Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Coordinate Your Email Fundraising with Direct Mail

Email fundraising is not something that only the experts can do to raise funds. Even newbie fundraisers can do it if you know the secrets. Just like any marketing effort, targeting a hungry niche is of topmost importance otherwise, you will be wasting your efforts because all your mails will be instantly deleted. Here are some tips:

1. Customize your email

Do not send a one size fits all email to all your targets. This is an instant turn off because people will just know it when the mail is not really for them. Take your time to create a customize email for the specific niche that you are sending it to. Generic email is a sign that you are being lazy and believe me, people can sense it.

2. List quality is very important

It is common knowledge among fundraisers that paid addresses will always perform less than those that you got organically (e.g., if the donor gave you’re their email address). Although its not a totally bad idea to have paid addresses, you should make it your aim to have more organic addresses than paid ones.

3. Don’t overlook your landing page

It is often said in SEO communities that you have to treat all parts of your website as a landing page because you don’t know where a prospect will land when following a link. You can bring a visitor to your site but if it is not optimized to convert them to donate, you

4. Don’t just ask for money

Again this is an automatic turn off. People will not just part with their money without knowing the value of what you are trying to do. Before you send a solicitation email, make sure that you already have sent at least two that tells a compelling success story, something that recognizes the donors and volunteers and similar things.

5. Personalize your email

With all the information available online, there is no reason that your donor should receive a “Dear Donor” type of mail. Generic or a one-size-fits-all kind of mail will easily find its way to the recycle bin and that is why you need to personalize it. Put the name of the donor in your opening remarks and it is even better if you can tailor the ask amounts based on the giving history of each of your donor.

If you are trying to win a non-supporter, send a customized email designed to welcome them to your cause and to introduce them to your core programs. This can be accomplished through compelling story contents which will convert them to donors in no time.

Email fundraising has its own downside but following the tips provided above will greatly improve your batting average and of course, donations will increase too. Although email fundraising is not rocket science, you don’t have to take it lightly to the point that nobody believes you at all.

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