Five E-mail Design Recommendations
The Convio whitepaper “The Basics of E-mail Marketing for Nonprofits: Using E-mail Communications to Build and Strengthen Constituent Relationships Online” is a 19-page, information-rich guide that covers the gamut of e-mail marketing, touching on everything from building an e-mail address file, performing list hygiene, gaining permission, offering opt-out options and executing a successful e-mail campaign.
The whitepaper also addresses tips for creating compelling e-mail messages. First off, it stresses the importance the of “message envelope,” i.e., the e-mail header. The message envelope is made up of the “To” and “From” lines, the date and the “Subject” line.
* Subject line — should be intriguing. Its goal is to get the message opened. The whitepaper recommends the subject line should be no more than 40 to 60 characters in length and should communicate something about the e-mail’s message. Short, actionable words or words that draw on emotion work well. And avoid excessive punctuation and capitalization.
* From — should be a familiar sender. “Capitalize on the strong affinity supporters have for your nonprofit by putting the organization’s name in the ‘from’ line,” the whitepaper advises.
The design of the body of your e-mail can influence response rates. Convio recommends the following:
1. Use HTML to send graphically rich e-mails that include photographs, images and neat fonts and colors. Include your organization’s logo and other recognizable visual elements. Also keep in mind some people might not be able to view HTML e-mails or might just prefer to view e-mails in plain text. Be sure to give all e-mail recipients the option of choosing to receive your e-mail in either HTML or text format. Convio recommends choosing e-mail marketing software that supports multi-part e-mail distribution, an e-mail delivery process that automatically will display the format — HTML or text — most suited to a recipient’s e-mail environment.