes. You may have noted in the settings and in the send email that we give nonprofits two email accounts to send from: Marketing and Transaction. This allows you to save the important emails, like reminders with QR codes for your ticket events, to be sent from a different account so if someone unsubscribed from your marketing emails, they would still receive your important emails.

We also give you a way to resubscribe people with a simple click:

Our reporting tools will become much more powerful over the coming months, but you can review your sent emails. Clicking on the email ID will show that email.

Free, Easy and Powerful Email for GivingTuesday

If you haven’t used our new email yet, we recommend that you create some test emails and a test list with your own email address so you can try this out before sending a mass appeal to last year’s donors. Like everything in GiveSignup, you are in control, and it is all free. If you need help, contact or your account manager. We are excited to be able to offer this free feature to nonprofits in time for GivingTuesday. You can learn more about our long-term plans for the new email system in this blog post.


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