Optimize Fundraising E-mail Communications by Driving Engagement
While the world is moving toward mobile domination, e-mail is still an integral part to any fundraising communications strategy. Whether it is on their desktops, laptops or mobile devices, donors, prospects and supporters continue to utilize e-mail on a regular basis.
However, everyone is bombarded with messages daily. According to Marketo's "The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing," "on any given day, the average customer will be exposed to 2,904 media messages, will pay attention to 52 and will positively remember only four." So with so much noise to sort through, how do you get your organization's e-mail to break through the clutter? By driving engagement through engaging e-mails.
At Blackbaud's annual bbcon conference, Sophia Latto, principal consultant at Blackbaud's UX Design Group, and Scott Gilman, senior consultant of donor engagement at Blackbaud, shared the key attributes of engaging e-mail and ways to optimize e-mail communications in their session, "Email in a Social Media/Mobile Device World."
Create engaging e-mail
Engaging e-mail communications are trustworthy, relevant and strategic, according to Latto and Gilman. Trustworthy e-mails set expectations for the recipient, keep the housefile clean so only those who signed up and are interested receive the messages, and are consistent. Relevant e-mails are segmented, personalized and offer good content — i.e., the same message should not go out to everyone on your e-mail list. Strategic e-mails are readable and utilize analytics and testing to determine what types of messages to send and to whom to send them.
Prioritize e-mail sign-up
One of the most efficient ways to grow your e-mail housefile is to prioritize e-mail sign-up on your website. For instance, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has a call to action right on its homepage to "Sign Up for Bay Updates." The call to action is prominently displayed right below the opening image rotator, making it easy for any visitor to sign up for e-mail communications.