Email Marketing for Non-profits: Practical Tips and Examples

Email advertising and marketing for nonprofit organizations can do wonders.

From spreading consciousness and constructing relationships with subscribers to turning supporters into donors. Email advertising and marketing will help you obtain all these targets.

If you’ve by no means run e mail campaigns earlier than, otherwise you’ve accomplished some however wish to make sure you’re doing it appropriately, you’re in the suitable place.

Through this text, we’d like to assist your nonprofit group begin utilizing e mail advertising and marketing to its fullest potential.

Below, we’ve gathered all one of the best practices, ideas, and nonprofit e mail marketing campaign concepts to encourage your individual campaigns.

Let’s begin by reviewing the explanation why e mail advertising and marketing is efficacious for nonprofits.

Table Of Contents

Editor’s observe

This article is a content material collaboration between advertising and marketing consultants at GetResponse – an e mail advertising and marketing platform and nonprofit group tech consultants at TechSoup – a nonprofit tech market.

Why is e mail important for non-profit organizations? 

Most of us have an e mail deal with 

Email is simply the most well-liked channel of communication worldwide. It grew to become common as a result of it’s low-cost and accessible – virtually everybody who makes use of the Internet has an e mail account and sends emails. Whether you reside in Asia, Europe, Africa, or America – you need to use e mail to speak electronically.

People desire e mail when speaking to manufacturers 

According to a number of research, e mail stays the popular channel for communication with manufacturers. In my opinion, it is especially because of the nature of the inbox. 

A screenshot of a graph showing how consumer prefer to receive offers from brands.2018 Adobe annual shopper e mail survey exhibiting that buyers desire to obtain emails from manufacturers

As a consumer, you have got big management over the contents of your inbox (not like a social media feed). First of all, that you must actively enroll for a selected e-newsletter if you wish to obtain communication from a company. And everytime you change your thoughts, you possibly can simply unsubscribe with a single click on. 

This means, you possibly can curate the contents of your inbox and flip it into a spot for useful content material. Your place for customized communication with individuals, companies, and organizations you wish to be in contact with. 

Email is fairly priced

You pay for the variety of e mail addresses in your contact record and options accessible in your plan. The variety of emails you ship doesn’t influence the price. This means, you possibly can give attention to constructing your record with people who find themselves prone to develop into common donors and run a number of campaigns to realize that objective. 

You can test the value and instruments accessible in particular person plans on this GetResponse pricing web page.

There’s even a free perpetually plan that may curiosity you, particularly if you happen to’re simply getting began with e mail advertising and marketing.

Additionally, as a non-profit, you’re eligible for a 50% or 30% low cost on e mail advertising and marketing providers:

Email gives excessive return on funding

According to a current research by DMA, the common e mail ROI is 38:1. This signifies that for each greenback you make investments in e mail advertising and marketing, you possibly can anticipate 38 {dollars} in return. And if you happen to frequently run A/B assessments in your emails, you possibly can generate an much more spectacular return in your funding. 

That means you received’t have to fret concerning the value of e mail advertising and marketing software program. Instead, you’ll be capable to calculate the return on funding from the instruments included in your plan, e.g., webinars, touchdown pages, and automated emails.

What are the important thing advantages of e mail for non-profits?

There are numerous advantages of utilizing e mail advertising and marketing for non-profits. You can use it to realize or assist your key group targets, which often boil all the way down to the next:

  • You attain a brand new viewers together with your message: use a mixture of list-building methods to place your message in entrance of potential donors and invite them to hitch your mailing record. 
  • You keep in contact together with your goal audiences: gather key details about the individuals in your record and create segments. Then you possibly can ship customized communication to your supporters, volunteers, and donors. You can maintain them engaged by sharing info every group considers most useful. 
  • Invite individuals that will help you attain targets: share your targets and present the way you’re working in the direction of them. Send messages explaining what initiatives you run to make a distinction and how one can be a part of you .

Here are some common nonprofit e mail advertising and marketing statistics from our Email Marketing Benchmarks report:

  • open charge – 30.85%
  • click-through charge – 3.60%
  • click-to-open charge – 11.67%
  • unsubscribe charge – 0.10%

Most vital e mail advertising and marketing instruments for non-profits

The key e mail advertising and marketing instruments that assist nonprofits plan and implement their e mail advertising and marketing technique are:

Email advertising and marketing software program. Professional e mail e-newsletter software program instruments empower your advertising and marketing staff to construct relationships with supporters and develop your donor base. Marketers can create great-looking emails with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Collect useful details about subscribers and create contact segments utilizing tags and customized fields. For instance, by dividing the contact record into separate e mail segments like subscribers, supporters, one-off donors, and common donors, you possibly can flip your e mail advertising and marketing device right into a donor administration platform. Email advertising and marketing platforms additionally present a excessive supply charge and guarantee that your campaigns keep away from the spam folder.

