We never cease to be surprised when clients tell us they don’t prioritise email marketing. Over the past year alone, we’ve raised millions of pounds for charities through this channel. What’s more, it’s the most effective way to engage and inform existing donors –usually, at a better rate of return for your investment than conventional channels.
But you don’t think it’s important? Think again.
Email is the spearhead; the pointy end of every campaign. It’s the bit that actually converts activity into money. And if it’s not, then it’s because you’re not doing it properly.
But it doesn’t stop there. Email campaigns, unlike many other channels, give you greater insight into your audience’s likes and dislikes. It also gives you a better understanding of their donation habits, as well as all sorts of other useful information that can help you plan your growth and strengthen your long-term positions.
Yes, your donors do read your emails, because they’ve invested in you and want to know what you’re doing with their money. This is reflected in the massive open and click through rates we achieve for clients to date.
But what about events, you say? Events are ok. However, ask any 20 going on 40-year old events manager how many of these they can easily deliver in a month and how stressful it can be when things are not going well. We’re not knocking events. They’re an important part of the fundraising mix. But they’re also very resource intensive, so you have to be clear about how many you can deliver before you hit your ceiling.
We find that most charities are better off delivering a few well-thought-out events every year, and then using these to drive their social media and blogs channels. So try giving your guys a break, and see how the same level of effort can lead to sustainable influx of long-term supporters.
We’re not saying it’s easy or quick –you have to do your homework. And make no mistake, there’s a lot of things to think about. Here’s a few of those things, just off the top of our heads:
• Your audience
• Your proposition
• Technical infrastructure
• Payment gateways
• Landing pages
And then there’s the data. In the long-term you’ll harvest your own data in-house, but sometimes you want help at the outset to get in front of new audiences. You’ll want to get the best data, or don’t bother. Poor data will reverse all your hard work. It will negatively impact your reputation and you’ll find yourself falling foul of every changing legislation. This will serve to make life harder in the long term.
Over time, you’ll need to keep reviewing your donor acquisition costs, donation habits, key campaign periods, as well as donor value and lifecycle. If you don’t have this information already, then hello, what are you doing? Which brings us again to email –email marketing can help you understand these in more detail over time, so you can keep refining your campaigns.
Sure enough, there’s no quick fix. But we’ve got a tried and tested formula that works wonders alongside email. In a nutshell it goes something like this:
• Make sure you have the right content on your website
• Utilise the power of social media –it’s the future
• Ensure you are taking a cohesive and congruent approach across all your channels
Take our advice, and all your work will pay dividends over the mid to long-term.
In the coming months, we’ll share insight and expertise on all these areas and more, including how best to setup and deliver effective campaigns. But in the meantime, if you want a no-obligation chat to help get you started then get in touch. We’ll be happy to look things over and help set you on your way.