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Increase Conversions with these Best Practices

Increase Your Nonprofits Donations with Email Marketing

email marketing 

Email marketing is still one of the most successful, if not the most underrated digital marketing channel. Email is a great communication tool because it's more effective than traditional marketing, yields quick results, and enables you to track and send personalized messages instantaneously. But with the majority of all email being spam, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to capture people's attention. The recently released of the 2017 M+R Benchmark Study has some surprising stats nonprofits should take notice of. Below we will highlight M+R's findings and some best practices your nonprofit can use to increase donations. 

Nonprofit Email Stats

  • Nonprofits sent 10% more messages per subscriber in 2016 than in 2015. On average, a subscriber could expect to receive 69 separate email messages from a single nonprofit in 2016.
  • For fundraising messages, the response rate was just 0.05% — a drop of 8% from 2015. That means that a nonprofit had to land 2,000 fundraising emails in inboxes in order to generate a single donation.
  • For every 1,000 fundraising email messages delivered, nonprofits raised $36.

Off the bat, these are some disturbing numbers. Nonprofits are sending generic emails at spam type levels and seeing little returns on their efforts. But adding easy personalization techniques can soften the edges and provide a level of human connection between you and your donors.

Mobile Optimization

48% of emails are opened on mobile devicesWhen designing mobile email, Mail Chimp recommends the mantra “one eyeball, one thumb, and arm’s-length.” An email should be easily readable with one eye, any links and calls-to-action usable with one thumb, and any text or visual cues large enough so that all of the above can be done comfortably at arm’s length.

Related: Optimizing Your Nonprofit Website for More Donations

Send your email's from an actual name

According to recent studies, using a real person’s name as the sender in an email increases open rates. Email recipients are more likely to open an email from a name, instead of an organization. It is more personable, warm, and friendly. The name could be from your nonprofit’s CEO, or your marketing executive, as long as it is not “marketingteam@nonprofit.org”, you’re making the right choice.

Pre-set the preview text

Preview text is the small amount of text that directly follows your subject line. Utilize this small window of opportunity to provide the recipient brief preview of what your email contains. It should be short enough to fit in the preview text space next to the subject line, but still provide enough information to entice a click.

Your preview text should read something like: “Come support XYZ.org, attend our raffle Thursday night!”

Instead of: “Have you ever wanted to help a large group of people with a problem then attend...”

The second option is cut-off, unintelligible and not enticing. While the first is succinct.

Modify plain-text

It is important to realize that not every person receiving your nonprofit's email will receive the fully HTML optimized version. Some browsers do not support HTML, while some individuals may be running old machines, with out-dated software, who can not view advanced scripts and formats.

As a result, their emails are messes of quotes, links, alt text that no one’s going to read. It should not effect your HTML optimized version, take the extra 5 minutes to use shortened URLs, and keep the body simple. Make the plain-text version of your email inviting to reach and impact as many people as possible.

Add links to images

Every nonprofit’s ultimate goal with their email marketing campaigns, and email newsletters is to drive traffic to a webpage. Making the links within an email images offers the potential to greatly increase the amount of click through you receive.

Add alt text to your call-to-action buttons

This can be edited with your email’s rich text editor, or you can enter it manually through the HTML. What this does is ensure that if someone is unable to see images in your emails, they will at least see a link, providing them the opportunity to click on it.

Include social sharing buttons

By offering your email recipients the opportunity to share your content, you have the chance to spread your email to an even wider array of people. Where your email list might be 500, if shared by only a handful of those individuals, your message could be spread to 5,000 in just a few key strokes.

Simplify sharing with pre-made Tweets

All of a sudden, the goal you set for your email before even writing it is two clicks away from being shared with dozen, hundreds, or potentially even thousands of people. Making things as easy as possible is the best way to spread your message.

Check out clicktotweet.com to generate a free custom tweet link. Just type in what your tweet should say, add a URL, a few hashtags, and before you know it, your nonprofit’s email is ready to be shared in 140 characters!

Make email forwarding a breeze

Add a line in your email message to encourage your recipients to forward your message. You can create an image or just highlight text to offer your recipients this option. You can achieve this in your email’s rich text editor, or use HTML.

To retain your donor base, sending something as simple as a welcome email shows a new donor that your organization noticed their contribution, and appreciated its value. By sending a specific email tailored to acknowledge the donor’s first contact with your organization, you show that their support is not only recognized but valued.

It's the personal touches that people remember the most, providing the same amount of care and attention you provide to your nonprofit is a great way to see a greater return on investment from your email marketing efforts. 

Tapp has earned the privilege to work with amazing organizations such as AARP, Tech Impact, NonStop Wellness, Tech Soup, the Boys and Girls’ Clubs, Departments of Health and Human Services, and many more. Our team continues to grow, while we continue to strive to over deliver for our clients and partners. Learn more about how we help nonprofits and mission-driven enterprises solve their unique problems through integrated digital marketing solutions, websites, and applications.

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Topics: email marketing

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