Subscription varieties. A subscription kind is a kind situated on a web site or weblog the place the customers can fill within the fields with their knowledge to obtain emails on matters associated to your nonprofit. The main objective of the subscription kind is opting-in supporters to your mailing record.

Landing pages. A touchdown web page is a straightforward web site with a transparent name to motion. You can use drag and drop editor to create efficient fundraising touchdown pages. Give individuals a purpose to donate by demonstrating the influence of their contributions.

You may also use touchdown pages to share tales of actual individuals impacted by your initiatives with totally different audiences. Add subscription varieties to those pages and develop your potential donor base. Always current the advantages of signing up for your e-newsletter, e.g. that you just’ll inform donors how their cash is spent and what influence it has on the trigger.

Webinars. Webinars are positively among the many simplest e mail advertising and marketing instruments. You can use webinars to get new e mail subscribers by discussing attention-grabbing matters or donors by working dwell fundraising occasions. Webinars needs to be part of your e mail technique: as soon as potential donors register for your webinar, you possibly can ship them e mail sequences earlier than and after the occasion.

A helpful characteristic you need to take into account are on-demand webinars. You can document dwell occasions and flip them into pre-recorded occasions individuals can watch at their comfort.

Community Events and Webinars - screenshot of a landing page.A web page devoted to group occasions and webinars on the TechSoup Global web site

Paid Ads. Facebook Ads and Google Ads can enormously assist e mail advertising and marketing for nonprofits. You can allocate funds to get in entrance of latest audiences, construct your e mail record, and discover new donors. Also, if you happen to join your Facebook Pixel with e mail advertising and marketing software program, you possibly can run retargeting advertisements to convey subscribers again to your web page.

Website Builder. Having a devoted web site for your nonprofit group can actually set issues in movement. An internet site gives a real base of operations for your whole on-line endeavors. If you’re wanting for a nonprofit or church web site builder, attempt GetResponse’s Website Builder. It’s completely free to get began, and we offer a 50% low cost on paid plans for organizations that require extra capabilities.

How to begin with e mail advertising and marketing in a non-profit?

Great e mail outcomes begin with nice planning. Write down your targets and develop a nonprofit e mail advertising and marketing technique that may use emails to ship the suitable info to the suitable individuals on the proper time, and what’s much more vital, that you must be certain your viewers is aware of what to do with the knowledge they obtain.

This is why that you must plan your technique. Here’s a brief record of some actions to contemplate.

Plan your e mail advertising and marketing for motion

Decide on key actions: e mail will not be solely about offering your contacts with info. For fairly a while now, it means that you can get to know the individuals in your record. You can design two-way communication and ask your contacts for their info wants and preferences. When you realize what your viewers is about, you possibly can create content material they’ll interact with.   

List constructing: inform your goal viewers about the advantages of becoming a member of your e mail record. Again, give attention to motion: will they be capable to overview the outcomes of accomplished initiatives, share their opinion on key matters, donate cash, or assist your trigger differently? Make positive individuals know why they ought to subscribe.

Awareness: share your mission, targets, and initiatives with the goal viewers. Make positive everyone is aware of what your group is about and easy methods to be a part of the trigger.

Project reviews: lead by instance. If you name for motion, present that you’re all about motion your self. Share undertaking statuses and present a abstract with key info as soon as they’re accomplished. Being clear about your initiatives gives context for nice content material concepts and helps your group achieve credibility.  

Donations: invite contacts to assist your non-profit financially. You can A/B check campaigns for one-off and recurring donations and rapidly uncover the simplest messaging and incentives.

Audience segmentation: gather details about your contacts and group them primarily based on their pursuits (e.g., favourite initiatives, occasions, content material), e mail engagement, and their place within the funnel (contact, one-time donor, common donor, and many others.)

Proper contact record segmentation has a huge effect on all efficiency metrics of your e mail advertising and marketing. Emails tailor-made to particular person contact segments have a number of occasions larger open and click-through charges in comparison with e mail blasts ship to everybody on the record. 

Strong factors of your content material: Make positive that your content material bridges the hole between your organizational targets and your viewers’s info wants. Figure out what info individuals have to actively assist your group. Create tips for your content material so as to preserve high quality over time. 

GDPR Compliance: GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is Europe’s present privateness regulation. Adopted in April 2016, it replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive – and marks the largest change in knowledge safety in 20 years. 

You have to adjust to the GDPR when: 

  • your group is predicated within the European Union (EU), 
  • you course of the private knowledge of people within the EU. 

If you employ GetResponse, your group can relaxation straightforward realizing that your – and your contact’s – knowledge is secure, safe, and actively protected. 

For extra info concerning GDPR compliance, learn the GetResponse Earns Official Declaration of GDPR Compliance weblog.

