Even when you have the most creative ideas and a record of successful fundraisers, it’s challenging to stand out among the many invitations hitting inboxes as year-end approaches.
These tips can help you effectively break through the noise, achieve your fundraising goals and strengthen ties to your core audience.
Crafting the perfect email
It starts with taking a closer look at your contact list. Remove those bounced email addresses, eliminate duplicates and make sure everyone on the list has agreed to receive your messages. You never want to add a contact without that person’s consent.
Next, choose an effective email design. Select a single-column template so that it looks good on both laptops and mobile devices. Use a 22-point font for headlines and a 14-point font for the body of the message. For images, one powerful picture that conveys the reason for the campaign often is all you need.
Now dig into the content. Remember that using fewer words often makes a bigger impact. Focus on the campaign and its goals, tell readers how their donations will be used and specify the action you want them to take. To inspire immediate action, include a donation button such as PayPal.
Readers won’t open the email unless the subject line intrigues them. Headlines, taking a page from journalism, often are written after the story to best reflect its contents. Use the same principle. Write a subject line that’s specific to the content inside, sparks interest and contains fewer than 40 characters. What sparks interest? Asking a question, issuing a command or creating a sense of urgency are all great starts.
For example, “Ready for the holidays? We’ve got you covered,” would apply if your fundraiser featured holiday gifts with a percentage of proceeds going to charity. “Order Now: Only 15 gala tickets left” and “3 ways you’re changing the life of a child,” are also good subject lines.
To stay top of mind without wearing out your welcome, send weekly or bimonthly emails. Provide fresh content — little-known facts about your organization, a spotlight on donors, funds raised to date, how many tickets are still available. You’ll see higher open and response rates when you balance insightful content with a donation request.
Also, analyze email results from previous campaigns to see what content resonates most with your audience, when most of your subscribers open your email and how long they’ve been donating. Consider sending a specific message to this audience to thank them for past contributions and present the option for recurring donations.
If you’re looking to boost your email marketing skills, take advantage of the free “Giving Back” program from Dudley & Nunez Communications. It helps nonprofits get started with Constant Contact through free accounts, training and resources.
Extend your reach via social media
Here are more ways to spread the word:
- Set up a separate Facebook page for the event to generate buzz and excitement as you count down to the big day. Freshen the content from your newsletter and post it on Facebook and other social media channels to amplify your messages. Just be sure to change the copy and add a “donate now” button.
- Expand your social media presence to networks such as Instagram and Pinterest. Both continue to grow in popularity and cover a wide demographic, complementing your Facebook efforts.
- If your event happens near Thanksgiving, create a campaign around Giving Tuesday. The national day of giving falls the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a great way to engage with your audience and remind them about your event.
Let’s talk about it. Do these email tips work for you? What can you add to the conversation? Please use the comment box below.
Please note – this article originally appeared in Plan Your Meetings magazine.
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