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Five Ways to Optimize Your Email Fundraising Strategy

Email is responsible for about one third of nonprofits’ online fundraising revenue. With email files often five times larger than social network followers, it has become the workhorse of many organizations’ digital fundraising.

Optimizing your email fundraising strategy can pay big dividends. Read on to learn ways you can make the most of your email program!

1

Focus on quality, not quantity.

Everyone is sending more emails—but users aren’t opening them. That’s why you should focus on quality, not quantity. For example, individualizing emails can increase open rates by 244 percent—and improve clickthrough rate by 161 percent.

2

Remove inactive addresses.

When you repeatedly email non-responders, the resulting lower engagement rates reduce the likelihood of your messages being delivered—which further depresses engagement rates. Purge those inactives to avoid being trapped in a vicious cycle.

3

Always test.

Test send day, send time, and cadence. Test subject line length, tone, and content. Test sender name and email address. And test copy and design to ensure that calls to action are clear and compelling. Test everything, and test often!

4

Create stronger and more specific segments so you always send the most relevant content.

Consider creating a “recently engaged” segment that includes recipients who have opened at least five or clicked at least one email in the past six months. You can also target specific interests based on response to a similar action alert or donation subject appeal in the current or previous year. And be sure to segment for chronic non-responders—those who have not opened, clicked, taken action or donated in a specific period.

5

Target content based upon what you know about your donors.

Your donors expect you to know who they are—so use the data you have! Personalize by name, location, and cohort status. And when you don’t know, ask questions to learn more!

We would love to work with you to optimize your email fundraising strategy and make the most of this important revenue source. Please reach out to Brenna Holmes, Principal and Senior Vice President, at bholmes@ccah.com to learn more about how we can help!