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Published on June 3rd, 2016 | by Contributing Author

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Campaigns for Nonprofits | Part 1 of 4

Just like any other business, nonprofits can’t ignore the effectiveness of email marketing. And just like many small businesses, many nonprofits are short on time, cash, and resources – making email campaigns the perfect marketing solution. They’re an affordable and efficient way to attract and maintain donors, volunteers, and create community.

As one of the most important aspects of online fundraising, it’s necessary to optimize your email marketing efforts. Whether you’re an established nonprofit organization or just starting up, you need a strong email strategy to engage with your supporters.

While you might already be sending emails to your donors, this series will offer the advanced tips you need to take your campaigns to the next level.

In this four-part guide you’ll find do’s and don’ts for every step of the email marketing process:

  • Three tips for successful emails. (Part 1)
  • Three emails you should send to new donors before asking for money. (Part 2)
  • Three emails you should send to ask for donations. (Part 3)
  • Three emails you should send to maintain your donor list. (Part 4)

Let’s start with some general tips for crafting successful emails.

1. Use empowering language

When you’re asking for money, be sure to use active language that will empower donors to become part of your cause. Word choice is important. Here are some examples:

On the left are word choices we’ve seen in emails and on the right you’ll find more powerful alternatives.

  • Make a contribution – Donate now
  • Click here to donate – Make a difference today
  • Give what you can – No donation is too small
  • Please, we need your help – Be a hero to someone in need
  • We can’t do it without you – Donors like you make this possible
  • Every dollar helps – Donate $5 now
  • Please give – We appreciate your donation

2. Use pictures of people

Emails are better when they’re visually appealing. The most captivating images include people. These types of images motivate and inspire donors to act, like pictures of those you help or action shots of your volunteers. If possible, stay away from stock images and generic pictures, and stick with pictures of real people and events.

3. Segment your list

When you create an email you’re proud of, it is natural to want to share it with everyone on your contact list. There are some emails you can send to your entire list, but this is not a good idea every time. Segmenting your list will break it up into smaller, targeted groups like potential donors, new donors, loyal donors, and VIP donors.

This allows you to craft targeted messages for a specific audience. You also don’t want your donors to get tired of your emails, so be sure to send only the information that is of interest to them.

Ready to dive into some more do’s and don’ts? Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of our series: The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Campaigns for Nonprofits | Getting to know your subscriber base.

Use this guide to engage and connect with your subscribers and you’ll be growing your donor base in no time. Try out these tips to see where they take you and check out the VerticalResponse free program for nonprofits.

© 2016, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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