Five tips on how to up your email marketing game in the year ahead
Post by Evaldas Mockus, Omnisend
Whether you’re a nonprofit, a social enterprise or a small business, beginning an email campaign can be a daunting affair. This is especially true for organizations new to email marketing. Before you do anything else, you should get a handle on email deliverability best practices to bone up on how to reach new subscribers as well as how to pump up those email open rates.
Once you’re ready to go, here are some key points to remember in planning and executing an email campaign, whether it’s a fundraising blast, an update for your stakeholders or a branding exercise to introduce your nonprofit to new audiences.
Consider your audience
1Before you even think about hitting send, you need to do some homework. Start by conducting some research into your target audience’s demographics and preferences to see which messages might resonate with different constituents, whether they’re your members, donors, volunteers or partners.
As you consider your constituents and their needs, ask yourself these questions.
- Who is my target audience?
- What would my constituents want from an email newsletter?
- How can I give my constituents what they want?
You need to consider your audience’s desires if you want to create an effective newsletter. Brainstorm ideas about how you can provide value, information and messaging about what they’d want.
2You can cross-promote your email newsletter through other channels. You can start your email campaign growth by targeting people who’ve already donated or expressed loyalty toward your organization. They already have an interest in your cause or mission, so they may want to receive emails from you. From there, they can share your nonprofit’s mission with their friends and expand your reach.
You can cross-promote in lots of ways online. If you have a social media following, make a post on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account about the new email campaign. For effective cross-promotion, you should consider a social media scheduling tool. This will encourage your current followers to sign up for your newsletter when they’re most likely to be online. You can also make your email newsletter sign-up a noticeable part of your website, drawing in more of your customers.
3People like to have a reason to join an email newsletter. After all, they are giving and trusting their personal email accounts to your organization, so you need to give them a good reason to join.
There are different ways you can provide incentives for your members, so here are a few ideas.
- Provide exclusive information that they can’t get anywhere else.
- Offer something exclusive through the newsletter — perhaps a chance to meet your executive director or contribute their ideas for a cause.
- Enter each email subscriber for a chance to participate in a real-world event.
You can try a lot of creative approaches to providing incentives for your members. Find the ones that work best for your organization.
Provide a call to action
4Whatever else you do in your newsletter, each email you send should include a call to action. A CTA drives your subscribers to take specific real-world actions on behalf of your nonprofit or your cause. CTAs can vary depending on what you want to achieve and what you want your subscribers to do.
A CTA can be as simple as encouraging people to click on a link to following your social media accounts to contributing to your cause. Make sure the call to action is clear and simple for it to be effective.
Improve your campaign & open rates
5After you prepare the emails and send them out, you need to see how your subscribers react to your emails. What is your open rate? Your click-through rate? Your ROI? These metrics will help you identify ways you can improve your campaign going forward. You can adjust the length of the email, experiment with the subject line, change the CTA and make other necessary changes.
Don’t forget to ask your constituents’ opinions. Surveys work wonders at collecting data for you. See what they think about the contents of your email newsletter or your organizaion’s plans and priorities. Keep in mind that you may need to provide an incentive for some people to participate in surveys.
While you may reach a point where you’re happy with your email marketing, you should always seek to improve it. While it’s near impossible to be perfect, you can always strive to provide the best newsletter possible. Keep improving and developing your email marketing to maximize your profits and bring success to your organization.
How about you? What steps have you take to up your nonprofit’s game when it comes to email marketing?