The rumors are true: Online giving is at an all-time high. Studies show the amount of donations made online have progressively increased over the years, including an 11% growth in 2012. Several factors could account for the ongoing rise in online donations; however, a big one nonprofits can’t afford to dismiss is the power of email outreach. Many nonprofit organizations have found submitting email appeals to patrons who have previously donated online prior to a fundraising event proves to be a phenomenal fund-accumulating resource.
Be that as it may, some find writing a striking email appeal to be a daunting process. To give you the upper-hand, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 tips to help you not only write inspirational email appeals but also develop a sufficiently compelling email campaign before your fundraising event. Go on and take a peek:
- Creating a Plan of Action: Your Email/Social Media Campaign
Organizations make the mistake of sending out one, maybe two emails to their donors and thinking it’s out of their hands. In the words of Dwight Schrute: False! For the best results possible, start planning out an email campaign at least a couple months prior to your fundraising event. Remember, you don’t want to bombard your recipients with too much information at once as this can come off as annoying and land you in the Spam folder. Depending on when you launch your campaign, try to send an email out to donors every couple weeks.For more effective results, consider implementing a social media campaign on top of your email campaign. Post updates regarding the fundraiser or thanking specific donors for their generous donations. With studies indicating that picture posts receive more attention than regular text posts, try uploading a few uplifting photos to show your donors what a difference their donations have made. Don’t forget to ask that your followers share your posts with their friends!
- How Subject Lines Make or Break Your Emails
Before you hit send, re-read your email’s subject line. Is it catchy enough? Or maybe a little too gimmicky? Can you absolutely, without a doubt say you would open this email based on the subject line if you it landed in your inbox? After all, emails only work if people read them. Try to be creative and direct with your subject line without sounding too sales pitch-y. Draw donors to your email by including their name in the subject line. People are less likely to open an email that says “Don’t Wait – Donate Now!” compared to “Robert, Give the Gift of Happiness to a Child.”
- Keep it Personal, John Doe
Unless your name really is John Doe, receiving a generic email like this may send your next emails on a one way trip to the Spam folder. Again, use names where possible to remind donors they’re not just a name on your mailing list, but a fantastic person who is truly making a difference in the world.
- No Guilt Trips, Just Inspiration
You don’t want to leave a donor with the impression they’re not doing enough. Although you need a call-to-action in your emails, don’t make them sound like guilt trips. Try to remain as positive and upbeat as possible.
- Short Emails, Hearty Information
Keep your emails brief, but to the point. Begin with an emotional or inspirational story. Let your donor know about your organization’s goals and update them on recent statistics. Be sure to tell them how much their support means to your nonprofit organization and that you couldn’t make it without them. Update them on your fundraiser and ask them directly how much you’d like them to donate, if possible. Add a PS to the end of your email to sum everything up. Research shows once people locate their name in an email, their focus is normally drawn to the PS at the bottom.
Before launching your email campaign, expose your content to fresh eyes and ask for opinions. Although you want to focus on grammar and spelling, keep your emails simple and try not to include any jargon. Create a landing page for your fundraiser if possible. We genuinely hope this info gives you a leg up the next time you need to write an email appeal. By launching a successful fundraising email campaign, your donors will know their donations mean the world to your organization and will be more willing to donate to future fundraising events.