With roughly 306 billion+ emails sent every day, the battle for attention is real.
The key to a good donor appeal, by way of email, is knowing your audience and being intentional with what your desired outcome. We're going to highlight the biggest mistakes you might be making, and how to correct them!
Pick one main thing that you want your email to achieve and focus on that. In an era of short attention spans this can go along away when it comes to conversions.
Biggest Email Marketing mistakes Nonprofits make
(and what to do instead when writing emails)
You leave your netiquette at the door
- Don't forget your greetings, "Hi there," "Hello," "Hey," "Hola," "Ciao," etc.
- If you can, set up your mailing list sign-up form to collect first names. This will help you personalize your email campaigns.
You use ambiguous subject lines or avoid them altogether
- Clarity over creativity. I know how this sounds, but if a subject line is too vague, you risk your reader skipping right over your email in the inbox.
- Use the subject line to catch the reader’s attention.
- Don’t be afraid to get fun with emojis! 🚀 ♻️ 😍
No A/B Testing
This is not something you can try from your personal email account. Try Tools like Mailchimp, Active Campaign, or others for your nonprofit email marketing that have features enabling you to try different versions of A/B Testing. This means you test out two different options (say for the subject line) on a small segment of your mailing list and then then winning one is sent to the remaining majority of your list.
- A/B test subject lines, imagery, and call-to-actions whenever you can to make sure you're using effective messaging practices tailored to YOUR audiences.
- Send out both options and set it up so the winner gets sent to the rest of your mailing list.
*Mailchimp offers a 15% discount to nonprofits and charities For nonprofit Platform Discounts on these platforms, visit here.
Leaving your Preview Text blank
Capitalize on the space email platforms give you to give a sneak peak to the message you're about to send. According to a Invespcro report, around 47% of email recipients open their email based on the subject line.
- Think of your subject line and Preview Text as best friends.
- Make your preview text an extension of your subject line.
- Add personalization (tokens) in your preview text using the reader's first name.
- Use the short blurb in the preview text to summarize your key takeaway.
Too many "asks" (or links)
The general rule for Email Marketing best practices is to have ONE goal that you want your readers to accomplish with your email. For example: an email with a goal to drive donations is going to have a very direct intentional message versus a newsletter, which is designed to inform a reader on multiple initiatives going on. The latter would likely have various links rather than a drive to a single conversion.
- Have a simple and clear call to action. Don’t be afraid to use buttons, or bold, to set important and actionable content apart.
- Use analytics to your advantage. Leverage everything your email platform has to offer. Identify the best times to send and tailor specific campaigns to their target audiences.