The Nebraska Community Foundation works with community, organizational and donor-advised affiliated funds serving 250 communities located in 80 counties. NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $269 million in Nebraska since 1994.
E-mail marketing is a great tool for connecting with donors. Used effectively, this permission-based marketing strategy can deliver one of the highest returns of any eMarketing activity.
E-mail marketing is one of the most powerful of all eMarketing tactics because it is:
E-mail marketing is a tool for building relationships with both existing and potential donors. It should maximize the retention and value of these donors, which should ultimately lead to greater investment in your organization.
As with all eMarketing activities, careful planning is critical, as is careful testing and evaluating. E-mail marketing may be cost effective, but the cost of getting it wrong can be very high. When used to foster relationships with donors, e-mail marketing goes a long way to increasing the lifetime value of that donor.
E-mail marketing is highly measurable and databases can be highly segmented. However, with the increasing numbers of organizations using e-mail marketing, many consumers are e-mail fatigued. It requires creativity, focus and commitment to maintain an e-mail database and consistently deliver useful quality e-mails that will be read.
The “to,” “from” and “reply to” fields are opportunities to build a relationship through creating a perception of familiarity. The potential donor needs to perceive that the e-mail is somewhat unique for them and sent personally by someone from the organization.
The subject line could be the most important part of the e-mail. Subject lines aid the potential donor in identifying the e-mail and enticing them to open it. The subject line is also monitored closely by spam filters.
With a database that has entries for donors’ names, it is possible to personalize the greeting of the e-mail. “Hi Diane” can create a far better responses than “Dear Donor”.
This is where the content of the e-mail goes. Don’t use too many images. It can increase the size of the e-mail, and it can obscure text when images do not load.
It is a best practice to have an unsubscribe link on all mass e-mails.
Information adapted from eMarketing: The Essential Guide to Online Marketing, Second Edition, by Rob Stokes and compiled by Sarah Blake, first published 2008 by Quirk eMarketing (Pty) Ltd.
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