Email advertising and marketing finest practices for non-profits

Below you’ll discover tried and examined methods to make use of emails and e mail sequence to show contacts (your e mail readers) into common donors. These concepts will make it easier to kick off a very powerful points of e mail advertising and marketing. Once you begin, you possibly can benchmark e mail outcomes towards your earlier expertise and enhance with each the instruments and messages.

1. Create e-newsletter templates 

A well-designed e-newsletter template is extraordinarily vital for e mail advertising and marketing success, and right here’s a case research with TechSoup Polska that proves it: 1200% improve of orders worth from a e-newsletter over a yr.  

There are many points to take into consideration when designing e mail templates. If you’re interested by designing your first e mail, it’s a good suggestion to make use of one of many pre-designed templates and customise it to your wants. 

Screenshot of predesigned email templates in GetResponse.Predesigned e mail templates in GetResponse.

Take a have a look at the foundations that TechSoup Polska follows whereas creating their newsletters: 

Structure. We divide our content material into sections to facilitate info comprehension. 

Consistency. We all the time use model colours and make the most of related graphic parts. 

Clarity. We attempt to maintain our newsletters clear and not overloaded with content material. 

Adjusting messages to the goal group. We direct particular content material to chose recipient teams (e.g. we inform customers of Google for Nonprofits about Google Ad Grants coaching). 

Image of newsletter templates used by TechSoup Polska.Newsletter templates used by TechSoup Polska

Here are a couple of items of recommendation from Liza Nema, Project Coordinator at TechSoup Polska, on easy methods to put together knowledgeable e-newsletter template:

  • Think about what sort of content material you’ll be sending to your recipients. 
  • Choose a template. 
  • Customize the template in line with your wants – use e mail editor to vary the colours to be according to your model, add logos and different graphic parts. 
  • Add a call-to-action in order that your recipients can carry out the specified motion: donate cash, enroll for an occasion, and many others. 
  • Before you ship your e-newsletter, test its preview for desktop and cell units. Make positive your campaigns each look and work nice.
  • Analyze statistics and modify your content material primarily based on that knowledge. Check your best-performing campaigns and select a benchmark e mail for additional campaigns.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s good to refresh your templates each now and then and keep in mind to keep up your basic model graphic parts.

If you’re wanting for in-depth info on easy methods to design nice e mail advertising and marketing templates, you’ll benefit from the Email Design Best Practices for 2022 article, the place Michael covers all the weather of an e mail intimately.

2. Automate e mail advertising and marketing communication

Once your e-newsletter template is prepared, you can begin automating your communication. You can use situations, filters, and actions to construct automation workflows – automated communication flows. 

The objective is to make use of automation to construct relationships with the individuals in your contact record and assist them make the suitable selections. You can talk together with your viewers with nice precision utilizing knowledge saved in your account. You can:  

  • Create automation occasions primarily based on customers’ habits 
  • Take motion primarily based on chosen situations 
  • Use filters for much more exact concentrating on 
  • and many others. 

An example of an automation template that allows splitting contacts after signup.Automation template permitting you to separate contacts after signup to check which e mail performs finest.

Automation means that you can ship customized advertising and marketing experiences. You can monitor and charge clients’ actions to create customized segments primarily based on particular knowledge and standards. This means, you possibly can ship customized and related emails to your viewers.

Once you automate your communication, you possibly can monitor efficiency, study out of your expertise and optimize the method. And most significantly, you save time and sources for different initiatives.

Here’s an excellent case research exhibiting how an ecommerce promoting artisanal espresso makes use of automation to coach new contacts: 54% of gross sales due to the tutorial marketing campaign. 

Examples of emails in LandCafe's automation workflow.Emails in LandCafe’s automation workflow

The marketing campaign was carried out in line with the Learn -> Like -> Trust -> Buy circulate. As a non-profit, you possibly can simply adapt this system and convert it to Learn -> Like -> Trust -> Donate.

3. Observe the outcomes of your e mail advertising and marketing campaigns

There are a number of components that contribute to efficient e mail advertising and marketing communication. Pay consideration to your on-line advertising and marketing statistics and use knowledge to make higher selections. 

When it involves particular person emails, take note of engagement – a measure of how individuals work together together with your emails. The hottest engagement metrics are:

  • Open Rate: the share of contacts who open a selected e mail out of your complete variety of subscribers. 
  • Click-through charge: the proportion of contacts who clicked on a hyperlink, CTA, or picture inside a selected e mail. 
  • Conversion charge: the proportion of contacts who full a objective expressed by the decision to motion. 
  • Unsubscribe charge: the proportion of contacts who’ve opted out from the mailing record after an e mail marketing campaign.

Engagement is additionally crucial to deliverability – the flexibility to ship emails to subscribers’ inboxes. That’s another excuse to consistently search for one of the best doable content material for your viewers. And knowledge will help you with that.

