NTEN Webinar Roundup: Stepping Up Your E-mail Marketing, Part 3
In Part 3 of the NTEN four-part series of seminars — Storytelling Via Email — Heather Fignar, a managing partner with NPAdvisors, began by going over her top three "four-letter words" of e-mail marketing: blast, monthly and newsletter.
The word blast makes her think of buckshot and demolition of a building.
“A word like that changes the way you approach e-mail marketing," Fignar said. "Makes you forget it's a conversation."
And the connotation of "monthly" is that an organization is mailing something on the first day of every month regardless of what’s going on in the world around it. This could lead to a strange juxtaposition of real-time events and e-mail messages coming into a constituent's inbox," she said.
Better options she suggested are communications, messages and appeals, all of which keep in mind that there's someone reading your e-mails.
Fignar said when it comes to e-mail marketing, organizations all too often have the junk drawer syndrome, symptoms of which are that every department in your organization is represented; printing the e-mail requires a ream of paper; your e-mail newsletter is just information; and you e-mail on the first Tuesday of every month, with a subject line like "July newsletter" that doesn't tell recipients what's in it.
To determine if your organization is suffering from junk drawer syndrome, Fignar recommended doing a diagnostic test of one of your e-mails or e-newsletters to determine if it's clear which story is most important and what readers are expected to do next.
- Start thinking in terms of campaigns.
- Establish a goal for each e-mail. This can help weed out what should be in an e-mail and what shouldn't, Fignar said. Do you want recipients to understand a specific part of your mission better? Do you want them to donate?
- Decide how you will measure success: open rate/clickthroughs; or conversion rate (e.g., donations, petition signers)
For cultivating online donors, Fignar recommended NPAdvisors' Donor Development Model, which lists the stages of cultivation as:Acquire: In