3 Tips for Increasing Non-Profit Email Responses

Using emails for fundraising can be a challenge. Considering how many emails people receive daily, getting people to open and donate is a huge challenge. Here are three tips to help you increase email open rates and donation rates.

1. Make it Personal
The most effective emails contain personalized content. To increase your donation rates find out which specific aspect of your organization is the most important to each person that receives your email. “Dog lovers” love messages about helping “dogs”, and “nature lovers” respond to “conservation” efforts that are personal to them.
Other ways to personalize your email include:

  • Put the recipient’s name in the subject line (along with your enticing subject)
  • Construct your message as if you were talking to each person or group of recipients.
  • Send your message from a known person or staff member (versus info@xxx.com).
  • Use images of real people to make your appeal even more personal.

To make your appeal as personal as possible – you need to reach the heart before you reach the wallet. Asking a dog lover to make a personal donation to help dogs in need will be far more effective than an appeal for general donations.

2. Focused Call-to-Action
It may be tempting to ask for as much as you can in one message, but do not! The best call-to-action is email-marketingone that generates the highest response and is focused and compelling. Instead of multiple donation requests, focus on a single compelling call-to-action. Keep it simple, make it obvious, and make it graphical.
The call-to-action should focus on what you want people to do when they get your message. Put the action front and center, and be specific in your ask. Instead of using “Help us save a dog” you might use “Your $25 donation will save a dog today” for your call-to-action.
The imagery is very important for the call-to-action. People like to click on buttons and images, so placing your call-to-action in a button or an image (or both) will increase the click-through rate and significantly increase your donation rate.

3. Remember Mobile
Over 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices – smart phones and tablets. This means your emails must look great and provide excellent user experiences on mobile devices. If your emails make your recipients pinch or zoom in just to read your message, you’re going to lose their attention. If the call-to-action buttons are too small for people’s fingertips, then you will lose donations. Remember a frustrated person is much less likely to give to your cause.
Here are a few tips to make your email more mobile-friendly:

  • Provide plenty of white space: White space improves readability and makes it easier for recipients to click on links and buttons.
  • Leave room for copy: The text of your email displays differently between devices, which means you will need to leave enough space for the copy.
  • Keep load times short: The size of your images will affect the email download and open times. Keep your email images sizes small and impactful.
  • Test your emails: Use multiple devices and email clients to test your emails, if you want to ensure a greater response. Remember all your recipients are not using the latest and greatest mobile devices and may be using older and slower devices.

A professional, easy-to-read, and easy-to-respond-to email is critical to the success of any non-profit email campaign. By making your emails personal, your calls-to-action succinct, and your message mobile-friendly you can increase your open rates and your donation rates.

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