Nonprofit organizations often rely on donations to achieve their goals. That’s a major reason why email marketing is vital to any nonprofit promotional strategy. With email, you have the opportunity to maintain and cultivate lasting relationships with donors.

If you’re planning a nonprofit email marketing campaign, keep these tips in mind.

Optimize the Signup Process

You can’t share your organization’s message with followers if no one signs up for your email list. Thus, you need to ensure doing so is simple.

Design a brand-appropriate sign-up form that pops up when guests visit specific pages on your website. You should also promote your email list via other channels, such as social media.

Make sure subscribing to your newsletter is easy for your potential followers. While you may want to ask a few additional questions to find out what types of content they’re interested in receiving, for the most part, you want the process of signing up for your list to involve sharing basic information. If you ask a guest to provide their full address, personal details, and phone number, they won’t be inclined to complete the signup form. Ask for their name and email address, and they’ll be more likely to subscribe.

Monitor Engagement

Getting people to subscribe to your email list is only the first step. You also need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your content interesting and relevant for your followers. After all, the average open rate for marketing emails is approximately 21.09%. Although people subscribe to your list, there is no guarantee that they will actually engage with your content.

Thus, it’s important to monitor signs of engagement, such as open rates and conversions. This helps you better determine what types of content your followers respond to, and what types of content they ignore.

Boost Open Rates with Simple Tricks

Monitoring engagement in order to develop stronger content isn’t the only way you can boost open rates. Simply including a recipient’s name in the subject line can improve your open rates by as much as 50%. That’s because your followers appreciate personalization.

You could take this principle a step further by segmenting your list into smaller groups. This tactic, which has also been shown to improve open rates, involves separating your full subscriber list into sub-categories to ensure followers only receive relevant emails.

Perhaps you’re alerting your email list subscribers about an upcoming donor event. There’s a possibility some may live in parts of the world that make it virtually impossible for them to attend. Sorting your list so that only those followers who can actually attend the event receive emails about it helps you avoid flooding your other followers’ inboxes with unnecessary content.

Send Different Types of Emails

Don’t make the mistake of only sending donation request emails. While your overall goal may be to increase donations, you’re not going to develop positive relationships with your followers if you only send content requesting money.

Use email to share news about your organization, remind followers of your mission, and announce upcoming events. You’re limiting your campaign’s potential by restricting yourself to one type of message.

Design for Readability

There are a lot of distractions on the Internet. You can’t expect followers to focus entirely on your emails upon opening them, so you must prioritize strong design and readability. With people now reading emails on mobile devices more often than on computers, this is more important than ever.

Your main goal is to design an email that reflects your brand while also being readable on a small screen. Avoid large paragraphs, use formatting elements to organize your content, and include images and other dynamic elements to separate sections of text.

Most importantly, proactively monitor your progress. Understanding if an email marketing strategy is working requires paying attention to which tactics are delivering results and which are not. By remembering these points and monitoring your campaigns, you’ll learn why email marketing offers nonprofits major advantages.

About the Author(s)

 Rae  Steinbach

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content.

Writer, Taktical Digital
Everything You Need to Know About Nonprofit Email Marketing