5 Tips to Improve Your Nonprofit's Email Strategy

September 01, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Taylor Brennan

Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits Crash Course

Email’s relevance and impact for nonprofit organizations continues to grow. According to the M+R Benchmark 2016 report, email lists for nonprofits grew by an average of 14% in 2015, outpacing their average churn rate of 11.4%.

The same benchmark report also found that email action metrics, like open and click through rates are all down.

Subscribers are growing, but they’re engaging with emails less? Huh?

Don’t take your list subscribers for granted. Getting them on your list is just the first step. If you want them to join, volunteer, or otherwise become active members, your emails need to inspire them.

Follow These Five Tips for a More Effective Email Strategy

1) Know your Personas

It always starts with your personas, right? You can’t send compelling, motivating emails if you don’t know what inspires and motivates your personas. Recognize that different personas may be more motivated by different messages, so tailor content that appeals to your personas’ varying interests. If you haven’t created your personas, or it’s time to freshen them up, check out these persona templates developed specifically for nonprofit organizations.

2) Get Email Addresses the Right Way – Don’t Buy Lists

Bad, aged information. Low conversion rates. Is the member application rate return on a cold list ever worth the squeeze? No. Even less so when you consider how you could have used that effort and resources to attract warm prospects into your database.

Attracting people to your organization and into your prospect database is why you publish all that great content. Instead of wasting money and energy on a purchased list, take a hard look at how your content is performing. Are people sharing their email addresses with you to access your best content? If not, then you need to reassess what you’re publishing.

Perhaps your inbound list is light because traffic to your website and blog is light. Your gated content converts well — you’re just not generating enough traffic to see the prospect growth you need. That should trigger a harder look into your SEO and PPC strategies.

You have many inbound marketing options to pull potential volunteers, members, and donors into your database, and all of them are better than buying a list.

3) Segment Your Email List — Not all Constituents are at the Same Level of Commitment

Your prospects and members are touched by different stories and messages. That’s why you want to tailor email content by persona and behavior. They also differ in the level of commitment, financial or otherwise, they’re ready to make right now.

While financial means are part of this equation, also keep in mind length and frequency of donations. Someone who made donation a month ago probably isn’t ready for another fundraising email.

If you’re trying to nudge semi-active members to increase their activity, then customize your emails highlighting past and …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog


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