1 Email to Steal, 1 Email to Learn From for Fundraisers
As did you, I suspect, I awoke this morning to an email-box full of ... well, emails. Everything from toenail fungus removal to a business proposal awaited me. And, as I do every morning, I quickly sorted the wheat from the chaff and winnowed the contents of my mailbox down to what mattered (to me).
It's no secret that whatever is in the inbox when your nonprofit's email arrives is a competitor. No, removing toenail fungus for 50 percent off has nothing to do with feeding a hungry child or saving the ocean, but we all have limited time and limited capacity to absorb. In our efforts to filter down the contents of our inboxes to a manageable amount (whatever that is for each individual), we may toss the email from the well-meaning nonprofit even if we support it and believe in its mission.
But two recent emails caught my attention. The first came from eBay. (First photo.)
Now you may have missed the significance of Aug. 12, but eBay didn't. In fact, eBay emailed me to remind me it was my 12-year eBay anniversary and to tell me how much the company valued having me as part of the eBay community. It also attached a PDF of a certificate (sadly, not personalized) that I should "display proudly." (Second photo.)
I admit it — I was surprised (pleasantly); I had no idea it had been 12 years since I don't bother to keep track of those things. And yes, I felt pretty good that eBay took the time to acknowledge and thank me. Yes, I know it's all automated and no human woke up that morning and said, "Hey! It's Pamela Barden's eBay anniversary! Let's send her an email to say 'thanks!'" But my non-rational side — the side that decides where to invest my disposable income, be it on eBay for a much-needed trinket to add to my crowded curio cabinet or in response to your direct-mail appeal — felt pretty positive about eBay that day.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.