Optimize Fundraising E-mail Communications by Driving Engagement
Latto and Gilman shared a few sign-up form best practices to eliminate unnecessary barriers for supporters, using Catholic Charities USA's form as an example:
- Connect to the form to the mission — Catholic Charities has engaging photos of its work to connect to the mission.
- Set expectations and communicate value — "Sign up for our e-mails to: Read inspiring stories; Learn about new programs; Get advocacy alerts; Hear about how you can get involved."
- Overcome objections — "And don't worry — we won't share or sell your information with anyone else and we won't overwhelm your inbox. We just want to be able to keep you involved in our work. After all, we can't do this without you."
- Short form — "Join our Email List!" (asks only for First Name, Last Name and E-mail).
Some possible additions to this form include making it clear that supporters can opt out at any time and also providing some links to sample communications.
Once a supporter signs up for e-mail communications, a confirmation e-mail should be sent that once again connects to the mission, sets expectations and adds value for the recipient. In the case of the American Red Cross, the organization does all three:
- Connect to the mission: "You're a part of a worldwide community of supporters actively committed to bringing relief to millions of people in need, whether it's a family rebuilding their home after a destructive tornado or a hospital patient in need of a critical blood transfusion."
- Set expectations: "As a Red Cross email subscriber, you'll receive breaking news on major disasters around the world, useful health and safety tips, and opportunities to get involved with Red Cross"
- Added value: "To say thanks, we want to share a special offer of 10% off your entire Red Cross Store order. use discount code WELCOME at checkout through the next month."
E-mail communications content
Once you have supporters on your housefile, it's vital to segment your communications to keep messages relevant and engaging. The most basic way to segment is by recognizing and thanking donors for past giving and acknowledging their support.