Sending out a fundraising email is a GREAT way to tell your supporters a story, inspire them to contribute, then offer them a way to do so.
Raising money through email campaigns is both art and science. You must write a compelling text so that it will persuade the donor to contribute. This doesn’t seem complicated, but it’s harder than it looks.
Many NPOs send emails without doing previous research. Then, what happens is that the text doesn’t resonate with the reader, and their results are not great.
First, organizations must realize that donors are busy, and your email is, most likely, an interruption. They will decide, very quickly, whether or not to open the email and, in a few more seconds, choose whether or not to give. Your text must grasp their attention, tell a story, and, finally, ask for a donation. And it has to be easy to read.
Second, understand that people won’t read the entire email. So you must hit the main points in the beginning and often.
Here are a few ways to enhance your email for more opens and replies:
1. When people feel touched by a cause, they’re likely to contribute. What causes a donor to have this kind of response? An emotional story. It could be a story that describes the difficult situation your clients are in, or something that makes them see and feel the injustice.
2. Write about the need and impact. A few years ago, people would donate just because your NPO existed. It’s very different nowadays. Donors want to know how exactly you’re making a difference. The most significant way to do that is to explain the social cause your organization addresses as well as the effect you’re having.
3. Ask for an amount people can visualize. Instead of asking for arbitrary amounts, try using figures that will mean something. Donating can, frequently, feel like throwing money into a black hole unless donors know how it will be used. What will $25 do for your nonprofit? What will $100 do? Figure it out and use those numbers.
4. ALWAYS link to your website where people can get more information. Keep your email short and concise. If your story is long and there’s more crucial back-up info story to tell, put it on a particular page on your website, and include that in your email. It’s imperative that there’s a “Donate Now” button on your web page and your email so, if someone lands there, reads the rest of the story and decides to donate, it’s pretty straightforward.
A Fall appeal should be part of your strategy to get the most from this Fundraising Season. It’s your responsibility to build the relationship with your donor and stay in touch.
So start now while you have plenty of time, and plan your campaign for mid-October!