Blackbaud NetCommunity
    Email Tips and Tricks
                  Andrew Shuttleworth
         Internet Solutions Consult...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Objectives…
 Author compelling message content
  – Anatomy of an effective message


 Under...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Best practices
Creating compelling messages




                   Blackbaud’s Conference f...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Anatomy of an effective email message

Recognizable “From” or
“Sender” address

Descriptive...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Recognizable “From” or “Sender” address
If readers don’t recognize you, they are likely to ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Descriptive, inviting (and honest) subject line
Good subject lines tell the reader what’s i...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




    Concise, relevant content designed to be read online
Even though you aren’t paying prin...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




    Compelling call-to-action
The call-to-action is usually the entire point of sending the...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




    Supporting landing page(s)
Give interested readers somewhere to go once they’ve read th...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Learn along the way: test messages and methods
Effective message testing can dramatically i...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Best practices
Deliverability!




                  Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Deliverability is a matter of trust
  Reputation determines if you arrive in an Inbox or in...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




How Blackbaud helps
 “Throttling” delivery
  –   Spammers typically send large quantities o...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




What you can do
 The single best thing you can do to protect your reputation
 is to prevent...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Avoid looking like a spammer
CAN-SPAM and PIPEDA (Canada) legislation requires:
    Bans fa...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




“Hard” and “Soft” bounces defined
  Soft bounces: Emails that are not delivered due to a te...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Managing hard and soft bounces
Some options for dealing with those frustrating bounces….

 ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Managing invalid accounts
 In Invalid Accounts, you can view email address accounts that ha...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




In summary…
Some of the most important factors for deliverability include:

  Predictabilit...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Best practices
List growth




                 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Cha...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 1: Know your list
Don’t focus too much on acquisition – pay attention to your current ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 2: Use your website
Be sure to get permission – an opt-in list is the key to success

...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 2: Use your website
Make it easy to subscribe – users shouldn’t have to search for you...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




      Top of page
      • “Join our email newsletter”

      Subscription callout on home p...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Create an email subscription landing page
                                                E...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Provide an incentive to opt in        Incentives for Subscribing
                          ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




           Campaign Overview + Benefits
           • Describe gift challenge program and im...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 3: Grow your list through 3rd parties (online)
Think about how to leverage external re...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 4: Grow your list offline
Don’t be afraid to ask for your supporters’ email addresses ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 5: Cultivate new subscribers
Acquisition is only half the battle – have a plan for kee...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 6: Targeting Non-Responders
 Don't forget the non-responders
  – Just because someone ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Best practice examples
Using your website




                         Blackbaud’s Conferen...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW)

                                    Top of page
       ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




CFW – Email Preferences Form        Separate Email Sign Up
                                ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Accion International - Subscription Landing Page




                           Blackbaud’s...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




NY Foundling Email Preferences Process




                          Blackbaud’s Conference...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Attribute-based Form
The form uses four different constituent
attributes that are setup usi...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Best practices
Template creation and visual design




                    Blackbaud’s Conf...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Key points
  Design for the preview pane of email applications

  One giant image is a bad ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Design for the preview pane: sample “don’ts”
  Often, only the top 2–4 inches (or 400–600 p...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Design for the preview pane: sample “do’s”
   Good use of images/text to preview message co...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Using one giant image: bad idea
  It might look pretty – but if the image is blocked by the...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Design for mobile devices
Many recipients read email via a Blackberry or
iPhone
According t...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Email editing do’s and don’ts
  Never copy and paste text or images directly from Microsoft...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




More email editing do’s and don’ts
Always resize and compress images before inserting into ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Tips for making sure email arrives looking its best
Always use inline styles when formattin...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Test messages in multiple browsers before sending
Browser testing allows the user to previe...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Feature demonstration
Email Campaigns




                        Blackbaud’s Conference fo...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 1: Target Lists
  Insert one or more Target Lists
  containing the primary recipients ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 2: Seed Lists
  Insert one or more Seed Lists
  containing recipients you wish to
  ha...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 3: Exclusion Lists
  Insert one or more Exclusion Lists
  containing those recipients ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 4: Create
Your Messages!




