Nonprofit organizations have it pretty hard. Faced with the challenges of making a difference in the world (usually involving tackling important and complex problems) using shoestring budgets, it’s a miracle they manage at all.
Whether it’s a simple brand or cause awareness campaign, fundraising, or recruiting volunteers, it all takes money. This is why nonprofits need a marketing channel that can help them achieve their marketing goals and the organization’s mission.
Read on to discover a few reasons why email should be your go-to marketing tool—reasons you can use to pitch a nonprofit email strategy to your boss.
4 email marketing statistics to help guide your nonprofit email strategy
If your boss is a data geek, here are some email marketing statistics you can share with them to support your bid for an email marketing strategy:
- Of all industries, the nonprofit sector has the highest email open rates (20.39%).
- Email drives 6 times more click throughs than Twitter.
- A message is 5 times more likely to be seen on email than on Facebook.
- Email generates the best ROI of any marketing channel.
The numbers speak for themselves. But what does all this mean, as far as nonprofit email marketing is concerned?
5 reasons email should be the cornerstone of your nonprofit marketing
How can you convince your boss that email marketing is a great strategy for building a team of loyal supporters and driving donations through the roof?
1. Email marketing is cost effective.
One of the biggest reasons your nonprofit organization needs email marketing is that it’s one of the most cost-effective methods of reaching out to and building relationships with your donors.
Unlike other marketing channels, email still has a low barrier of entry. For example, there are no advertising fees or printing costs involved. Email marketing is definitely the way to go if you want to maximize your funding.
Besides being a cost-effective marketing channel, email is also easy to implement. In fact, with email service providers like Campaign Monitor, you can get running right away.
This ultimately means you don’t need to spend much in training or hiring a team to run your fundraising campaigns.
2. Connects you directly to your donors
Another great reason you need to invest in email marketing is that email gives you direct access to your donors.
Privacy has become a big issue in recent years, particularly due to the alarming occurrences of data breaches. Because of this, people have become careful about who they share their information with.
This is where email comes to your rescue.
Numerous studies continue to show that people prefer to communicate with brands via email, even your donors.
Source: Marketing Charts
While many new communication channels like social media and chatbots seem to be taking center stage, they fall short where it matters most: giving you direct access to your donors. And your donors prefer it too.
Here’s data to back up these claims:
- Research by Marketing Sherpa indicates that a whopping 91% of American adults prefer to receive marketing material via email.
- According to a study by McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective than social media when it comes to customer (and donor) acquisition.
3. Easy to automate
Most nonprofit organizations run on skeleton staff. Overworked, they can’t keep up with most of their duties. Fortunately, communicating important events, updates, or asking for donations doesn’t need to be one of the tasks to burden yourself with.
This doesn’t mean you should do away with these responsibilities; they do form the backbone of your relationships with your donors. What you must do is automate your communications with your donors.
With an email service provider, you can easily schedule and automate different types of campaigns to run on autopilot, thereby saving you time and effort.
Not only does automating save you time, but it also makes you more efficient, while simultaneously speeding up your outreach.
4. Allows you to create personalized messages
People are bombarded by information every day. For you to stand out, you need to create messages that appeal to your target audience. Again, email is your answer here.
Source: Really Good Emails
Thanks to the powerful segmentation capabilities email service providers like Campaign Monitor afford you, you can create highly personalized messages that your donors will notice. How? Through segmentation.
Segmentation simply means grouping donors with similar attributes together. Some possible categories include:
- Donation history
- Income bracket
Grouping your donors this way allows you to treat them like a single person. Using data you harvest from your interactions with them, you can create tailored messages that help you relate to each recipient as if they were your personal friend.
As a result, your donors are more likely to support you (their friend) in championing your cause.
5. Has high engagement
You probably know that engagement plays a big role in ensuring that you have a solid team of supporters. There’s no better way to drive engagement than by email.
Email allows you to keep your audience engaged in some unique and effective ways, such as:
- A regular newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to keep your loyal supporters informed and engaged. Particularly if you employ storytelling techniques, you’ll have them hooked.
- Sending event invitations. Events are some of the best plans to cast your vision and sell your mission. Email is a great way to ensure that your local sponsors know about your next event.
- Holiday emails. Holidays are the best time to solicit for donations. Automate a holiday email marketing campaign to engage your donors during this special season.
The biggest advantage of having an engaged audience is that they become more like team members than just donors. As a result, they’re usually ready and willing to answer your call for help, whenever needed.
6. Easy to track results
Many nonprofit marketers make the mistake of using only one metric to track the impact of their campaigns: donations.
Unfortunately, knowing how much you manage to raise in the form of donations won’t help you improve your marketing strategy.
With email, you can track much more than your donations. Other important metrics you can track include (but aren’t limited to):
- Open rates. Your open rate is the percentage of people who open your emails.
- Click-through rates. The percentage of people who click on a link in your email.
- Unsubscribes. This is the percentage of your email recipients who choose to unsubscribe from your communications.
These (and more) metrics are important to track, as they give deeper insight into how your email campaign is performing.
An important reason why you need to keep tabs on these is that they help you see the parts of your campaign that are working and those that aren’t. Using the data you gather, you can then determine how to improve on your next campaign.
7. Email can boost your fundraising.
Apart from the actual fieldwork, fundraising is the biggest part of running a nonprofit organization. Email is one tool that every nonprofit needs in their repertoire of tools, as it’s been proven to drive results.
Because of its direct nature, personalization capabilities, and many more advantages, it’s easier to communicate your need in a way that your readers can relate to.
Source: Really Good Emails
Another reason why email is a great way to boost donations is the fact that people find it easier to donate online using email.
With just a few simple clicks, your readers can donate to their favorite cause—all in the comfort of their homes or even on the move.
By making it easier for your readers to catch your vision and partner with it, you ensure that more donations come in.
Once you gather all the data, it becomes obvious: Email is the best marketing tool you can use for your nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Remember:
- It’s a direct method of communication
- Affords you advanced personalization capabilities
- Provides an easy platform for donors to give
So, if your boss needs convincing, these points are bound to get them to understand the important role that email plays in your nonprofit marketing strategy.
However, if you need more information, be sure to check out our nonprofit email marketing guide.