Email Marketing Done Proper for PDX Nonprofits
There’s nothing terribly new about email marketing, and because of this, it’s surprising just how many nonprofits are still not consistently using it as a staple part of their communication with stakeholders. Direct mailing is still going strong, but phone call outreach campaigns are becoming less and less effective. In-person events, while still the gold standard for communication and fund raising, are expensive and time-consuming.
But email marketing is fast, and reaches your audience almost instantly. It’s also quite convenient. And, provided that it’s done correctly, it can be far more effective than other traditional forms of marketing that you may be holding on to.
In the business world, email marketing used in combination with other modes of communication is seen as an essential component of just about any campaign. And email communication can be a fantastic way to strengthen the presentation of your mission and values, while building direct relationships with all your stakeholders.
“But,” you may be saying, “where are we going to find the time to add consistent, relevant email communication with everything we’re already doing?” The good news is, it’s not that complicated or time consuming. Read on for ten tips and tricks to streamline your email marketing efforts.
1) Write an Effective Subject Line
The subject line of your email will most likely determine when, and if, it is ever opened, so you definitely want to keep it short. Less than fifty characters is ideal. Additionally, make sure that you are direct about what the email contains.
2) Keep It Brief and to the Point
In the nonprofit sector, we love to talk about everything that’s going on with our various campaigns and programs. Resist the urge to cram a massive update into an email format.
Keep in mind that your recipients may not have time when going through emails to read much more than a brief list of bullet points. Respect their time. Give them what they need to know concisely.
3) Be Direct and Engaging
While you’re crafting your email communication, keep your purpose for sending the email in mind. What do you want them to do upon reading your message? The more times you can engage with the point of the communication, the more likely your readers are to follow through with your request.
4) Provide Incentives
If you are being direct in what you are asking your constituents to do, you might consider providing them with an incentive to do so. It can be as simple as a personalized thank you, or something like ephemera that your organization regularly gives out.
5) Make It Easy for Them
If the point of your email communication is to get your constituents to sign up for a newsletter, to buy tickets to an in-person event or workshop, or to engage on a social media platform, then make it easy for them to do so. Provide everything they need to complete the action right there in the email, or through a one-step link if at all possible.
6) Ask Them to Share Your Message
Make sure to include share buttons for all your social media platforms in the message, and encourage recipients to use them. Use your constituents as brand evangelists every opportunity you get.
7) Give Thanks
Your email subscribers are most likely your biggest support, both in spirit and financially. Make sure to thank them for taking the time to read and share your message.
8) Make Sure to Time the Sending of Your Emails Correctly
Timing is everything, and when you choose to send your email can have a massive impact on its effectiveness. Understanding your audience is the key to targeting the best time to send email communication.
Generally speaking, Monday and Friday are the least effective days to send email communication. Most email is opened around noon and after six in the evening. But you may have constituents that only open personal email on the weekend. Some testing may be required to figure out the best time to send.
9) Test, Re-Test, and Test Again
Provided that you are direct with your call to action and can measure your constituents’ follow-through on that action, you can test your timing and the effectiveness of your subject line and message.
Divide your email list into groups, and experiment with different body text, subject lines, and send times. See which gets you the greatest results.
10) Send Messages Regularly
Stick to a consistent schedule that allows you to keep your messages brief and to the point. Your constituents are much more likely engage with consistent communication that respects their time and rewards their involvement.
PDX Nonprofits Have Everything to Gain From Good Email Campaigns
If you’ve been thinking about setting up a regular email communication campaign for your nonprofit in Portland, these ten tips should be a help. Email campaigns, if executed properly, can be a great benefit to your communication, outreach, programming, and fundraising efforts.
And remember — East Side Printing Co. offers special discounts to non-profits operating in the PDX area. Get in touch with us today and we’ll get you a free quote on whatever job you need designed, printed or mailed!
[Photos via: Cramirez, Frescodata, Simplyzesty]