EMAIL MARKETING - STILL THE BEST
Email marketing might not seem very modern or revolutionary, but despite all the newfangled ways of reaching people these days, email consistently continues to deliver the best Return on Investment (ROI) for many organizations. In fact, it’s 3X more effective than social media.
Email marketing reaches the people who've already expressed some baseline interest in what you do. These are important people! They're way more likely to donate than a stranger on the street. Email marketing is easy, targeted, and full of rich data that will help you learn about them.
GETTING STARTED WITH AN ESP
If you haven’t already, signed up for an Email Service Provider (ESP). We highly recommend using an ESP instead of Gmail or Outlook. Gmail and Outlook are not designed to send mass mailings and using them can get you marked as spam (not good!). There are a lot of ESPs out there, but we recommend Mailchimp for small nonprofits. Mailchimp has many benefits:
BUILDING YOUR LIST
An easy place to start with your email list is your Flipcause account, or any other engagement tool you use (PayPal, Eventbrite, etc). Whenever someone makes a donation (or buys a ticket, etc.), they are entering their email address. Compile a list of email addresses from all the services you’ve used to generate engagement.
(How to pull a report of email addresses from Flipcause)
There are several ways to expand your email list beyond donors. Be sure to collect email addresses at events and functions. Have your leadership team collect business cards and add them to your email list. You should also include a newsletter sign-up form on your website, and you can get one from your ESP to ensure that signups go directly to your list. (How to get the code from MailChimp)
SETTING UP EMAIL TEMPLATES
Unlike regular emails, marketing emails have a visual design. Your email design should reflect your brand and be clean and easy to read. That said, it can take some time to design something that looks great. Luckily, Mailchimp makes it easy with drag-and-drop tools. They also allow you to create and save templates that you can use over and over again. Don't reinvent the wheel by redesigning each email! Create templates that are ready to fill with content and deploy at a moment's notice.
WHAT AND HOW TO WRITE
Even though you're unlikely to get direct responses to the emails you send out, you should still think of them as a conversation. Treat emails like you're going on a date: avoid babbling on and on about your accomplishments. Your supporters already like you enough to want to receive your emails, now make them feel special! Tell them about the impact they've had on your organization, or give them ideas about how they can help. At the very least, provide information that they will find useful or interesting.
Email topic ideas: