All businesses and organizations want to stay connected with their audience, but maintaining a presence with your customers is especially important for nonprofits. You want to promote your mission to as many people as possible, and you don’t want to spend a fortune. There are dozens of ways to connect with people today, and it’s important to pick the one that’s right for you.
Email marketing for nonprofits is one of the most worthwhile investments in any digital marketing strategy, boasting an incredible 4300 percent ROI. Who can argue with that? Reaching people through their inboxes is, in fact, a smart and powerful marketing strategy.
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What is email marketing?
The concept behind email marketing is simple: target a group of people by sending them an email message. It allows you to stay connected to your audience, it promotes your nonprofit, and it lets you update subscribers on news in your niche. When it’s done well, email marketing for nonprofits can deliver exceptional results in the forms of donations, subscriptions, and more.
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“We are so grateful for the way WebFX has helped take us to the next level with SEO and content. We are excited to see the greater impact we can make as a non-profit thanks to the changes we have begun to make.”
Why is email marketing for nonprofits important?
Email marketing reaches out to more people than practically every other marketing strategy, and you can tell all of those people about your mission and how they can get involved. It’s especially effect for quickly grabbing the attention of your readers, which is often needed for nonprofits, and you can also direct personalized thank-you’s and other messages that keep your recipients engaged. By achieving all of this and more, email marketing builds trust in the relationships you have with your connections.
How to use email marketing as a nonprofit organization
But how does a nonprofit use email marketing? You have plenty of opportunities.
Build an email file
Because you’re using email, you’ll need to compile a contact list so that only people who voluntarily submit their email addresses will hear from you — otherwise, you’ll come across as spam. You can acquire email address either in person or online using a couple key methods:
- Ask website visitors to register. And make it easy. Don’t ask for too much information — the bare bones of a name and email address can be enough most of the time. It’s a simple and effective way to secure leads.
- Add an email box to response forms. Anytime there’s an interaction planned, like a membership drive or other event, set up a physical area to collect contact information. You can also add an email box to response forms send via regular mail.
- Use a landing page. Landing pages are specialized pages on your site that are specifically made to catch user attention. Adding a subscription area to a landing page is a great way to increase your email listing.
- Put out a sign-up sheet. At planned events, display a sign-up sheet asking for email addresses. Interested people will sign up, giving you quality leads.
- Give something away. During events, you can also ask people to supply their business cards, which contain their email addresses. Use the cards to do a drawing, and give a prize to the winner.
However you decide to build your list, be sure to focus on your connections. What’s in it for them if they provide you with their email address? Show people what they get in exchange for their personal information, and they’ll be more likely to hand it over to you.
Attract visitors to your website
Even though digital marketing is hugely important in the nonprofit sector, much of the work you do is offline at fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and other events. Bridge the gap between the two worlds, and offer your website address wherever you can. Add it to promotional materials like brochures, business cards, and anything you send through direct mail. Closing the gap between your web presence and your brick-and-mortar identity is especially helpful for branding and identification.
Collect and reference marketing data
Data from your previous email blasts can be immensely helpful to your future plans by showing you what’s working and what isn’t. Once you’re emailing your list of subscribers, you’ll be able to see who opens their emails, who clicks to your website, and more. This information is critical to refining your email marketing strategy for future success.
7 Email marketing ideas for nonprofits
After your list is established, it’s time to begin a campaign. For more targeted results, you can separate your lists and create appropriate content for each.
For example, the emails you send to people who have subscribed to you for a year can be different from the emails you send to new leads. You can also differentiate lists based on what subscribers click most frequently. Subscribers can be interested in any number of topics, including:
- Promotional events. If you want to raise awareness and connect with your supporters, promote events via email. Any type of event poses an opportunity to work toward your goals.
- Communication. Send a newsletter, an email blast, an e-card, etc.
- Helpful content. People love to receive free and helpful content, like guides or articles. Other resources include lists, videos, and infographics.
- Follow-up emails. After an event or any other type of client interaction, send a follow-up email after a few days. This shows you’re diligent, aware, and considerate of your new subscribers.
- Surveys. Surveys provide authentic information from the people you’re trying to reach, so they’re great when it comes to planning future campaigns and making adjustments to current ones. Just keep them short.
- Unsubscribing. The last thing you want is for someone to unsubscribe from your emails. But if you’re sending unwanted emails, the recipients will feel like you’re spamming them. It’s bad to lose addresses from your email list, but it’s worse to have a poor reputation.
- Hire a professional. Email marketing for nonprofits is sometimes best handled by a professional Internet marketing company. Your time is valuable, so leave it to the experts and move on to managing your nonprofit.
Reach more donors with email marketing for nonprofits
Here at WebFX, we understand that you’re busy keeping a non-profit organization moving forward. When you partner with us, our team of expert email marketers will utilize the most effective strategies to grow your non-profit’s brand awareness to all of your subscribers. We’ll not only help you get the addresses you want — we’ll help you keep them, too.
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