How to Use Email and Facebook to Promote a Local Fundraising Event

Social NetworkingIf you are having a local fundraising event, why not exploit Facebook and email to get the word out? I mean let’s face it, who do you think doesn’t have Facebook or an email account? If you can get the word out through these media, you can expect more results and lesser expenses compared to having to rely mainly on flyers and tarpaulins.

How to use Facebook

Facebook is not only a good way to connect with relatives and friends, it also an excellent tool to announce a fundraising event. Think about it, what you’ve got in there is already a captured audience, compared to flyers and tarpaulins wherein people can choose not to read or even look at them. People on Facebook can choose to ignore you as well but, it is less likely because what you’ve got there are people who know and trust you. Here’s how you can use Facebook to promote a fundraising event:

  1. Create and event – Create an event in Facebook ideally on the Fundraiser’s own account. Make sure that after you filled in the necessary details, that you click “anyone can view and RSVP” so that it is made public. You should also click “show guest list on event page” so that people can see who are invited and can invite new people. Once the event goes live and you have invited your friends and they have RSVP, their friends can now see it on their wall too. This will make your invitation viral.
  2. Post the event on your wall – On your personal Facebook account, you can also post the event on your wall and invite your friends too. If this is a ticket event, make sure to post a link to where they can buy the tickets.
  3. Post regular updates – Make sure to post regular updates so that those who are coming will be informed. Soon the event will be on your friend’s, friends and friends wall too.

How to Use Email

Before there was Facebook, email is the way to send our words for fundraising and it still a very effective tool to inform. A lot of infomercials are still using emails and the trend will like to continue in the years to come. Here’s how you can use email to send the word out:

  1. Design the flow of mails – You don’t just send the mails blindly, it has to follow a design flow. For example, you can start with a request, then you follow it up with supporting quotes and related client’s story. You can then send a third mail encouraging people to donate and a fourth, thanking them.
  2. Build an subscriber list – We have put together an article detailing the importance of a quality subscriber list. If the list is not qualified, you cannot expect a good performance.
  3. Create an effective email – When writing an email for fundraising, make sure that you fill in the necessary details but don’t make it too verbose that the recipient will be tempted to delete it.
  4. Choose the best broadcast tool – This is the caveat of email; without a good broadcast tool, you will be sending it one by one or you can cc it to everybody in the list. A broadcast tool will make the job a lot easier because it can send thousands of emails at once.

When creating a charity event, your goal should be to minimize the overall expenses so that all the proceeds raised will go directly to the charity. Using Facebook and email accomplished just this so if you haven’t done it yet, you better start now.

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Email Fundraising: General

Email FundraisingOne of the most frustrating, and on-going challenges for churches, para church ministries and non-profit organizations is fundraising.  There are of course, some “tried and true” methods, but everyone is always looking for new ways to accomplish this goal. Technology is opening some new doors, and one of those is email fundraising.

Pathmaker Marketing LLC, an E-mail Marketing Firm, has been most successful in assisting their clients with e-mail fundraising. Truly E-Mail Marketing Specialists, they know that there are several things to keep in mind when you begin your email fundraising campaign.

First, you need to use your common sense.  You are, after all, raising money for a cause.  As a result, you are going to be most successful when you contact individuals who are already supporters of that cause.  Here, you do want to “preach to the choir.”  Your goal is not to solicit new supporters.  As a result, you will want to use your current database of supporters.  Again, this is not a “prospecting tool”!

You also need to consider that this program works best when it is part of an over-all communications strategy.  This includes utilizing the mail, phone, and “in person” contacts.  These all have their own individual strengths and, when combined with your e-mail campaign, will result in you being most effective.

As any Professional E-Mail Marketing Service will tell you, email has its own set of metrics.  First of all, you need to keep in mind that e-mail is always lower than direct mail.  It is, however, still profitable as there are no printing or postage charges.  Too, seldom will an email campaign yield “monster” gifts, as the largest we have seen were between $1000 – $2000 each.  Keeping this all in mind should allow you to ensure that your expectations are within the parameters of not only possibility but probability, allowing you to view the results with realistic insight.

