Most nonprofit organizations know the importance of crafting and sending effective donation request campaigns. However, too few nonprofits focus on improving and optimizing their thank you email.
However, thank you emails play a big role in retaining donors and as such should be a huge part of your email marketing strategy. That’s more than enough reason to make sure you never overlook your thank you email again.
Read on to learn how you can get the most out of your thank you email.
The importance of a thank you email
You may be wondering what makes fundraising thank you emails so important.
Consider the three following reasons:
1. A thank you email strengthens relationships.
As a nonprofit organization, your main duty is to bridge the gap between the disenfranchised and donors that are able to help them. This is what makes email marketing for nonprofits more sensitive than other email marketing campaigns. In many cases, lives are dependent on the success of your campaign.
A thank you helps strengthen not just the relationship you have with your donors, but also the relationship they have with the cause and the people they’re supporting.
2. A thank you email shows your appreciation.
While this may be obvious, it still needs to be mentioned. Your donors need to know that their contribution to your cause is appreciated. To show your true appreciation, you need to craft a thank you note that stands out and shows that you put in effort in crafting it.
3. You need your donors.
Without donor funding, it’s impossible for any nonprofit organization to succeed in its mission, let alone survive. Use your thank you note to let donors know that you appreciate their support and that you can’t do it without them. This encourages more participation from them in the future.
12 tips to creating impactful fundraising thank you emails
Since a thank you note is an important part of your nonprofit email marketing campaign, it’s essential you get it right.
Here are a few tips you can use to ensure your next fundraising thank you emails get the job done right.
1. Segment your list.
Email list segmentation is a critical aspect of email marketing. List segmentation simply means grouping donors with similar attributes together in smaller categories. Segmenting an email list isn’t at all complicated, especially if you’re using Campaign Monitor, as it has advanced segmentation functionality.
Before sending your thank you note, consider segmenting your email list according to:
- New and old donors
- Recurring donors and first-time donors
- Number of years the donors have been supporting your cause
Segmenting your email list in this way will help you personalize your message and show special appreciation to those who’ve stood by you for many years.
2. Craft a clear subject line.
Your subject line is one of the important elements in an email that encourages email opens. Be clear in your subject line that you want to thank the reader.
When crafting your subject line, make it short, punchy, and hard to resist to increase the chances of your email being opened.
3. Make sure your readers know who the email’s from.
Make sure your organization’s name shows clearly in the “From” field of your email. People are more likely to open an email if they know who it’s coming from. One tip for optimizing your “From” field is to put the name of one of your staff members and “from [organization name].” A good example would be something like “Tom from Cat Rescue.”
Including a personal name in the “From” field also enhances the personalization effect of your thank you email.
4. Get personal.
Personalization isn’t just a strategy you use to get your donors to interact with your emails when you’re soliciting for donations. You should also personalize your thank you note. For example, you could mention the specific amount your reader donated. Another way to personalize your fundraising thank you emails is by showing special appreciation to recurring donors.
However, for your thank you email to have greater impact on your readers, start by personalizing the subject line. Doing so increases the chances of your email being opened by as much as 26%.
5. Keep it short.
Keeping your thank you email short and to the point is one of the best practices to keep in mind. Your main aim with a thank you email is to convey your gratitude, so do just that.
Don’t ask for more donations.
6. Share a story.
While it’s important to keep your email short, including a story is always a good idea. To pull this off, craft your thank you note as if it’s from one of the affected individuals you’re assisting. Sharing a story will help you:
- Show the impact of the donation
- Help the reader relate to the cause
- Make the email more interesting
So, next time you craft a thank you note, include a story.
7. Use images.
Use images to help create a lasting impression with your email. While you’re not asking for donations at this time, images of the cause you’re championing serve as a gentle reminder that there’s still a lot to be done.
8. Ask your donors to spread the word.
Another tip for crafting high-impact fundraising thank you email is to ask your recipients to share the cause. Make it easy for readers to share your email (or a campaign page) by including social sharing buttons in your email. One of the biggest gifts your donors can give is to share your cause with their network.
Source: Really Good Emails
9. Include a signature.
While it’s impossible to handwrite every single thank you email, you can add a personalized touch by including the signature of a senior person in your organization. Doing so makes your readers feel more appreciated, as the email will have the “feel” of coming from a real person.
10. Don’t forget the P.S.
Two of the most read parts of an email are the introduction and the P.S. Include a P.S. in your thank you email and use it to drive engagement. For example, use the P.S. to direct readers to a page where they can get updates on what your organization is doing. It becomes easier for you to solicit for more donations to those who express interest by visiting such a page.
You can also use the P.S. to invite those who haven’t signed up for your newsletter to do so. You can use the P.S. section for virtually anything that helps you drive engagement with your donors.
11. Remind your donors of the value of their donations.
When crafting your fundraising thank you emails, always make sure to show your donors the value of their contribution.
While in monetary terms it may not be that much, make them feel they’ve achieved a lot through their donation. Everyone loves knowing that their contribution isn’t just a figure on paper, but that it’s making a real difference in the world.
12. Get your timing right.
Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. However, when it comes to your thank you email, there are two aspects that you need to pay special attention to:
- Send as soon as you can. Your thank you note, just like your welcome email, should be sent as soon as possible. Anything from immediately to two days after is acceptable. Anything more than that isn’t.
- Send at the right time. If you’re to send your thank you email after some time, make sure to send it when your reader is awake. Doing so increases the chances of the email being seen, opened, and read.
It’s important that your donors see your thank you email as it plays an important role in brand awareness.
Now that you know what it takes to craft high-impact fundraising thank you emails, it’s time to put your new insights into action. A well-designed thank you email goes a long way to ensure that your donors continue supporting you and your cause. Remember, a thank you email:
- Strengthens relationships
- Shows your appreciation
- Lets your donors know you need them
For more in-depth information on how to create the perfect fundraising campaign, make sure to read our guide on Email Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits.
These are ideas that are bound to help you drive more donations, enabling you to put your fundraising thank you emails to work.