A Personal Apology
[Editor's addendum: To be clear, we did not receive any complaints about the e-mail in question. Somehow, this e-mail bypassed me in the approval process, and when it appeared in my personal e-mail in-box, I was appalled and found it to be inappropriate — for the reasons I list below. I wrote this post not in response to complaints about the e-mail, but in response to my personal feelings about it.]
On Sept. 4, some Today in Fundraising subscribers (and folks who have opted in to some of FS' other e-mail lists) received an e-mail from me with the subject line: "The most important link you'll ever click." It was a promotional e-mail for FundRaising Success' Virtual Conference + Expo 2013.
In reality, of course, the link to our conference registration page is not the most important link you'll ever click. Far from it. Certainly more important are the links that you include in your e-mails and on your websites that take donors and other supporters to pages where they can learn about and help alleviate the myriad kinds of wrongs that your work is designed to make right.
We here at FundRaising Success know that. I know that.
The "most important link" subject line and treatment is a standard e-mail template that is a part of the marketing mix for events hosted by sister publications within our parent company. It has a proven track record for getting people to open the e-mails to which it's attached.
Still — in light of the work that you do, in light of the truly important links that you provide people to facilitate their awareness and education, their giving and volunteering — it was crass and inappropriate. It shouldn't have been sent to you and your fellow fundraisers, and I'm deeply sorry that it was.