Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top 5 Mistakes for Email Fundraising

No matter how much you avoid it, it happens. Those email fundraising mishaps that makes you want to recall all the mails that you have sent to donors. The efficiency of modern technology can be a double edge sword that can wound its wielder if you are not careful. The moment you press the send button, all those mails will be in the inbox of all your recipients and if they contain things that you are not suppose to say, there is no way to bring them back.

Well there is always a next time and that is why, we would like to share with you things that you should avoid in your email fundraising campaign. Here they are:

1. Failure to personalize

An email with a “Dear Friend” in the opening is a good candidate for deletion. I mean, try to put yourself in the shoes, of your donor; why do you think would he support your cause if you don’t even know him? And with all the information available online, it’s just a sign or laziness not to be able to put his complete name.

2. Pestering the donors

Running too many campaigns at the same time and asking too much with the same donors is just too irritating to withstand. Imagine finding in your inbox countless updates and other mails begging for support from the same fundraiser? How irritating can that be?

3. Failure to build relationships

Asking money to people who barely know you or what you stood for is a big no no. People would want to support causes that they identify with from people that they trust. So building relationships is paramount in any fundraising campaign including email.

4. Failure to keep up with the times

Are you still relying solely on email? You can multiply the power of your campaign if you include with it the power of social media. This will make your life much easier because it will complement what you cannot include in a garden variety email. Ease of communication, ease of donating, seeing videos and pictures all add to the overall power that you cannot accomplish with email alone.

5. The shotgun approach

Trying to cover all campaigns in one single mail is what you call the shotgun approach. This can cause confusion on the part of your donor because they will not understand what you stand for. Try to be surgical in your approach and by that, I mean try to limit the scope of your campaign.

Although there are still plenty of “oopps” in email fundraising that are in my list, these five are the most frequent and sadly, the least avoided. Taking these to heart will prevent you from committing them again. Just remember that the moment you press that “send” button, there is no way to get those mails back.

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