Your non-profit engages in email marketing and the first thing you do is send an email to your supporter and potential donor appealing to them to come forth and donate to your charity. Now you sit and wait for any replies or donations. After several hours when you open your inbox you find that not only there haven’t been any replies but also no donations have been made. What did go wrong?
Besides fundraising events, fundraising emails also provide significant support and steady income source for many non-profits and charities. But not all organisations are similar and you have to think of a way to stand-out form the rest. Without understanding the art and science of email marketing a lot can go wrong. The window of opportunity to convince a donor to make any donation is very narrow.
Here are few fundamentals that if kept in mind will ensure high response to your email fundraising campaign:-
A Compelling Story
It is necessary to draw the attention of your target audience towards your fundraising effort. Create a compelling and engaging story that is relatable and stands true to the cause that the charity supports. The very first step when your mail your supporter is to define the subject line for your mail. It doesn’t necessary needs to explain the content of the mail but should be interesting enough for the recipient to click it open. Have fun with the subject and be provocative. Always keep a clear narrative of your campaign that should be specific to certain segment audience. As long as you understand to treat your target donors with a specific engagement strategy you can be sure that your supporters will always be around to help.
Make sure the purpose of the fundraiser is clear to the recipient. Keep it simple, clean and clear. Always make your objective understandable and perceivable to act upon. Your donor will only be interested in donating if he/she can relate to the cause and find your initiative practical and doable. So don’t blabber away in long words about your plans of how your will use their money, but keep it concise and simple and talk only about the executable actions so that the people get motivated to donate to something they understand.
Mobile Phone Adaptability
Most people these days keep their social networking majorly to the phone than to their laptops or desktops. The preference on mobility to their online social life is understandable. So your email format should be adaptable to a mobile phone also. Almost 53% of the emails opened today are on mobile phones. Keep the important graphics and links and minimize texts. Optimize the graphics for mobile phone screen, resize the images and enlarge any buttons you want them to click for donation or any other information related link.
First Things First
Make your appeal to be the first thing visible on your email. The call for support should be featured prominently in your mail, probably the first thing on the email. Don’t push the reader into scrolling further down before they actually understand what you are asking for. Often fundraiser emails can have multiple/conflicting call-to-action. Be careful about what kind of information you are feeding into your email. If you give the recipient too much to consider they will probably think twice before they donate. Just keep it specific and prominent.
Another important habit is to build trust and relationship with your donor. When asking for donation amount, you can tell what specific amount will help you achieve. If you can include a brief but heartfelt story of the impact you will create with the donated money, it will go on to impress the donor and boost your trustworthiness remarkably. Further ahead in future also keep cultivating your audience by regular feeds of your success stories. People donate because they’re compelled to be part of something bigger, something that will help them make the world a better place. Always convey to your audience that they can ‘help change lives’. The power of empathy and need to help others is one major reason people are always ready to donate.
Remember, an email is not your organisation’s annual report. It is not a letter or request or a short essay of your plans. The only purpose that your email serves is to motivate your community and prompt giving. You don’t have to share your stories in detail but more importantly provide a format that will lead your audience to click just a button to land on your website. So forget about formatting your email in the formal and boring style. Keep it fresh and innovative. You need to entice your audience and not bore them.
Test and Learn
Test every factor related to likeability of your email campaign and use that data to improve in future. Make sure you get the most information out of the campaign. Readers’ preferences and response to specific promotion style should keenly be studied. Constantly research, change, test, calculate again and then change again. It takes time to reach perfect sync with your donor, so invest that time.
Generosity of the donors is one thing that keeps a charity running for years. Philanthropy has greatly helped charities to function efficiently and perform its duties well. Though at its core it is altruistic, it would do no harm to send a thankful note to your donor. This not only generates goodwill but also keeps your supporters’ numbers intact for future.
Electronic mails count for almost one third of the total online fundraising today. Emails have proved to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to raise money for non-profits. The outreach of your brand value to the target audience is enormous and efficient, and the response rate is also quicker. Tapping into this medium can greatly increase your performance as a charitable organisation.