Email Fundraising Concepts

e-mail fundraisingIt is obvious that the 21st Century is making each and every one of us re-evaluate the way we do things.  This is as true for Churches and Non-Profits as it is for Businesses.  One of the most prominent undertakings of a 501 (c) (3) is Fundraising, and there are many e-mail marketing companies who are offering their services to assist with this challenge.  In fact, Randall Mains, CEO of Pathmaker Marketing, LLC, a true email marketing specialist, has had immense success with his clients in doing just that, having raised well over a million dollars for them in the past four-plus years!

When conferring with Pathmaker Marketing, or any professional email marketing service, they will advise you that there are several important email fundraising concepts, which deals predominantly with “testing”  to ensuring that your e-mail fundraising endeavor is, in fact, a successful one.  Following is brief descriptions of each of these, to help you better understand the email marketing expert’s approach to e-mail fundraising.

DEVELOP YOUR E-MAIL STRATEGIES – Basically there are five strategies that you can employ, which include:

  1. E-Mail Tied to Current Events
  2. Monthly “Themed” E-Mail Campaigns
  3. Direct Mail/E-Mail Combo
  4. Media/E-Mail Combo
  5. “Stand Alone” E-Mail Fundraising Campaign

“SUBJECT LINE” TESTING – This process finds you mailing the exact same email, but changing what you write in the subject line.  As you experiment with these, you will find that one subject line may get more attention, and a better reaction, than another one that you use.

“SPLIT” TESTING – In this instance you try different “creative angles” to see which works best. This might include varying the copy that you use, or the photos.  Obviously, you will send out several simultaneously to determine what the results are.

“CLICK THROUGH RATE” TESTING – Typically, in each e-mail the recipient will have several ways to “click through” to support your cause.  This can either take place via a “Banner, “Learn More,” or an “Action Button.”  What you will eventually do, of course, is concentrate on “Click through Optimization.”

LANDING PAGE OPTIMIZATION – This may be, perhaps, the greatest “bug-a-boo” for email fundraisers.  Often, people have an excellent “click through” rate, but no one bothers to donate!  As a result, the conclusion drawn, albeit an erroneous one is that e-mail fundraising doesn’t work.  The reality is, it is the landing page that is “broken” and needs repairing, and that is where landing page optimization comes in!

It is, of course, possible that all of this may seem a little overwhelming, especially the landing page optimization concept.  That is why that you may find it most beneficial to contact an email marketing professional like Randall Mains and his e-mail marketing firm, Pathmaker Marketing.  They can assist you by explaining the process in greater detail, and implementing the programs as well!

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23 Best Practice Tips for Successful Email Fundraising #9-11

9.    Include a Web Preview link.
Some people’s inboxes may default to NOT display graphics in their email client. To address this issue, always include a hyperlinked line at the top that says something like: “Can’t see the graphics? Preview online.”  link this line to a published version of your email fund raising letter online.

10.   Your emails must link to well-crafted landing pages.
It is important to have your emails connect to landing pages that are well-crafted, namely:  1) they offer more information about your cause; 2) they have a carefully engineered checkout process. By providing more in depth information about your organization’s needs on the landing  pages, your readers will get answers to issues un-addressed in your email copy.  By designing checkout pages that contain minimal friction and mitigate against anxiety and tension about doing business online, you’ll reduce abandonment and increase giving.  For more details about reducing friction (time it takes to complete the process) and anxiety (concerns about providing sensitive information) search our blog for posts on the subject of Best Practices for Landing Page Optimization.

11.  Eliminate landing page navigation in your online fund raising.
The only navigation you want on your landing page are links to (1) your checkout page and (2) possibly, if you are offering a premium, a page that tells more about the premium. This keeps visitors focused on your email fundraising offer rather than allowing them to get sidetracked while browsing your site. If your higherups insist, you can provide back door methods to your home page by hyperlinking your header of footer graphics, for example. Make it covert though, not overt, or your online fund raising will suffer.

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