8 Tips for effective email marketing and fundraising
One of the easiest and most affordable ways for non-profits to reach out and generate donations is by using email marketing. For every 1,000 fundraising emails delivered, a nonprofit raises funds through at least 25% of the emails read. And all this with just a little effort put into in creating and sharing a well composed email.
But just composing a good email is not enough to make your campaign successful. We have some tips to make your email marketing campaign effective and bring you desired results.
1. Write a meaningful subject line
Before you hit “send,” take a moment to write a subject line that accurately describes the content, giving your reader an undeniable reason to open your message. A vague or blank subject line is a wasted opportunity.
The purpose of your subject line is NOT to raise money or tell donors the date, time, and location of your upcoming fundraising. Your subject line has only one purpose and that is to persuade your reader to open the email. People open emails if they feel they will benefit, if they’re worried about missing out, or if you present compelling evidence about why they should.
While viewing your emails unconsciously ask: What’s in it for me? Is this email worth my time? How urgent is this email?
Ask these questions about your subject line
Does it plant a question?
Does it tell a of the story?
Does it raise curiosity in the reader?
Does it promise value in the message?
Does the subject line include my name?
Is it the right length?
2. Don’t neglect the preview text
In most email apps, users can see a preview of the email message before they open the email. The preview is the first part of the email message. If an image is the first thing in your email message, the preview might be html code for that image (as shown below).
Most of your patrons do not get HTML, so the first example above might confuse them.
If your preview text shows instructions on how to read the email online, or unclickable links to your social media profiles, then you’re wasting an opportunity. With email preview text ranging from 35 to 140 characters, depending on the provider, this is an aspect of your email you can’t afford to neglect.
3. Craft a message that begs to be clicked
If you don’t give people a reason to click, your email is dead in the water. Your email message should clearly state what’s being asked, and then ask several different ways.
· Experiment with personalizing the email (first name, location, etc).
· Experiment and test the images in your email message.
· Test the goal and see what works.
· Ask several times in your email message and make sure those asks link to your campaign landing page.
4. Avoid attachments
Rather than forcing you reader to download an attachment and open it in a separate program, you will probably get faster results if you just copy-paste the most important part of the document into the body of your message. Even images can be embedded in the body of the emails.
5. Identify yourself clearly
Read any advice on writing email, and it’ll include a tip about personalization. If you telephoned someone outside your closest circle, someone who probably wouldn’t recognize your voice, you would say something like “Hello, Ms. Sharma, this is Rakesh Mehta.” A formal “Dear Ms. Sharma” salutation is not necessary for routine workplace communication.
When we send text messages to our friends, we expect a lot of back-and-forth. But professionals who use email don’t enjoy getting a cryptic message from an email address they don’t recognize.
While a routine email does not require a formal salutation such as “Dear Ms. Sharma,” ask yourself whether the person you are writing knows you well enough to recognize your email address. But it’s true that using people’s names in subject lines and email marketing copy gets their attention.
6. Don’t Shout; It’s Spammy
Avoid all caps and multiple exclamation marks in both the subject line and body of the email. Not only are all caps the equivalent of shouting online, but overusing them screams spammy email marketing. That’ll hurt your email open rate. And if enough subscribers report you, it could also hurt your email deliverability or even get you blacklisted by your email newsletter service.
7. Promote Action
Aside from the subject line, the CTA (Call to Action) is the most important part of your email marketing campaign, because that’s what’ll get subscribers to convert, by taking the action you’d like them to take. All the tips we’ve listed above can also help you create the perfect call to action that subscribers find it almost impossible to resist. Here we want them to donate to our fundraiser and that is the call to action. This should be well highlighted in the emailer.
If you are asking someone else to do work for you, take the time to make your message look professional.
While your spell checker won’t catch every mistake, at the very least it will catch a few typos. If you are sending a message that will be read by someone higher up on the chain of command (a superior or professor, for instance), or if you’re about to mass-mail dozens or thousands of people, take an extra minute or two before you hit “send”. Show a draft to a close associate, in order to see whether it actually makes sense.