Non-profit email marketing can be deceptively difficult. You’ve got a mission. You’ve got a list of names and email addresses of those who have supported your organization with their time, labor, and financial contributions. How will you mobilize that list of emails to mobilize further support for your organization?
Don’t be quick to think that simply having an email marketing service with a pretty design is all that you need to garner support. There is no denying that design can powerfully impact your messages to your supporters. Design can enhance your message by drawing attention to it. However, it is vital to remember that design and other tools should be used to achieve one overarching goal: captivate your supporters and convince them to deepen their relationships with your organization.
In what follows, we provide three strategies for generating high -quality emails and using the features of popular email marketing services like MailChimp to deliver targeted, captivating messages to supporters of your organization.
Non-Profit Email Marketing Tip #1: Showcase Accomplishments
How much money did your organization raise at the annual gala? How many hours did volunteers clock in last quarter? What did your organization do with the state grant you won 6 months ago? While it is important to foreground the need to continue doing the work you do, it is equally important to highlight your organization’s accomplishments (big and small). Both numbers and stories can be persuasive to donors, volunteers and the like that supporting your organization is worth their investment.
Non-Profit Email Marketing Tip #2: Offer Opportunities for Engagement
Supporters of your organization may have ended up on your email list for different reasons. Some may have helped raise funds for your organization. Others may have participated in an event sponsored by your organization. You can choose to segment your email list by each person’s past involvement in your organization (for example, you can have a “donors” list and market opportunities to give financially). But you also might consider offering opportunities for past supporters of your organization to play different roles (e.g., a former volunteer may not have time to contribute due to their new full-time job, but may able to contribute to the organization financially). Regardless of your strategy, your ultimate goal is to deepen the relationship between your supporters and your organization.
Non-Profit Email Marketing Tip #3: Test Your Message
What do donors want to hear? What do volunteers want to hear? What do supporters want to hear? The only way you’ll know what works and what does not work is by testing out your messages. For example, if your staff disagrees about the “call to action” button in your email, you could take advantage of an A/B testing feature in a low-cost email marketing service (like MailChimp) to see if one button has a higher click-through rate than other. You can send the email with the first button to a small group of people on your list, and send the email with the second button to another small group of people on your list and decide that the button with the higher click-through rate will be the one featured in the email that you send to the whole email list. Through taking advantage of A/B testing and similar features on email marketing services, your organization can better hone your messages to garner support for your initiatives.