Email Marketing for Non-Profits

Email Marketing for Non-Profits poster

We have seen a wide variance in Non-Profit marketing plans over the last few years. Many fail to capitalise on new technologies to increase automation and personalisation. Due to the perceived low investment cost, email is often not given the credit it is due. Despite being widely recognised as a valuable part of the digital marketing strategy, it is often not adequately resourced (staff and/or budget). Too often reporting does not incorporate the broader impact of email communications, e.g. in boosting retention levels of regular givers or growing lifetime donor value. Instead, it focuses on short term campaign KPIs.

Below are five email marketing techniques for Non-Profits to improve their results with email:

Method 1. Email Newsletter Signup – Very often the benefits of signing up aren’t transparent. Defining and communicating what value you will provide potential donors through your newsletter builds trust and encourages sign-up. It is essential to set expectations (e.g., how regularly you will email) and demonstrate your organisation’s sense of purpose.

Method 2. Welcome process – charities are skilled at welcoming in person and over the phone when someone has signed up as a volunteer or donated to a cause. This is rarely done well via email! Set up a three or four stage welcome email campaign to send to all new sign-ups. It is good practice and good manners, plus it is also likely to encourage good open rates and levels of engagement.

A robust welcome workflow helps introduce other opportunities for people to find out more about your cause on the website as well as boost your social media following and engagement.

Method 3. Personalised content – how often do we feel that the email content is tailored to what the charity knows about us? The functionality to use conditional content is available with email systems to provide more relevant, engaging email communications.

Method 4. Split Testing – Email is an inexpensive way to test your marketing ideas ahead of expensive activity such as print and telemarketing. This means marketing funds can be used much more effectively.  For example, you could use the results from an email subject line test to determine the best approach for a direct mail pack. We have also used content block testing to identify the best strategy for outdoor media successfully.

Method 5. Segmentation – Use email insights to develop a deeper understanding of your audience and donors to improve targeting. While many Non-Profits will have sophisticated donor segmentation models, it is still unusual for email campaign insights to be used in developing these models. By including open and click-through rates to help tell how engaged audiences are and to predict their media preferences could enhance campaign performance through better-informed targeting.

Email marketing is a powerful and low cost digital marketing tool. Use it to engage your audience further with personalised, automated emails. Your Non-Profit can easily thank your donors, attract more volunteers, and spread your mission to a broader audience.