First, think about what your nonprofit might be interested in. As I mentioned above, content marketing is a strategy that you need to start thinking about as a nonprofit. But when you consider all of the online platforms for nonprofits to communicate with their supporters and a potential donor pool, email should be one of the primary tools. Think about how email allows your organization to put important information in front of people, in a way that is likely to catch their attention. They will have the option of scrolling past it on the web or picking it up on their phone while they are waiting in line at the grocery store. In other words, your message will stay in front of people who are genuinely interested or connected to your cause. This is powerful! Still, there’s no doubt that email is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching potential donors and volunteers. “Email marketing is still the largest marketing channel for nonprofits,” reports NonprofitHub . And it doesn’t hurt that email is so easy to use and available on nearly every device. Plus, studies show that 51% of adults check their emails at least once a day and 81% are open to receiving email from nonprofits. So if you’re looking to grow your donor base, or recruit volunteers and supporters, email marketing may be the route you need to take.
Nonprofits are so varied and diverse that no one definition can describe all organizations. Even then, one definition may not apply to certain nonprofits more than the others may. No matter what business model they follow, they need the support and generosity of the people they help, as well as other people around them. Although there are numerous methods available to help them in fundraising, email marketing proved to be a very effective tool for promoting their cause. This is why it is now among the most commonly utilized means of fundraising by nonprofits. Use only one service to send your newsletter. Most platforms will include analytics with it that can help you track the effectiveness of your newsletter and make changes if you find that you aren’t getting enough clicks or opens. If you decide to use multiple providers, the reporting can get a bit confusing and it’s difficult to see how effective each provider is. Having two different sources for your data makes it difficult to compare the results from each source, which means you need to rely on each source individually without being able to compare them to one another.
Email marketing is a highly effective way to engage donors. This article will help you develop an email marketing strategy that works for nonprofits, including steps for building your list, segmenting your audience and tailoring content to specific groups of users.
Email marketing is a highly effective way to engage donors.
Email marketing is a powerful tool that nonprofits can use to engage donors, build relationships, and raise funds. The key is to consider your audience, create content that’s relevant for them, and use it as an opportunity to share updates about your nonprofit or encourage them to donate.
Email marketing allows you to stay top-of-mind with supporters and make sure they know about upcoming events or campaigns so they can take action. It also helps you stay connected with donors by giving them information about their contributions in real time. This way, if someone donates $10 this month but only wants their name on the annual report in December—you won’t have any trouble tracking down that information!
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 1. Set concrete goals.
- Set concrete goals.
- Know what you want to accomplish before you start.
It’s important to define your email marketing goals before you begin, so that your campaign can be tailored to meet the needs of those goals. It’s also crucial that these goals are realistic and achievable—if they aren’t, then there is no point in making them at all! An example of an attainable fitness-related goal could be losing five pounds in three months or meeting a specific activity milestone by six months from now (such as running 10 miles).
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 2. Build your email list.
Building your email list is the second step in implementing an effective email marketing strategy for nonprofits. Learn how to build a list of people who are interested in hearing from you and how to keep them engaged over time.
Importance of Building a List
There’s a lot of interest in using email as part of nonprofit fundraising campaigns, but not all nonprofits have been able to take advantage because they don’t have enough subscribers on their lists. It’s important that you make collecting contact information a priority if you want to use email as part of your fundraising efforts.
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 3. Segment your list and tailor your emails to different groups of users.
Segmenting your email list is a great way to get more out of your email marketing. By segmenting your list, you are sending different emails to different groups of people. This can help you tailor your message to the audience that will be most interested in what you have to say. If you have an annual appeal for donations, but only want to send it out once a year, then it would make sense for you not to send it out again until next year. A good example of this would be an alumni newsletter – if one alumnae from 25 years ago wants updates on what’s going on with the sorority and another alumnae from 5 years ago wants updates about her children’s school activities, then they should both receive separate emails tailored specifically towards their interests.
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 4. Get permission for future emails.
- Get permission for future emails.
This is one of the most important parts of your email marketing strategy. You need to have permission from a potential donor before you can send them an email, and this is especially true if they’re not already on your list. The best way to do this is through opt-in forms or landing pages (more on those in a minute). If you have contact information for people who haven’t opted in yet, you should also try sending them an actual physical letter and asking them to sign up for more info about your cause (and giving them a chance to opt out at the same time).
Finally, if someone has already donated and hasn’t specifically asked not to receive any more correspondence from you, then it’s perfectly fine—and even encouraged!—to send them updates about future events or opportunities that might interest them as well as updates on past donations they’ve made.
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 5. Have a compelling call to action.
- Have you ever received an email with a call to action that was very clear and specific? The words jumped off the page, compelling you to take some action. Maybe it was a link in boldface font urging you to “Click here now!” or perhaps it was a message saying “Donate now!” Whatever it was, the call-to-action immediately drew your attention and got your immediate response.
- What about when there wasn’t much of a call to action at all in an email message? You probably noticed that, too—there was something missing from that message that made it less impactful than those others where there was clearly defined direction for what you should do next.
- Having great calls-to-action can be difficult but critical for nonprofits if they want people who open their emails (and click through) on their websites and donate money!
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 6. Create great content that engages people in your mission and tells stories about the impact of your work on the lives of real people.
- Create great content that engages people in your mission and tells stories about the impact of your work on the lives of real people.
- The best content includes:
- Relevant text and images that are easy to read, understand, and share
- Links to other articles or resources that provide related information you think readers might find useful or interesting
- Short, attention-grabbing headlines (less than 60 characters)
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 7. Send emails regularly (but not too often) and test different time slots for sending them out to see which gets you the best response rate.
Once you’ve got a strategy in place, it’s time to start sending emails regularly. But how often should you send them? Every day? Once a week? Twice a month? While there isn’t one right answer for every nonprofit, here are some tips:
- Send out emails regularly. The best way to build your audience’s trust is by being consistent with your messages and making sure they’re not overwhelmed by too many emails from you each day. A good rule of thumb is to send out 2-3 per week for most nonprofits (but some might find that as many as 5 works better for them).
- Test different time slots for sending them out. You can use analytics tools like Google Analytics or similar tools where you host your email list (like Sendinblue) to see which time slots get the highest open rates and click-throughs so that you can optimize those over time
Email Marketing Strategy For Nonprofits – Step 8. Use a responsive email design that looks good on desktop and mobile devices; if you are a small organization, try one of the free email templates provided by platforms such as Sendinblue or Mailchimp; larger organizations may want to use more expensive programmatic options such as Salesforce or Hubspot that allow you to personalize content based on individual preferences, interests, etc.
- Use a responsive email design that looks good on desktop and mobile devices; if you are a small organization, try one of the free email templates provided by platforms such as Sendinblue or Mailchimp; larger organizations may want to use more expensive programmatic options such as Salesforce or Hubspot that allow you to personalize content based on individual preferences, interests, etc.
Our advice? Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by email marketing. Instead, focus on the basics: what’s the goal, who are you trying to reach, and how do they want to be communicated with? If you can answer those questions, then the rest will fall into place.