10 Tips to Crafting Effective Email Appeals
Email communications are an important tool for creating donor loyalty. What can you do to make yours stand out from the crowd? Here are 10 tips to use in your online fundraising campaigns right now.
Segment the List
Direct communication through email is a great way to engage and inform supporters about your cause, especially when asking for a donation. However, when creating an email blast, it is essential to have your email database segmented by recency, frequency, and donation amount. In addition, flag your volunteers and any prospects acquired through social media separately.
Consider segmenting by:
Donor Recency: new, active, and lapsed donors
Donation Frequency: One time versus monthly donors
Donation Amount: Small, midsize, major gifts
Non Donors: Volunteers and prospects
Create targeted messages for each segment
The more relevant the message is to a recipient, the more likely the individual will connect with your cause. When an individual feels a connection to your cause because their message was specific to them, they have a higher propensity to donate.
Tell a lapsed donor they are missed and remind them how important they are to your organization. Let a new donor know what their first gift accomplished. Thank recurrent donors for their continued support. Know who you are writing to and target the copy to that specific segment of your list.
Determine Who the Email is From
People read or delete an email based upon who the email is from. Do the emails you send arrive from the name of a person within your organization or just the name of your organization? Testing one against the other is the best way to find out what works best for your organization.
Create Interesting Subject Lines
Higher open rates for emails result when the subject line is personal and descriptive, which in turn gives the reader a reason to read the email.
Write Compelling Copy for Online Fundaising Campaigns
Appeal to the emotional side of the reader by offering success stories about the people you have helped, the number of animals you saved, or the number of mouths you’ve fed. Stories draw readers in emotionally, making them more inclined to donate.
Nowadays, people don’t want to read long emails. Keep your copy short, concise, and stress an immediate need for action. It’s also always a good idea to break up the text into short paragraphs, and utilize underscores in the text and bold-faced headings between paragraphs. All these techniques make your copy easier to read.
Encourage Donors to Get Social
Include all of your social media buttons allowing readers to follow and like your posts for every online fundraising campaign.
Also, make the email easy to share by including share buttons. Ask readers to forward your appeals and communications to friends, co-workers, and family members. When donors share your emails, your organization has the potential to not only raise more awareness but oftentimes acquire more donations for your cause.
Use Images and Video
Images are great ways to grab attention, but make sure they evoke emotion. A smiling child, a cute puppy, a warm embrace, are all images that make people feel good. Furthermore, you want the reader to have a positive emotional response when deciding whether or not to give to your organization. An emotional response will result in more donations.
Alternatively, utilize video interviews by Including individuals who have been impacted by your organization. Having them speak directly to the donors via video about why more donations are needed makes a big impact.
Make it Easy to Donate
All emails need to have call-to-action buttons. They allow donors to easily find the button that takes them directly to a donation form.
There’s nothing worse than donors having to spend time looking for a way to donate. That alone will result in lost donations. Read these useful tips when creating your donations forms.
Create a Content Schedule for Online Fundraising Campaigns
Decide how often you are going to send emails. Consistent communication will ensure you stay in the forefront of the donor’s mind and oftentimes if done correctly, donors begin to look forward to what your organization has to say and anticipate the next email.
Start scheduling emails on a monthly basis and work towards developing a content schedule with more consistent and targeted communications as time goes on.
Here are a few types of content to consider sending throughout the year:
Welcome emails, thank you appeals, updates, milestones, first-time donor appeals, success stories, holidays, matching donations, monthly donations, and surveys.
Send a thank-you email every time someone donates via an email campaign. Consider, on occasion, sending a video of those helped by your organization and have them convey their heartfelt gratitude in the message. These tips about writing thank you letters donors love, provide additional information about writing effective thank you letters.
Most importantly, sending first-time donors an email thanking and asking them for a second gift, shortly after their first gift, is a highly successful way of making them long-term donors. They want to quickly see how much you value them and what you are doing with their donation. This establishes trust early on in the relationship.
Email appeals are one of the most important ways to create donor loyalty. Above all, if you’re not sending them out, you’re missing out on creating an important bond with donors – one that will result in continued donations to your organization. However, if you’re still not sure about the effectiveness of emails campaigns, check out these email marketing statistics for 2022.
Write Choice Marketing offers dozens of years of combined fundraising and email strategy experience. We can write your appeal copy and set up an email appeal content schedule for your organization for an entire year. Responsive copy and compelling content are what we do best and we will ensure you will have an annual strategy like no other. Be sure to contact us today!
I hope you enjoyed ten tips to increase the results of your online fundraising campaigns. Let me know which ones bring you the most success.