Make Fundraising Email “Blasts” More Personal

It’s easy to send a personalized email to 10 or 15 of your organization’s supporters — but if you only had 10 or 15 supporters, you would be having a pretty tough time generating the resources to keep your organization alive. Personalized communication is a challenge for most organizations, but it’s really important that nonprofits are able to connect personally with their donors and supporters. Asking for money is a difficult and sensitive topic, and asking when you don’t have a personal relationship with the individual is often much more difficult.

Five Ways to Make Your Email More Personal

Here are five email marketing best practices your organization should use to keep your email marketing personal and engaging for each supporter. Even if you’re communicating with thousands of people at one time you can use the same email template with some simple personalization techniques to send the more engaging email.

    1. Don’t treat new supporters like lifetime contributors.

      • When a supporter is added to your list either through an online form or a first time contribution, your organization should welcome them into your community. New supporters should go through an onboarding phase. They should get a few emails in their first week that introduce them to the organization, helping them understand what you do and how you do it. Finally, you should ask them to make a commitment, whether it’s financial or their time. We call this set of emails a welcome series. Don’t just drop them into your weekly or monthly fundraising emails immediately, and definitely don’t start off by asking for money. Take time to introduce them to the cause, your team, and the work you and your supporters are doing.
    2. Know what motivates your supporters.

      • Anytime a supporter joins your list, you should ask them what issues they care about. You can ask them to fill out a quick questionnaire at an event or send them a quick “what motivates you” email. Either way, getting a couple data points about what issues are important to them will help you personalize your emails or target specific people going forward.
      • Everybody interacts with their emails in different ways. Some people like to read emails before bed, while others like to go through personal emails on the weekend. Some people go through their emails on their phone while they’re commuting to work. Tracking when people open should be easy and, if you know when somebody willingly engages with your emails, you should send to them at those times
    3. //

      Know when to ask

      • It’s hard to know when is the perfect time to ask. You can’t know the financial situation of every supporter, or if this month is the right month for them to give. You can know, however, when not to ask:
        • Don’t ask right after a supporter has given
        • Don’t ask right after a supporter has given or hosted an event
        • Don’t ask a recurring donor to make a one-time gift
        • Don’t ask a small donor to make a huge contribution
        • Don’t ask a major donor to give a small donation
        • Don’t ask at the wrong time.
    4. List Segmentation

      • You should have all of your donors segmented into different groups (small vs. major donors, first-time vs. repeat, etc.), and your email marketing software should let you include or exclude a donate button on any email depending on who the person is and whether they’ve recently given. Don’t let a mediocre email marketing services hold you back from engaging the right people with the right message at the right time.
    1. Smart Sending: don’t oversend

        • Your email platform should help you avoid over sending. Building a list of supporters takes years, and is one of the greatest challenges for a fundraising organization. Having a supporter unsubscribe because he or she is receiving too many emails is a very expensive mistake. Make sure to respect your subscribers, and give them an option to receive different amounts or types of emails using a smarter unsubscribe or preference manager page. Use your email platform’s smart sending tools to avoid sending too many emails to one person in a given time period. It can be hard to keep track when you’re sending multiple campaigns at one time. Your ESP should help you solve that.

Sending more personalized and relevant emails shouldn’t be hard. Understanding your supporters and knowing who has engaged and who needs to be nudged should be your challenge, not exporting and important data or trying to build pivot tables in Excel. Technology should facilitate communication. When you’re choosing an email marketing platform, make sure these 5 personalization tools come standard.  Being personal and relevant is key to building a solid relationship. Whether it’s 100 people or 1o,000, make sure you’re always talking directly to each supporter.


Get more Information About Klaviyo for Nonprofits:

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