You’ve carefully crafted an email, polished each sentence and racked your brain. That’s done. But when you look at your email stats, you notice that the opens aren’t as good as you’d hoped, and the click-throughs are disappointing. It’s depressing.
A tactful and judicious step-by-step approach can help elicit generous donations from email subscribers.
Check out these 4 powerful strategies to increase engagement (& hopefully donations):
1. Establish a Relationship
First of all, you must resist the urge of bombarding your new subscribers with a barrage of donation requests. Introduce yourself and create rapport with your readers.
Establish a strong relationship with readers by welcoming them on board when they join your mailing list. Send a welcome mail automatically. Your email platform will be able to do this.
This email should contain warm friendly greetings, express gratitude and quickly state the benefits of joining your mailing list. Keep a call to action at the end that encourages readers to visit your landing page that provides your organization’s history or answers to FAQs. You can highlight the important achievements and milestones.
Don’t solicit donations yet. Focus on establishing strong connections with subscribers and donations will follow. Nonprofits should keep many things in mind when asking for donations.
2. Make an Exclusive Email Offer
Offer them privileges upon subscription. You can offer a free tour of your facility, branded notebook, and similar stationery. You can also offer an early invitation to the next fundraiser. Make your subscribers feel special. But remember that this should come at a minimum cost.
You should make it clear that these deals are exclusive to email subscribers. The call-to-action should urge readers to benefit from the deal.
3. Start Making Donation Requests
Now that you have established trust and rapport you can start soliciting donations. But don’t be pushy. Be as gentle as possible.
Relate your own success stories to induce subscribers to donate. Subscribers look towards your past success and future prospects for motivation. Explain your milestones and state how you can build upon them for success.
Asking for donations to build houses for the needy is not enough. Share your success story. You can include images and videos of a single mother with four children who now have a home thanks to donations. Your email should state how grateful and happy the entire family is. Include a call to action at the end, appealing to readers to donate so that other needy families can benefit similarly.
Another important email is one that discusses your fundraising goals. For example, you may want to raise $10,000 to construct a well in an area deprived of potable water. Send a series of emails in this regard. The first email should state the goal and request donors to make contributions.
The second email should encourage subscribers to donate more. You can do this by saying that you have raised half the amount already and with a few more contributions, the goals will be met. You should highlight major donors and congratulate them publicly so that others are motivated and follow suit.
The third email should be a little close to the impending deadline and have an urgent tone. Say that time is running out and that the fundraising will fall short if donations are not made quickly.
If the fundraising is successful or in other terms your fundraising efficiency ratio is good, you should fulfill your promises and highlight them while thanking contributors profusely. This email will acknowledge the donors’ generosity and express gratitude. You can use this opportunity to intimate your subscribers with future fundraising events and their objectives.
4. Include Engaging Content
There are some key elements of an email that are key in making your content more engaging. Here are some that you can include or improve:
- Effective Impact Stories:
Let’s not deny it, most of the nonprofits, organizations, and businesses have this typical belief “Wanting to make it overly known that we were the main reason and cause of change in the story you’re telling”.
Well, part of this might be true, but surely it will not be effective. In your emails, always focus on the story that your nonprofit was involved in impacting – driving the focus towards how did you actually help to change the life of others are key.
- Images & Videos from your fieldwork:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a captivating image in your nonprofit’s email can be worth much more. Nonprofits should always share photos & videos with their donors; this shows the work you’re doing and the diseases, children, places, and animals you’re positively affecting.
These visualizations would surely provide a more crystal clear picture of your main fundraising aim and how the donations are being devoted towards that aim. Givingloop always motivates their nonprofits to add visualizations in their emails and monthly reports.