How to boost your Email Newsletters
Only about one in four people who receive an email from a nonprofit will ever open it. That is, if your organization is industry-average. From those who open it only about 3% will click on any content (like a donate button or an event sign-up). Doing some simple math, for every 400 emails you send out, 100 will be opened and 3 will get a click.
Now, 400 emails are a lot of emails! Most nonprofits with revenues in the $1-2 million range receive donations from less than 4,000 individuals each year. Even if they had every single email address for their donors, on average they would see 30 clicks each time they send a newsletter out. Ouch! That’s not a lot!
What if, for example, an organization had a 40% open rate and a 10% clickthrough rate? With the same size list, each email they send would get more than 150 clicks! This means ten times the opportunity to deepen their relationship their your clients, donors, or volunteers.
Again, this is using the average for nonprofits in the US as reported by CauseVox. Many nonprofits fall well below those standards and dismiss email as a lost cause.
Here are the good news: Email still works! And if you 1) acquire addresses the right way and 2) send your audience relevant content, a 40/10 split (or better) is not impossible to reach. It takes planning, consistency and a little bit of creativity.
Here are 3 basic tips to bring your organization’s email to the next level:
1. Build trust through quality content
When you send people relevant, compelling content, you will begin to build trust. Each time they open an email and find nothing worth engaging with, it will drastically lower your chances of them opening your next message. And once you are marked as spam or junk, forget about it. Your messages will never see the light of that person’s inbox again. That’s why you need to know you audience and spend time crafting quality content that they will respond to!
As a nonprofit, your content should be all about your mission. While announcing a new staff member or a social fundraiser might seem like a great idea, people want to know how you are fulfilling your mission. After all, that’s why they support you! Make sure that your lead article in every newsletter has the clear and defined goal of showcasing how you are fulfilling your mission. The results will speak for themselves!
2. Understand where your emails comes from
Not all email lists are created equal. While asking for someone’s email in exchange for entering a drawing might seem like a great idea, do those people really want to read your newsletter? Before you set out to create a new email strategy do some thinking about where your list has come from. How will this impact the type of content you include? Have you thought about what it is this audience wants to receive? What will build them up, uplift them and encourage them? Or are you just sending out information that matters to you?
3. Know what your email looks like on different platforms and devices
Where people open your emails matters immensely. You might be unaware that 70% or even 80% of all your opens happen in a mobile device. How are you letting that influence the way you build your content? Do people really want to look through an 8 article newsletter on a mobile device? Most likely not. So, if you know for a fact that your audience is opening your emails on a mobile device, design your newsletters intentionally for that platform and audience.
How about you? Do you have some great tips about good non profit email communications? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.