I recently sat in on a Fundraising Success webinar presented by Michael Snusz, Internet Marketing Consultant for Blackbaud. Engaging E-Mails: How to Get Past Filters, Get Opened and Get Read provides sound advice on turning your next e-mail blast into a successful fundraising campaign.
Get Your Subject Lines Noticed:
* Pique curiosity with interesting copy
* Convey urgency by including a deadline
* Avoid using special characters (#, &, etc) as these can trigger SPAM filters
* Make subject line mobile friendly – the first 30 characters are key to mobile technology
Generate Concise Content:
* Write short paragraphs
* Use bullet points
* Use bold and colored fonts for important phrases
* Use video screen shot image to increase click through rate – video can increase these rates 2 to 3 times
Personalize Your Content:
* Directly address the percentage of your constituency who attended your previous year’s event to increase click through rates to this year’s event info.
* Create separate paragraphs or sections within your e-mail to address specific audiences or interests of a particular group, be it volunteers or donors.
* As a university making an appeal to parents of students as well as alumni, call out individual benefits for each group.
* As a non-profit handling animal welfare issues, address “cat and dog people” as separate audiences.
Make Your Call To Action Compelling:
* Spell it out for your reader by using the words Take Action
* Create a link that tells them what, why, when or where – not just a generic Click Here link for more info
* Include your Call to Action Link early on and again at the bottom
Test Your E-mail’s Effectiveness:
* Send two different e-mails to 10-20% of your mail list, wait 2-3 days and then review metrics.
* Experiment with subject lines, call to action verbiage and landing pages, to see which yields a higher open and click through rate. Then send the highest response to your remaining list.
* Note which e-mail garners the greatest subscribe or unsubscribe rates.
Lastly, boost your SEO by adding a web-based version of all your e-mail blasts to your website. Search engines favor websites that continuously generate new content.