6 Tips for End-of-Year Nonprofit Fundraising Email Campaigns for Stronger Results
As we enter the last quarter of 2013 many nonprofit teams are finalizing their end-of-year fundraising plans and, in many cases, already executing them. In a year that has seen mixed nonprofit fundraising results according to Blackbaud with modest increases this is an incredibly important period for nonprofits to raise the funds that will help overall viability through the beginning of 2014 and beyond. Recently I provided 5 Tips for Stronger 2013 End of Year Nonprofit Fundraising and in 2012 I also wrote about 5 Strategies for Stronger End-of-Year Nonprofit Fundraising Results. Today I am going to provide some tips for email campaigns that can be effective, timely and very cost effective during the end-of-year fundraising push.
- Review the Past – The best way to strengthen future email fundraising campaigns is by reviewing the history of your campaigns. Which ones were the most successful and which ones did not measure up? Within the successful campaigns, what were the email interactions including open rates, opened links, clicks, conversions and related metrics? Understanding what has and has not worked in past campaigns will help tailor more effective email strategies.
- Review Analytics – An effective way to determine content for your email campaign is by reviewing the analytics of your website and determine how supporters are using your website and/or blog. Pages that receive a high number of page views, combined with a high average time on page are excellent indicators of the content that your visitors are interested in and will likely engage with in an email campaign.
- Review Your Data – Use your existing database of supporters to help build and enhance relationships with them through your email campaigns. The type of data that you should be looking at when tailoring strategies includes the donors giving history and their demographics like age, gender and location. It’s important to understand who your audience is and determine how to segment your donors into different categories to be able to send the right type of email message to the right audience.
- Customize Your Message – By customizing your email communications based on each segmented donor category you will be sending a tailored message that not only appeals to the donor but incites them to take action. The message in an email to a regular or recent donor should be significantly different than one tailored to a lapsed donor. It’s important to also personalize the email using the donor’s first name instead of a generic ‘Dear Supporter’ as this will make the donor feel valued.
- Make It Mobile – Recent research titled Mobile Future in Focus 2013 showed that 37% of online activity is through mobile devices. Therefore to ensure that you achieve optimal results you must cater to all visitors by optimizing the content for readability and accessibility through mobile devices. Keep in mind that your website must also be optimized as your email communication will include links back to your site for the donor to take action.
- Test, Test, Test – Fundraisers are usually under time constraints and in an effort to get an email communication out as soon as possible testing often gets overlooked. Testing is the final and most important step in executing an email fundraising campaign as it ensures that any errors are corrected before sending so they can’t reflect poorly on the organization or make the recipient feel unimportant. Test all links and send test email(s) to your team who undoubtedly have different access channels, browsers and devices and have them report back any feedback (good and bad) on the content of the email.
For nonprofit, nonprofit fundraising, CSR business and other news, connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Linedin, Google+ and Pinterest or subscribe to our RSS feed.
Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.