Is your nonprofit using email - an effective and low-cost
way of communicating with your members, donors and the public?
If the answer is yes, that's great! You already know the value of email marketing for your nonprofit.
If you're a start-up or small nonprofit,
association or club and would like to start using email in your
marketing strategy, then check out this nice article "7 Essential Elements for Email Marketing Campaigns". Written by Eve Smith, the article lists seven guidelines that will help your nonprofit develop and implement an effective email strategy:
- Brainstorm your marketing objective: Email
campaigns can be used in a variety of ways, from fundraising to event
management. Begin your campaign by determining why you want to use
email and for what purpose.
- Create a plan: Take time to write down your goals, message, email format, target audience and timing of your emails.
- Evaluate technology and staffing resources: How
will you organize, track and send email? Assess your internal
resources to determine if you can manage the process in-house or if you
should look to outside resources for assistance.
- Build your list: Look
at the ways you interact with your constituents and build in methods
for them to provide you with email addresses.
- Draft, test and send your message: Treat
every email from your organization with the same editorial care you
give a print document. Just because email is informal, don't let typos
or grammatical mistakes go unchecked and ruin your organization's image.
- Evaluate your results: Assess
your campaign's success and contact list's performance. What worked
and what didn't? Are constituents responding to your request? Can
you track an increase in your Web site visitors, workshop registration
or donor contributions due to the email?
- Start planning your next campaign: Your
success in email marketing builds from one campaign to the next by
applying lessons learned and trying out new approaches. Consider
designing campaigns to test different messages with different segments
of your constituent base, and then use the results to fine-tune your
message to your full list.
One final and important point that the article doesn't mention is privacy and
security - issues that affect every nonprofit and that are becoming more
important as data and information are moved online.
Since our Wild Apricot
system includes an email component too, we know first hand how critical it is to
be careful with email campaigns. Keeping that in perspective, only email people
who gave explicit permission to be contacted and always provide a quick and easy
unsubscribe function (and ensure it works).
Read the whole article "7 Essential Elements for Email Marketing Campaigns" and share your email
best practices with us!