Just as in any mode of fundraising, you must remember that “people give to people” more than organizations.  As a result, you want your e-mail to come from your chief fundraiser, such as your CEO or pastor.  Have the email look like a letter and be personalized.  “Dear Fred” goes a lot farther than “Dear Friend.”

To “enhance the chance” of filling your coffers via an email campaign, you need a substantial e-mail list.  As a result, you may need to go an E-Mail Marketing Company and spend some money to help bolster your list.  Do know that a really small list can be cost prohibitive for using HTML, and you may want to employ TEXT as a result.

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5 Steps In Getting Your Business Found In Local Internet Searches

Local Internet SearchesIn the day and age that we live one thing is as true as it ever was – – it doesn’t matter how good you are or how competitive your prices are if no one knows about you!  As a result, the age-old challenge of making sure that potential clients find you continues to rage on.  Currently, however, the secret to achieving this goal no longer revolves around the yellow pagesbillboards nor, to some extent, even radio and TV advertising.  Rather, the key, the “secret” if you would, to marketing success pretty much revolves around the Internet and Social Media!

This realm can, without a doubt, be over-whelming to the average businessman.  While volumes and volumes have been written on this topic, there are five “golden nuggets’ that will at least give you a “jump-start” in the Marketing World of the 21st Century!

1. CREATE A LOCAL PRESENCE ON THE BIG THREE SEARCH ENGINES – These are, of course, GOOGLE PLACES, YAHOO LOCAL, and BING LOCAL (BUSINESS PORTAL).

2. GET LISTED IN AS MANY LOCAL DIRECTORIES AS POSSIBLE – These can run the gamut from “Angie’s List” to “Hot Frog” and includes things like:

  • superpages.com
  • kudzu.com
  • yellowpages.com
  • local.com
  • yelp.com
  • citysearch.com
  • myhuckleberry.com
  • company.com
  • ​showmelocal.com
  • ezlocal.com

3. CREATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES – Including Company Accounts (not personal) in  FOURSQUARE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LINKED IN and YOU TUBE.

4. ENCOURAGE CLIENTS TO WRITE AND POST POSITIVE REVIEW IN GOOGLE PLACES (and YAHOO AND BING) and LOCAL DIRECTORIES such as ANGIE’S LIST  – There are several excellent ways to accomplish this.

5. PURSUE SEARCH ENGINE RANKING ON YOUR TARGETED LOCAL KEYWORDS  – Example:  Plumber – Dallas – Texas

As you can imagine, there are numerous steps necessary to accomplish the above steps, and, to learn what they are, go to Pathmaker Marketing.

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15 Easy Internet Steps To Get More Visitors To Your Church

Church MarketingThere is, without a doubt, nary a pastor or church in the country that doesn’t want to get more visitors to come to their church.  With a pure heart and a message to share, their intent is to provide for those visitors programs and services that will enhance and improve their life style.  As the 21st Century dawns it has become obvious to email marketing specialists that the Internet is a wonderful way for churches to evangelize and make themselves known to a lost world.  Randall Mains, Founder and CEO of PATHMAKER  MARKETING LLC, one of the premier e-mail marketing professionals in the country, agrees that the following steps are an easy way to inform prospective visitors about your church and what it has to offer.

  1.  Launch Google Ad Words – – Target Geographically.
  2. Get your CHURCH found on Google by claiming your Google Place.
  3. Get your members to give your positive reviews on Google Places.
  4. Claim your Bing Listing.
  5. Claim your Yahoo Listing.
  6. Launch Facebook Ads – Target Demographically.
  7. O[pen a Facebook Page for your church.
  8. Get listed in the top 40 directories in your community.
  9. Get an account in Linkedin, the Top business directory.
  10. Get an account in the other top 9 business directories.
  11. Get a twitter account for your church.
  12. Get a flickr account.
  13. Open a channel in Youtube.
  14. Open a channel in Vimeo.
  15. Open up blog accounts in Blogspot, Typepad, Blogsome, Blogger, Etc.

