Case Study: Turn that frown upside down?

In March 2022, Israel365 Media conducted a unique case study to determine whether happy or sad messaging would be more effective for a fundraising campaign.

Basically, content marketing is moody

Strong content marketing will always evoke a reader’s emotions. When a client presents us with a new campaign, they expect us to know how to reach their clients’ hearts – and wallets.


Stepping into the shoes of the target audience

What do they love? What makes them tick? Knowing your target audience is crucial for creating a product or campaign tailored to their needs.

Deciding the emotional direction of the content – will it be happy or sad?

Sad themes provoke sympathy and compassion, causing the reader to help and donate. On the other hand, happy themes create a positive association with the product, encouraging the reader to act.


Sad content can “guilt” someone into donating, while happy content can inspire. What’s the better approach?

Israel365 Media put the content to the test:

We wanted to see which emotion-led content got more of the following:





To get to the bottom of this, Israel365 Media a\b tested Meir Panim’s 2022 Purim campaign.

The campaign included emails

landing pages


The happy and sad content shared the same goal: to get people to donate to Meir Panim so Israel’s needy would have the funds they needed to celebrate Purim. However, subtle differences in design and copy told two different stories.

Happy & Sad Explained.

For the gloomy campaign, the Israel365 Media designed sad content using dark colors, such as red and black, highlighting the pain of Israel’s impoverished who lack the means to celebrate the holiday.

On the other hand, the happy campaign was filled with festive decorations and vibrant colors, asking the reader to provide Israel’s needy with a day of happiness, joy, and dignity.

Email campaigns

Happy & Sad email blasts: Notice how simply changing the colors conveys a different message

Landing pages

Happy & Sad landing pages: See how the different pictures tell different stories

The results are fascinating – here are our takeaways.

The happy content brought in 105% more donations than the sad content, with an average donation amount that was 27% higher!

This is really surprising! The common perception is that sad messaging sells – that we have to make people feel guilty to get them to give us what we want. Kids know this well, which is why they make sad puppy dog faces when they want something from their parents! Yes, sad does sell – but happiness sells more!

This result was reflected in other statistics as well. Though the clickthrough rate was higher for the sad campaign, the conversion rates for the happy campaign were significantly higher! The happy campaign convinced more people to act – and that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

The next time you reach out to your clients, consider turning your frown upside down!  

A leading media and marketing agency, Israel365 studies the ins and outs of content marketing, with results that leave our clients smiling.

Why Choose Us

Acquired over 500,000 leads and over 50,000 customer and donors
Generated over 100 million pageviews and send over 20 million emails a month

Campaign clients stick with us for 5+ years on average

American quality with Israel prices

More than 10 years of experience in digital marketing.

Most importantly, you'll love our team of LEADERS who are committed to your success.

Raised over $5 million for Israeli charities

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