Do you do nonprofit email marketing? Have you ever had the following happen to you? You create an email campaign and send it out. You don't get the response you were looking for. Many people don't even open the emails and even fewer actually make a donation or volunteer. What went wrong?
Let's look at what makes an effective nonprofit marketing email. By applying these guidelines to your next email campaign, you will see higher open rates and boost conversions. In other words, people will actually take the time to read your email and make a donation!
Ensure that You're Sending to the Right People
The laws around email marketing are strict and violators are often hit with heavy fines. Whether or not email marketing laws apply to your nonprofit organization varies from country to country. Click here to view nonprofit email marketing laws for Canada. Best practices, however, dictate that every person to whom you are sending emails must have opted in to receive them.
Think about how you deal with an unwanted email. Think about the annoyance you feel when you see an email you didn't sign up for appear in your inbox. Think about the satisfaction you feel when you press the delete button. If the sender asks you for a donation of your time or money, are you likely to respond? This is why you should only send to people who have provided their consent to receive messages!
If you want to reach people who have not opted in, there are many other ways to do it. Don't send unwanted (and potentially illegal) emails.
Test Different Subject Lines and Send Times
In order to find out what works best for your email marketing, you need to test! Try sending email marketing campaigns at different times of day and on different days to see when your emails get the most opens. Try sending the same email with two different subject lines to two different groups and see which subject line gets the better response. Then use the information you have collected to optimize future emails.
Include a Prominent Call to Action
The focus of your email should be on your call to action (CTA). Your call to action is the part of your email that tells people what you want them to do and how they can do it. Keep it simple and prominent. For example, include a button in the top part of your email that says “Click Here to Donate!” You want to give people a quick and simple way to take action. They should not have to search for the donation method or wonder what exactly you're asking. They will quickly lose interest. Be clear and simple.
Avoid the Dreaded Spam Label
In addition to not sending to people who haven't agreed to receive emails, there are other ways to avoid being labelled a spammer. Be careful with your subject line. If your subject line includes certain words, your email may be flagged as spam. Review our list of spam trigger words here.
If you are asking people to donate, you want them to trust you. Include the name and physical address of your organization, as well as a contact who they can reach for more information.
Focus on Simple Design and Brand Consistency
You want your email to look attractive, but you shouldn't include too many images because it will slow down loading time. Many people block images in emails anyway. Use simple, clean fonts that are easy to read. Include white space so people can easily find their way around the email. Ensure that your email works on mobile devices, since the majority of people now view emails on their mobile devices. And make sure your brand is on every email, in the design and in the language. You want people to remember your organization and recognize it the next time you send an email! Brand consistency builds loyalty.
Personalize Your Emails for Added Effectiveness
Studies have shown that people are much more likely to open personally targeted emails and are more likely to convert as well. An automated marketing solution automatically personalizes each email you send based on stored and collected data. This takes out the manual work and saves you time, while making your email marketing efforts much more effective.