AND HERE ARE THREE BONUS STEPS!!!!

  • Put out an email blast to a local email list.
  • Put out a send out card.
  • Take an AD in a local christian directory – Most have an Online Directory.

As an email marketing companyPATHMAKER MARKETING LLC knows that the above suggestions will work, if given the time to develop.  If you need a professional e-mail marketing firm to help you accomplish the above, PATHMAKER and Randall Mains stand ready to assist you.  To learn more, go to Pathmaker Marketing.

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E-mail Fundraising Strategies

E-mail Fundraising StrategiesIt is obvious that any successful endeavor is the result of someone developing and implementing a specific, successful strategy.  Email Fundraising is no exception.  Any e-mail marketing professional worth their salt knows this to be true.  And, a real e-mail marketing specialist will tell you that there are actually five strategies that you can employ to ensure that your email marketing program is, in fact, a successful one.

  1. E-MAILS TIED TO CURRENT EVENTS – This is pretty self-explanatory.  What you need to do is keep abreast with the news and develops an email campaign that revolves around what is transpiring.  This, of course, is dependent on the fact that your cause is one that is news worthy.  A good example of this might be if you are part of a Tornado Relief Fund.  During Tornado Season there are ample news stories for you to mount a most effective e-mail program around.
  2. MONTHLY “THEMED” E-MAIL CAMPAIGNS – Virtually every month has a holiday or event that you can “build” an e-mail fundraising campaign around.  For example, May lends itself to two causes:  Unwed Mothers and Veterans.  Mother’s Day allows you to touch people’s heartstrings regarding those moms who have no one to help care for them and their needs, and Memorial Day is a “natural” for seeking aid for our War Veterans.
  3. DIRECT MAIL/E-MAIL COMBO – E-Mail Marketing Firms will tell you that the advent of an email marketing campaign should not be the demise of other fundraisers that have worked for you in the past.  In this instance, you should come up with a Direct Mail offer and send it out.  Then, some seven to ten days later you follow up with an e-mail version of the same offer.  Together these allow you to really enhance the chance of success of your fundraising efforts.
  4. MEDIA/E-MAIL COMBO – Again, you are utilizing more than one method to supplement your fundraising efforts.  In this situation, you make your offer on either the Radio or TV.  Then, you follow up later that same day with an e-mail that re-enforces your initial offer.  This should not be a “Current Event” driven email but, rather, be centered on a pre-conceived offer that you present.
  5. “STAND ALONE” E-MAIL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN – Here, you want to make an offer that is totally exclusive to the e-mail you send.  To make these most effective, it is wise to have a time limit in which recipients must respond to benefit from your offer. Remember, all such offers should revolve around and be related to the cause you are trying to raise funds for.

If you find all of this a little overwhelming, you may want to contact a Professional E-Mail Marketing Service like PATHMAKER MARKETING LLC to assist you with your email marketing undertakings.  An e-mail marketing company of long standing, we not only knows how to implement these five strategies; we also have a track record of success that you will find most impressive!

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15 Steps To Add a Digital Outreach To Your Church

digital outreachUnderstandably, the first question that might come to mind is, “Why should we add a Digital Outreach to our church?”  Well, there are a host of reasons you might want to pursue new ideas for outreach, and the reasons for Digital Outreach are indicated below:

  1. You will have the ability to reach out beyond the confines of your church to a greater, broader community.
  2. If your church currently ‘serves” those in a ten mile radius, your Digital Ministry can go nationwide, or even international.
  3. It will allow you to better fill the Great Commission, per Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
  4. Allow you a way of ministering to a vast mission field!

After wondering “why” to go Digital, the next natural concern is “what to do” to go Digital. You may want to establish a Digital Outreach Team, which will coordinate with those in charge of creating other ideas for church outreach.  Together, they can create a plan to implement all your outreach ministry ideas.  Following are fifteen suggestions to help you create a Digital Ministry.

