Taking Email Marketing a Step Further: 6 Tips for Nonprofits

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Taking Email Marketing a Step Further: 6 Tips for Nonprofits

Email is one of the most important channels for nonprofit marketing as it’s one of the best ways to engage with your supporters in a one-to-one conversation. And email marketing is only becoming more essential as online giving has quickly created a more digital world.

Email marketing campaigns are one of the most cost-effective methods of reaching new donors, raising awareness for your mission, and boosting fundraising efforts.

This is why email marketing is here for the long run. So how can you make the most of your next campaign? We’re going to give you six tips to take your nonprofit’s email marketing one step further:

  1. Create personal benchmarks based on your data.
  2. Build landing pages that connect to your emails.
  3. Use social media to expand your reach.
  4. Choose the right donor software.
  5. Launch a weekly newsletter.
  6. Go multichannel (or omnichannel).

Create personal benchmarks based on your data

You can learn a lot about which of your marketing strategies are working from the data you keep. You can also dive into the content of your emails to see how long they are and if there’s a strong call-to-action (CTA) present. 

If you don’t have this information readily available, it might be worth spending time setting up some way of tracking these metrics. Google Analytics or other software suites will give you good insights on your current and past campaigns. 

Here are a few things that you should keep an eye on:

  • Open rates. If your campaign has a low open rate, then perhaps it’s time for a redesign or a new approach altogether. You should check what content was included in each message so that you can make sure each piece is relevant going forward.
  • Click-through rates. Every click really matters! Also, keep track of where these people land after they click through your email. If the goal of the campaign is more donations, then you want to be optimizing not only for opens and clicks, but also for donation amounts.
  • Response rates. This measures who actually replies back to your email. All emails should have a desired response. A great way to increase engagement and connection with your growing community is by encouraging more people to send emails back to you.

Subject lines are another great place to hunt for inspiration or ideas. If one subject line has been performing well with opens and clicks, try to understand what sets that successful subject line apart from the rest. 

While we’re on the subject of subject lines, make sure they aren’t too long! A good rule of thumb is to keep them beneath 60 characters. If possible, try to aim for 30 characters, which should be enough since many people don’t read past this point anyway!

Build landing pages that connect to your emails

Your website landing pages need to be clear and easy to navigate. The layout of these pages should remind them of the email and push them toward a desired action. If the goal of the campaign is to increase donations, create a call-to-action (CTA) button that will push them to your giving page.

If you’re recruiting volunteers, your landing page should be geared toward that audience. Make sure there’s a clear CTA about registering to volunteer. The objective is to make the process as smooth and frictionless as possible.

The last thing you need to focus on is optimizing for mobile. If someone lands on the page from their phone but then has a poor experience, they may not make it all the way to registration or to making a donation. Always consider the many ways your audience will engage with your content and make sure that they’re having a great experience. 

Use social media to expand your reach

One of the best ways to use social media alongside your email marketing campaign is to collect new contacts. Social media is one of the best places to build a list of potential donors, volunteers, and supporters. Using your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, you can encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or join an email list.

Offer something of value in exchange for an email address. You could offer an online training session about nonprofit advocacy or how-to guides on writing effective fundraising letters if someone provides their email address. This is a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer while also collecting their contact information.

Choose the right donor software

Probably the most important factor in choosing the right donor software is ensuring it’s easy to use. The solution needs to be simple and intuitive as the most important factor in any software suite is adoption. 

Your donor management system also needs to integrate easily with the rest of your software stack, especially your marketing or fundraising platform. When data moves from one system to another, you want to know that the connection is working and that you have accurate information on both sides.

Finally, make sure that your donor software has the features you need. Are you looking to expand your texting capabilities? Do you need to streamline donations and registrations at events?

Make sure that you weigh the options before you just go with the first option out there. Even if you end up paying a little more, if you get the right solution for your organization long term, the investment will pay off.

Launch a weekly newsletter

If you don’t currently run a weekly newsletter, you should consider investing in a way of keeping your supporters in the know. 

To make the most of your newsletter, make sure that you’re creating great content for your target audience and delivering it consistently. To offer real value, you’ll need to spend time learning about who they are and what they like. You can do this by interacting with your community on social media or by listening to signals from how they respond to different initiatives.

Nothing will make your email marketing efforts (or any marketing content, for that matter!) suffer more than irrelevant or mediocre content. To make sure you’re maximizing your efforts, we recommend reviewing our list of tips for creating engaging content that can be used across various channels:

  • Make sure the subject line and preview text are compelling enough to create interest. Nobody will open your email and read all the rest of the content if these aren’t optimized. 
  • Use bullet points, numbered lists, and different sized text throughout your copy to help break it up. This will make it easier for readers to skim and make the overall reading experience easier for them. 
  • Make sure each piece of content is written with a clear next step. Make it as simple as possible for your readers to take the next right step!

The important thing is to view your newsletter subscribers as your community and continually strive to offer them greater and greater value. This will establish you as a trustworthy source.

Go multichannel (or omnichannel)

We’ve already included a few ways that you can combine different campaigns or tools like social media or landing pages to maximize your efforts in email.

The important thing when going multichannel, or omnichannel, is to thoughtfully introduce campaigns and tools that are connected. It isn’t just about volume but rather about creating synergy between the tools that you are using.

Feathr recently spoke with John Walsh, director of annual giving at St Vladimir’s Seminary, who spoke about the subject; “Multichannel isn’t about just adding another channel, but it’s about adding a channel with specific reasons and how to utilize those channels in the best way.”


Making email marketing work for your nonprofit is likely already a top priority. From recruiting new volunteers to increasing your organization’s donations, email is an important way to boost your organization’s growth. We hope that by using these six easy tips, the best years for your nonprofit are ahead. Good luck!

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