Engagement rates with charity emails rose significantly during pandemic

The proportion of people who engaged with emails sent by charities rose significantly last year, new data indicates. 

Figures produced by the Data & Marketing Association and the email marketing and data management company Validity show that 6.9 per cent of people clicked on links in emails from UK not-for-profit organisations in 2020, compared with 3.9 in the previous year. 

The engagement rate was the highest of six industries examined in the report, which also included finance, publishing, retail, travel and utilities.

The average click rate across all sectors remained steady at 2.3 per cent year on year. 

The data also shows that the proportion of people who opened emails sent by not-for-profit organisations rose by five percentage points in 2020 to 26.1 per cent. 

The figures are based on an analysis of data from more than 158 billion emails sent via nine major email service providers in the UK in 2020. 

About 10 per cent of these, or more than 152 million messages, were sent by not-for-profit organisations. 

A report into the findings says the increase in engagement with charity emails “could be justified by many people willing to help, either by offering money or time to support others in need – especially for charities playing a key role during the pandemic”.

Tim Bond, director of insight at the DMA, said the not-for-profit sector had overperformed in 2020.

“It’s easy to hypothesise that an increased sense of compassion and altruism brought people to engage with charities to either volunteer their time or donate money to support others in need,” he said.

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