Email Marketing Fundamentals for Nonprofits
An argument can be made that in the digital age, no tool is more important to a nonprofit’s success than email marketing. This multi-faceted communication tool is the driver for raising funds, direct action, and expanding reach to new supporters.
Most nonprofits run on slimmer operations than for-profit companies – and still get the job done! But smaller teams result in more work for fewer people, and little budgets typically mean less sophisticated email creation and quality control processes. Without robust email production capabilities and reliable tools like automated marketing emails, it’s difficult for programs to succeed.
So, how can nonprofits overcome these barriers to implement large-scale email marketing campaigns?
First, determine if there is a way to add manpower to the email marketing team. Whether it’s bringing someone in part-time, hiring a freelancer, or re-allocating non-email marketing responsibilities to someone else internally, it’s important to staff up as much as possible. The ROI of strong email marketing speaks for itself when making the argument for additional labor resources.
Whether or not you are able to garner additional manpower, implementing automation into email programs is critical to the success of campaigns. Find email production tools that automate time-consuming tasks, such as automatic CSS in-liners and code snippets, which reduce production time and decrease the chance of error. It’s also imperative to use automated emails to keep in regular contact with subscribers, such as “Thank You” emails triggered by donations, petition signings, and new subscribers.
Most critical to any email program – non-or for-profit – is quality control. Regardless of your resources, make a comprehensive pre-send checklist that covers all your bases, and strictly adhere to it. Error-filled, broken emails don’t make a good impression for current or potential donors, and it often requires more time and energy to fix a mistake than preventing one in the first place.
Short staffing or resources should not be kryptonite for email marketing programs, especially at nonprofits where it typically works as the most impactful marketing channel. With greater attention and investments to processes, staffing, and resources, nonprofits can find more success and perform life-changing work.