Bad Email Etiquette Hurts Good Causes


A decade ago, I sent money to a political campaign. A few years after that, I gave money to the Red Cross. I got on a few choice email lists. And then more email lists after that. Soon I was inundated with emails from so many causes that I was supposed to care about and give money to that it really affected my mood.  I began actively unsubscribing from them all.

There were a few I remained on because they didn’t flood my inbox enough to annoy me. 

Lately, with the gun control issue revving up, my inbox overflowed again.

As a general rule, I don’t mind being notified of important issues. I don’t mind being asked to donate money or sign petitions. What I do mind is being asked every day.

Proper Email Etiquette

You have an important cause. You are passionate about this cause. You are eager to connect with others regarding this cause. You want to energize others and make them as passionate as yourself.

Do Not…

  • Send more than one email a day.
  • Ask for money more than once a week.
  • Use fear, uncertainty, and doubt in every email to motivate readers to take action.


Please Do…

  • Update readers on what good came from the last round of donations.
  • Explain what actions can be taken to support the cause besides donating money.
  • Offer an option for readers to receive emails less often.


Failure to follow etiquette risks people unsubscribing, not because they don’t support the cause but because they feel beat up, bummed up, and inept for not being able to care as much about all the causes.

One thought on “Bad Email Etiquette Hurts Good Causes

  1. Good article. Email etiquette when followed correctly in business or personally actively enhances the reputation of a person or organisation.

    Poor email etiquette can do damage and cause the recipient of the email more stress.

    At Emailogic we have created an award winning course entitled How the Get Better Results from your Emails and email etiquette is covered in that.

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