4 E-mail Fundraising Campaign Best Practices
E-mail can be an invaluable fundraising tool given its low costs and quick turnaround. But just because you send your donors an e-mail doesn’t mean they’re going to respond to it. You still must practice good e-mail etiquette to make your campaign a success.
One organization that found tremendous e-mail response in the past year was amfAR, The Foundation for AIDs Research. Earlier this year, amfAR took home the E-mail Renewal Package of the Year awarded by the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association for its holiday/year-end renewal e-mail.
The e-mail, which we’ll break down next week in Today in Fundraising, was created with the help of online nonprofit marketing agency SankyNet. Here Paul Habig, executive vice president of SankyNet, shares some best practices for a successful fundraising e-mail campaign.
Timing is everything
Every fundraising direct marketer has been well-schooled in the importance of recency, frequency and monetary metrics. Of particular importance in e-mail is frequency, including timing.
If you bombard your donors with e-mail solicitation after e-mail solicitation, you’ll find yourself quickly being ignored — or worse yet in the junk folder. And if you don’t nail the timing, response could suffer.
“Timing is very important in any e-mail campaign,” Habig says. “And then also spacing out your campaigns.”
Devise a strategy to hit your donors’ inboxes when the need is visible and/or when donors tend to give. For example, if something newsworthy happens around your organization’s mission, send an e-mail campaign at that time to capitalize on the newsworthiness of your ask. And hit donors a few weeks before the giving season, when they’re primed to give end-of-year donations.
Segment, segment, segment
“Segmentation is really an important facet for e-mail marketing — making sure you’re not over-e-mailing certain segments, paying attention to response, and removing segments who just gave from follow-up e-mails when appropriate,” Habig says.