Whether you’re running an event focused on a special cause or simply sending out annual appeal letters, email is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Of course, utilizing proven email fundraising best practices will increase your ability to collect money for your nonprofit. Here’s a short list of those best practices and why they’re essential.
1) Send Messages at the Appropriate Time
Just like on social media, sending out your messages at certain times will increase the likelihood of people actually reading them. One survey found that emails sent on Monday at 6:00 am have the highest open rates. Of course, this can vary for many reasons. That’s why email fundraising best practice No. 2 is so important.
2) Track Open Rates
While it might be difficult to track how many people open a direct mailer, this isn’t the case with email fundraising requests. Many nonprofit tools allow you to track open rates for every message you send out. This means you can judge the best time to send emails by reviewing the data.
3) Keep Everything Succinct
People are busy these days, and that means they don’t have a ton of time to read emails. Keep your messages to the point. Regular emails shouldn’t exceed 250 words, and newsletters should stay under 500. Short and sweet wins the race every time.
4) Don’t Forget the Basics
The most well-written email on earth could falter if you ignore basic email principles. These include having an eye-catching subject line and images that appeal to donors’ emotions. Even if coming up with great subject lines and images takes longer than writing the actual email, the extra time is well worth it.
5) Don’t Forget the Call to Action
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: You cannot neglect a proper call to action. While your donors realize you’re asking for money, they still need you to push them in the right direction. Whether it’s clicking a donation link or viewing a new video, it’s imperative to tell donors exactly what they need to do.
Put Your Email Fundraising Best Practices to Work!
The advent of the World Wide Web no doubt opened countless new possibilities for nonprofits. While this list is meant as a quick guide to success, it’s important that you put plenty of thought into what your message is going to say. For additional tips and a more in-depth explanation, check out this Email Best Practices for Fundraising eBook.