  1. Launch Prayer Walls – An excellent way to facilitate outreach to people’s needs can be added to the website or church Facebook page.
  2. Establish an E-Mail Campaign – That people can receive for free, like “40 Days to a  Happier Marriage”.
  3. Set up a Facebook Page For your Church’
  4. Offer Free Downloads – White papers on various topics such as “Three Weeks to overcoming a Negative Thought Life” or “10 Biblical Steps to Getting your Financial House in Order.”
  5. Offer Electronic Bible Studies – “How to Establish & Improve Your Prayer Life.”
  6. Translate your Website into a Foreign Language – Preferably the predominant one in the area you serve.
  7. Turn Pastor’s Sermon Series into e-books’.
  8. “Stream” your Services on your Website and/or upload videos to You Tube’
  9. Place “Teaching Videos” on You Tube  – Pastor having a “conversational chat” on various topics via digi-cam.
  10. Develop an “Articles Archive” – Written on a variety of topics, you are basically creating an “Online Library”.
  11. Develop an “Online” Bookstore’
  12. Develop a “Bulletin Board Forum” to discuss various topics/issues.
  13. Establish an “e Learning Center” – Classes on virtually any topic:  Bible Studies.
  14. Create a “Christian Calendar” – Upcoming Events, Local & National.
  15. Have a Church Blog – Discuss current events and life today from a Biblical point of view (Movies, Political Issues).

AND HERE’S A “BONUS” STEP!!!

1. Create a Prayer Chain – “Text Message” Prayer Chain

Now that you know “why” and “what,” visit Pathmaker Marketing  to learn “how!”

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Animated Emails

Animated EmailMake no mistake about it, we do live in an entertaining world!  And, whatever entertains us the most is going to get our attention.  That is why the talented e-mail marketing experts at Pathmaker Marketing LLC stand ready to help you design and employ a major technological breakthrough – – Animated E-Mails!

One of the main things that you need to know, and keep in mind, regarding Animated E-mails is the fact that the methods used to generate Animation on a Web page are restricted for an E-Mail.  For example, websites can use FLASH, JAVA and a variety of other technologies.  With E-Mails, however, the major technology is Animated Gifs.

Most professional email marketing services will tell you that Animated Gifs is “old school,” and has been around for quite some time.  Like most forms of technology, there are a number of people around who dabble in this particular medium without being really proficient in it.  That’s where Pathmaker Marketing LLC , an email marketing firm, comes in— as they are  qualified, experienced, and immensely prolific!

While Animated Gifs is “the way to go,” it is not without its restrictions.  For example, a Gif with a lot of frames creates a large file, which causes the E-Mail to load slowly.  In a day when two seconds seems like an eternity, a slow opening E-Mail runs the risk of immediate deletion.  Too, while most E-Mail Boxes will display Animated Gifsjust fine, Outlook 7 is an exception.

Still, within these parameters creativity can abound.  Check out the addresses below to see some of the better Animated Gifs currently on the Internet:

                                    http://stylecampaign.com/blog/?p=72

                                    http://stylecampaign.com/blog/?p=96

Pathmaker Marketing LLC recently accepted the challenge of something totally spectacular – – including a countdown within a client’s E-Mails!  The process began by creating a countdown for their Website (for an example of a countdown on a Website go to http://www.flashxml.net/countdown.html).  With a visual style to work with we were able to develop animation for their E-Mails, and were able to dovetail it with their Website countdown (http://jerusalemprayerteam.org/email/archive/0818.asp). While it appears that the countdown is actually taking place in the E-Mail, this is an illusion that we created, giving only the impression of a countdown.  This was accomplished by using only fifty-three (53) frames, thus making it a manageable size.

To learn how, exactly, you and your Company can benefit from an Animated E-Mail Program prepared by an email marketing specialist you need to contact Pathmaker Marketing LLC to schedule a private phone conversation as quickly as possible.  After all, you want to entertain everyone you send E-Mails to!

