Email marketing can be more effective than social for nurturing and engaging your base. We’ve written about the value of a clean email list, succeeding at email marketing, and the email rules to break, but there is another type of email that should be used to extend your mission and connect with your community. Personal email.
Keep it Personal
If you already send out monthly “enews” or have developed a series of lead nurturing emails, you are familiar with sending messages to lists your organization has developed. Contact lists are not just names. They are all people who want to be treated as such. Add personalization tokens to your emails. Offer content that your list members would like to read. It all comes down to letting the reader know you are speaking to them – one on one.
On that same note, consider personal emails to a single contact as part of your contact nurturing plan. If you are using a CRM (customer relations management) software like Salesforce or HubSpot, be sure to bcc your CRM in your individual emails to build a communications timeline that includes your own email messages as part of each contact's nurturing record. This will help to track contact communication and contact engagement.
Your marketing is only as good as your lists
Review your email release data every time you send an email to a list. What time of day or day of the week did the most people open the email? Knowing this and adapting to new information can help your opens and increase engagement.
Don’t follow the crowd
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the most popular days for sending emails. Experiment. Try sending on different days and times. What may work for another may not work for your organization. Find your own sweet spot for day/time distribution.
Who’s doing what?
Do you have an active calendar sending out emails about various aspects of your organization? Going forward develop a email calendar schedule, so that when contacts are on multiple lists they aren’t receiving emails too often. Also consider who the email is coming from. Are there certain people who are affiliated with a certain aspect of your nonprofit - fundraising, outreach, education? Consistency is important with email marketing.
Use the right tools for the job
How are you emailing clients? If Outlook or GMAIL is your email of choice you should consider using another distribution tool. There are a lot of great options for email marketing available depending on your needs. Contact Contact, Mail Chimp, HubSpot? They can all help you to organize and help you track engagement and community growth.
It's time to schedule
We all received a lot of email, some useful and a lot that is not. Try to consider that as you continue to develop your email marketing. One person receives an email that you have sent. It isn't really a secret. Email marketing is about the personal.