Resources Hub » Knowledge base » How Do I Start Email Marketing For My Nonprofit?

Keeping in touch with donors is critical for your organization. Supporters want to stay abreast of your work and, more importantly, the people that benefit from your efforts.

Email marketing for nonprofits is personal for your supporters, as every contribution they make gives them intangibles in return. Communication helps maintain those rewards and the integrity of your organization.

What is email marketing for a nonprofit?

Email is an essential tool that keeps you connected to your supporters. Your donors want to know the impact they’re making through their contributions. These messages also let them know you appreciate their consistency in backing your purpose and goals.

What are the benefits?

Email marketing offers advantages for both the recipient and the sender. Effective messages offer a myriad of benefits for your nonprofit, including:

  • Loyalty: Regular email communications cultivate donor loyalty by keeping them connected with your organization.
  • Expansion: Through the effective use of emails, you can expand the reach of your organization globally.
  • Donations: Regular communication can increase the frequency and amount of your donations.

The average ROI for email marketing is 28.5%. The ROI for direct mail is just 7%, so moving to email marketing is essential to take your nonprofit to the next level.

Why is personalization important?

While email communication is good, personalized emails are much better.  Whether you are trying to connect with disengaged supporters, recruit volunteers, or increase attendance at your next event, the right email can make all the difference.

Personalized email produces six times more transactions than non-personal email.

Begin by breaking supporters into categories, such as volunteers, new and recurring donors, event attendees, and board members.

This email targets a previous donor with a request to re-engage with the organization:

This email targets a previous donor with a request to re-engage with the organization:

Source: Campaign Monitor

By tailoring emails to each recipient, you increase the likelihood that your email will get opened and that your recipient will engage with your organization.

How to measure your nonprofit’s email marketing success

Once your email marketing is in full swing, you need to tweak the strategy as necessary to make campaigns more effective. However, you can’t improve on what you haven’t measured. Analytics are essential to any marketing effort, including email.

There are different ways to track your success, including these key metrics:

  • Deliverability: Rate at which your emails make it to your recipients’ inboxes
  • Opens: Number of recipients that open your email
  • Click-through: Recipients that click on a link within your email
  • Opt-in: Recipients that subscribe to your email list
  • Unsubscribe: Subscribers that opt out of your email list

By tracking these variables consistently, you can pinpoint potential issues and make the necessary adjustments to improve your return rate.

Does it really matter?

Launching a successful email marketing campaign may seem like more effort than it’s worth, but consider the potential benefits of your hard work. Nonprofits that use this tool typically experience higher engagement with supporters, donors give more generously, and volunteer participation increases.

There are numerous ways to send email communications to your supporters:

  • Newsletters: Take your newsletters to the next level by personalizing them for recipients who have attended certain events or supported certain campaigns.
  • Invitations: Email is the perfect way to target previous attendees with personalized invites and attract new interest to grow your base.
  • Appeals: Whether you’re launching a new cause or restoring interest in a current campaign with a seasonal push, appeals for donations can make a substantial impact.
  • Thank you messages: Let your donors and volunteers know how much you appreciate their dedication and generosity with emails designed just for them.

Thank you messages: Let your donors and volunteers know how much you appreciate their dedication and generosity with emails designed just for them.

Source: Campaign Monitor

What now?

While this article gives you the basics, there’s a lot more to learn to make the most of your email campaigns. Check out this source for more detailed guidelines on how to launch a successful email marketing plan and this infographic to learn how to drive more donations online.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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