What does it mean to have good email etiquette in 2020? Has email changed? | Track It Forward

What does it mean to have good email etiquette in 2020? Has email changed?

Last updated by James McBryan on 03/17/2021

You’ve been sending emails out to your volunteers for years. Is it time to update?  Email etiquette is probably one of the last things you are thinking about, but the unfortunate reality is that the nature of emailing has changed.

So why should you rethink your email campaigns? 

Emails Just Aren’t as Popular 

With the large amounts of messaging systems out there, email is just checked less regularly.  The younger generation is communicating more through social media. Try posting updates more on Facebook or Instagram instead of sending things solely through email. 

Reading While on the Go

Before smartphones, emails only could be checked on a desktop. Nowadays with email being available at your fingertips, people can check and respond to emails while waiting in line for coffee.  People are more likely to just skim long emails.


So how can you create effective email campaigns? 

Write Shorter Emails With a Simple Call to Action

Have a short and simple call to action in the body of your email.  If you’re trying to relay a lot of information, just add links instead of adding it to the email. Even easier? Add the CTA in the email title. That way, even if someone doesn’t open the email, they’re getting the gist of the email.

Be Personal as much as possible

Volunteers sign up for your newsletter or volunteer for specific reasons.  Make sure you know what those reasons are before sending out emails, otherwise the volunteer might simply unsubscribe.

Our founder James just found himself in a situation where he was interested in volunteering for an organization so he provided them his email. Instead of emailing about volunteer opportunities, he was sent 2 to 3 emails a week asking for donations. While the organization was just trying to fundraise, James didn’t sign up for fundraising emails and ended up unsubscribing. If you use their phone number or emails for fundraising or anything outside of what they signed up for, you’re not only potentially losing out on a volunteer, you might be perceived as an organization that people should be wary of. 

Less is Better

Emails are losing their effectiveness. Send out all of your other updates on the channels that people are using, like social media, while reserving emails for the most important information.

Understanding what your communication style is and properly utilizing it takes time and effort. Although much of this is trial and error, once you’re able to figure out what works, you’ll be able to steadily grow your mission.