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Basic HTML

basic HTMLWhile the number of changes regarding the Internet seems to come Geometrically rather than Arithmetically, email marketing experts know that there is one standard that is vitally important to successful E-Mail Campaigns: HTML. The abbreviated form of Hyper Text Markup Language, HTML is basically the “Computer Language” that is read by browsers and lets it know how to display things in your E-Mail, from Font to Colors and from where images are positioned to paragraph breaks!

The email marketing professional is aware that while there are a number of Internet Languages, not all are suitable for E-Mails. For example, a popular, and effective, language for Websites is CSS or Custom Style Sheet. However, most ISPs tend to “strip out” CSS in e-mails, thus making the E-mail that was CSS unreadable and, obviously, ineffective. While your designated recipient will receive your E-Mail, there is no idea what it will look like, so avoid CSS when designing HTML E-Mails. Another language not supported by E-Mail is Flash. Avoid that in HTML E-Mails as well.

Another Language, and a relatively simple one, is simply known as “Text.” Unfortunately, Text has some major disadvantages compared to HTML. For example, you cannot include any images in Text, nor can you “track” your E-Mails to determine who’s opening them and who isn’t. Inasmuch as both of these are vitally important in an effective E-Mail Campaign, it is most apparent why HTML is superior to Text.  Any professional email marketing service will be quick to point this out to you.

Knowing HTML and using it to code your E-Mails is just the first step. To ensure that your recipients are receiving the E-Mail the way it looked when you sent it, you need to follow up and discover how each “E-Mail Box” is rendering the E-Mail when it comes in. There are a number of “ISPs,” with the most prevalent being AOL, G-Mail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Outlook. Prior to doing a “Mass Mailer” it is imperative that you send a sample to each “Box” and verify that it is being rendered properly. As can be imagined, a poor looking E-mail does not speak well of your company and/or organization.

Not everyone understands the subtlety of HTML and the way to “check” an E-Mail’s rendering in any of the Boxes. As a result, it may be wise to have a direct email marketing firm like Pathmaker Marketing LLCwhom employs a group of talented experts who stand ready to assist clients in the skillful art of HTML Coding. Dedicated to producing effective E-mails and making sure that they are rendered properly in every Box, these email marketing companies produce E-mail Campaigns that not only present their client’s position but also deliver results.

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ESPs – Email Service Providers

Email ProviderIf your goal is to achieve success on the Internet by becoming a viable email Marketing Firm, you need to have at least a working knowledge of ESPs, and be able to decide which one, exactly, will serve your needs best.  That’s why email Marketing Specialists  have done the leg-work to identify and research the various ESPs to determine which one will serve you best.

Unbeknownst to many, ESPs fall into three levels:  Entry, Mid, and Elite.  Following is a sampling of ESPs in each category:

ESP Sampling per Category
 Entry     Mid  Elite
iContact Convio Exec Target
Emma Vertical Response Bronto
Lyris
Com F5

Typically, unless your Mailing List exceeds 10,000 you need not go above the “Entry” Level.  With this information in mind, email marketing experts can evaluate your needs and help you determine which ESP would be best foryou!  If you are involved in Professional email Marketing, choosing the correct ESP is a must!

 Make no mistake about it, in this day and age you need to get into an ESP if you haven’t already done so, and many direct mail marketing firms, like Pathmaker Marketing LLC, stand ready to help you select the one best suited for your needs.  If you are already in one, they can help maximize its use to increase your level of success!

To learn how, exactly, you can involve yourself with the ESP that will best meet your needs, you need to contact an email marketing professional like those at Pathmaker Marketing LLC to schedule a private phone conversation as quickly as possible. After all, reaching people via the proper ESP is an important step in ensuring email Marketing success, and can be easily accomplished with the help of an email marketing company like Pathmaker Marketing LLC! If your goal is to achieve success on the Internet by becoming a viable email Marketing Firm, you need to have at least a working knowledge of ESPs, and be able to decide which one, exactly, will serve your needs best.  That’s why email Marketing Specialists  have done the leg-work to identify and research the various ESPs to determine which one will serve you best.

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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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