Tips on Customizing E-mail Communications
What information do you collect from constituents when they sign up for your e-mail communications? Do you use the information you ask for to create more customized communications?
The study Telling Stories, Building Relationships: How Non-Profits Can Create More Engaging Email Marketing Programs, recently released by e-mail deliverability firm Return Path, analyzes how nonprofits use the data they collect from constituents who sign up for e-mail communications and found some results that point to missed opportunities to enhance constituent communications. While 81 percent of advocacy organizations involved in the study requested geographic data from constituents, for example, only 12 percent actually used that data to customize or segment their e-mail campaigns.
FundRaising Success recently had a chance to speak with Bonnie Malone, director of response consulting for Return Path, to find out more about the study and what tips it yields for nonprofits.
FundRaising Success: Your company recently did a study of the e-mail practices of nonprofit organizations. What was the key finding?
Bonnie Malone: There are some things nonprofits do very well with e-mail — like sending a prompt welcome message to new subscribers. But as a whole, nonprofits aren’t fully embracing the opportunity e-mail provides to develop a one-to-one marketing relationship that informs and engages new subscribers with the organization and primes them to later contribute to the cause.
FS: Why do you think nonprofits aren't doing this well?
BM: To e-mail marketers (both for- and nonprofit), customization seems hard and time-consuming. Developing and implementing a strategy can be daunting to those overwhelmed with a lot of data at subscribe, especially when time and resource constraints are present. (Where do I start? What should I use?) However, there are small tweaks that data can help guide that, when implemented, can leave a big impact on subscribers — and response.