There are way too many people thinking, “as long as we send out our newsletter regularly it will engage our audience”; if only it were that easy….
If your nonprofit is serious about engaging your audience and getting them to donate or volunteer then you need to have a sound email marketing strategy to ensure your newsletter becomes a signal instead of noise.
Today I am going to explain a strategy for your nonprofit organization that you need to follow. It almost guarantees that you will increase your open and click through rates and engage your supporters.
First here are some statistics you need to be aware of:
• Targeted emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. Thanks Emma
• Email list segmentation is considered the most important tactic used for email marketing
• Segmented email campaigns have a 14.32% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns. (Mailchimp, 2016)
• And just so you know how you compare to the benchmark; in the nonprofit sector the average open rate is 24.98% and the average click through rate is 2.76%.
The good news?
You can implement this strategy for your newsletter…. even if you have a small database of subscribers and use a free platform such as MailChimp’s free plan.
So what is this email segmentation strategy all about?
In an ideal world we would only receive emails that were of interest to us. The sad truth about monthly newsletters is that they take a lot of time to create and are not engaging supporters like they used to.
Most people suffer from an overflowing email inbox and simply do not have the time to read through a newsletter. In the nonprofit industry newsletters are mostly read by the employees of the nonprofit organization and not the target audience.
The solution? It is easy for a potential donor to just ignore a newsletter which has say five articles of which he has little interest. In this instance, a potential donation is lost. However, by sending targeted emails, the potential donor’s time is saved, and interest is gained.
By targeted email I mean segmenting your mail list into various groups. For example you could divide your email base into:
• Regular donors
• Once-off donors
• Potential supporters
• People who have attended an event
Now instead of sending 1 monthly newsletter with five articles to all of these readers, you send one relevant article to each group. By doing this it makes the newsletter more targeted and the readers only get information on what they are interested in.
The first time you hear this it may sound complicated. However, in time, email marketing segmentation will become second nature and form an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Most email marketing platforms provide this feature, even in their free versions, so there is no reason you cannot start segmenting your email list and getting better returns.
Now that you have got your email marketing strategy sorted you need to get your supporters (and potential supports…) to open your emails. For help with this come back and visit us again for our next blog post which is the second in this 3 part series and will give you the actual subject lines you can copy as a nonprofit organization to get more opens.
Until then, thank you for reading this post and if you have any questions or feedback we would love to hear from you.