If you’d like to check your outcomes towards trade benchmarks, right here’s the Email Marketing Benchmarks report providing a great deal of helpful insights into emails, advertising and marketing automation, touchdown pages, and webinars.

4. Find bottlenecks and enhance e mail advertising and marketing efficiency

It’s not doable to create an ideal e mail advertising and marketing program or marketing campaign. There’s all the time room for enchancment. That’s why in your profession, you’ll see some nice, common, and fairly poor outcomes. And it’s completely OK so long as you continue learning from your expertise and carry on testing new concepts.

The commonest points you observe firstly are:

Slow e mail record development. Building an inventory organically with the audience takes time. But it doesn’t imply that you need to sit and wait. Actually, there’s a lot you are able to do to pace up the list-building course of. You can: 

  • add a pop-up kind to your web site: pop-up varieties are onerous to overlook, and if you happen to clarify why becoming a member of your e mail record is a good suggestion, you possibly can anticipate a excessive conversion charge. 
  • run a contest: competitors might be each a sign-up incentive and an thought to interact together with your viewers. 
  • write a weblog submit: write about your group, highlighting one in all your key initiatives. Add a sign-up kind or a hyperlink to your sign-up web page. 
  • add an opt-in hyperlink to your e mail signature: I’m positive you ship plenty of emails each month. Make positive your recipients know they’ll sign-up for a e-newsletter.  
  • discover partnerships: discover individuals and organizations with the same audience and provide them visitor posts and joint e mail campaigns. A powerful community of partnerships is extremely useful. 
  • run a webinar: webinars are an effective way to construct a strong contact record. Do the analysis and select a subject that’s attention-grabbing for your audience. Run promotional campaigns and invite individuals to register. Webinars are additionally good for content material partnerships. Team up with different organizations to get in entrance of their viewers.

Read extra to learn to construct an e mail record from scratch and easy methods to create a popup in moments.

The following three KPIs may relate to contact engagement. The key to a excessive engagement charge is relevance. That’s why segmentation is so vital. If you group contacts primarily based on their info wants and preferences, you’ll be capable to plan and ship communication they’ll interact with.

Low open charge. People are prone to open emails with the knowledge they discover useful. Make positive that the three parts seen within the inbox earlier than opening an e mail signify the contents of the message. The three parts are: 

  • sender: be certain individuals know that the e-mail comes from a good sender – you 
  • topic line: spark curiosity, draw consideration however seek advice from the contents of the e-mail 
  • preheader: use this further area to clarify or develop on the topic line

Low click-through charge. Make positive your emails are mobile-friendly. Your name to motion needs to be clear and straightforward to comply with. You can run A/B assessments to search out out what content material and messaging engages your viewers most.

Low conversion charge. When you see that individuals open your emails and click on the offered hyperlinks however don’t do the motion you have been hoping for (e.g. don’t register for dwell occasions, don’t donate) you need to take a step again and look rigorously at your worth proposition and viewers.

First, clearly clarify the targets of your group and the methods you’re going to realize them. Then put your message in entrance of the suitable crowd – look for people who find themselves prone to assist your trigger. Send the suitable message to the suitable individuals and simplify the donation course of – in order that it’s fast and straightforward.

Note: You’ll additionally wish to guarantee your e mail record is hygienic and nicely maintained. To study extra about this, learn our e mail record administration information.

Inspiring examples of nonprofit emails

There’s no higher supply of inspiration than an excellent e mail out of your trade. And boy, are there many nice emails despatched by non-profit organizations! Once once more, we teamed up with Liza to point out you a couple of inspiring examples from our inboxes:

Kiva: Loans that change lives

How it really works: By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, you possibly can assist the causes you care about and make an actual private influence. 

An email from Kiva.An e mail with a quick abstract of 2020 and inviting supporters to begin 2021 sturdy 
A fundraising email.An e mail that includes the loans nearing the top of their fundraising interval

Movember: the main charity altering the face of males’s well being globally, specializing in psychological well being and suicide prevention, prostate most cancers, and testicular most cancers. 

How it really works: Since 2003, Movember has funded greater than 1,250 males’s well being initiatives world wide, difficult the established order, shaking up males’s well being analysis and remodeling the best way well being providers attain and assist males. 

Movember email raising awareness.An e mail sharing the mission and progress the Movember basis made up to now earlier than the World Cancer Day
An email with research and health projects funded by donors.An e mail exhibiting groundbreaking analysis and well being initiatives funded by donors

Back to you

I hope this text helps you with utilizing e mail advertising and marketing for your nonprofit group and crammed you with inspiration for future endeavors. Are you prepared to begin your individual campaigns? Be positive to take a look at the discount for email marketing services for nonprofit organizations and see you in our inboxes!

This article was final up to date in August 2022.