                 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 5: Prepare Splits
  N number of test messages for
  each list allow testing of content...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 6: Send Final
 Send “winning” message to
 remainder of list

 Any recipients of tests ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Step 7: Reporting




                    Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charlesto...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Feature demonstration
Conditional Content in BBNC 6.1




                        Blackbaud...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




NetCommunity 6.1 – conditional content
  Add conditional content to an email message to cus...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Why use conditional content?
  The more specific your message, the greater the impact
  Not...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




An example…




              Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew S...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Set up your lists…




                     Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charles...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Design your message…




                       Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Cha...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Add your conditional content…




                           Blackbaud’s Conference for Non...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Preview the message for each segment…




                         Blackbaud’s Conference f...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Send, and view your reports!




                               Blackbaud’s Conference for ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Send, and view your reports!




                               Blackbaud’s Conference for ...
BBNC Email Tips and Tricks




Questions?

Andrew Shuttleworth, Blackbaud Internet Solutions
andrew.shuttleworth@blackbaud...
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Non Profit Email Marketing Best Practices Blackbaud

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Presentation from Blackbaud's 2009 Conference on Philanthropy focusing on email marketing best practices. Includes several great examples of non profits doing it right.

Published in: Technology, Business

Non Profit Email Marketing Best Practices Blackbaud

  1. 1. Blackbaud NetCommunity Email Tips and Tricks Andrew Shuttleworth Internet Solutions Consultant
  2. 2. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Objectives… Author compelling message content – Anatomy of an effective message Understand keys to successful delivery of your email – What is deliverability and why is it important? – What does Blackbaud do to help? What can you do? Grow your list – Six steps to help you know, grow, and maintain your list Design compelling message designs – Designing by display and by device Two feature walkthroughs: – Email Campaigns – Conditional Content Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #2
  3. 3. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Best practices Creating compelling messages Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #3
  4. 4. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Anatomy of an effective email message Recognizable “From” or “Sender” address Descriptive, inviting subject line Concise, relevant content Compelling call to action Supporting landing page(s) Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #4
  5. 5. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Recognizable “From” or “Sender” address If readers don’t recognize you, they are likely to flag your message as spam o The “From” line should reflect an identifiable organizational figure o Don’t use a random name that people are not familiar with (and don’t assume everyone knows your executive director’s name) o Recommend using the organization’s name o Avoid numbers/symbols in the “From” line – they may trigger spam filters o Use consistent “From” and “Reply-To” addresses to build your sender reputation Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #5
  6. 6. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Descriptive, inviting (and honest) subject line Good subject lines tell the reader what’s inside – not try to sell what’s inside o Keep subject lines clear and simple – not promotional o Limit subject lines to 50–60 characters maximum (mobile devices only display the first 15–25 characters) o Avoid using $, ! or ALL CAPS in the subject – could trigger spam filters o Look inside your own junk mail folder – and don’t do what they do Good examples Bad examples Baxter State Park Foundation: Newsletter Newsletter Baxter State Park Foundation: October Update It’s not too late! The top five things you can do right now for Maine wildlife You asked for it… Upcoming events with the Baxter State Park Foundation You won’t want to miss THIS! Happy holidays from the BSPF Become a Platinum Member and get exclusive invitations We need your help to keep Maine green We need your help!! Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #6
  7. 7. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Concise, relevant content designed to be read online Even though you aren’t paying printing costs, you can’t skimp on careful writing Think about the audience • Establish ideal tone or editorial “voice” for messages • Provide content that is appropriate for level of engagement, interest, knowledge, etc. Keep content short and to the point • Use headlines and bulleted lists for improved scannability • Easier to read in a short timeframe; emphasize important points Use stories to engage readers • Share own experiences (or those of supporters) to engage readers • Use statistics, testimonials, case studies, and expert opinions to support a point Demonstrate a clear purpose and a clear call to action • Each (promotional/appeal) email should have one main point, with a clear call to action • Give readers a compelling reason to act now Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #7
  8. 8. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Compelling call-to-action The call-to-action is usually the entire point of sending the message The call-to-action should compel readers to do something • Contribute, sign up to volunteer, register for an event, download a resource, etc. Give readers a sense of excitement and urgency • Convince readers if they don’t act now, they might miss out on something really important • Highlight any relevant expiration dates for a quicker response Use specific, action-oriented language • Instead of “You might want to check out our new art exhibit,” try “Become a Museum Member by Tuesday and save 25%!” • Use verbs to keep it active – write sparingly and make those few words count However… • Keep it soft: for a nonprofit, the identity is usually more important than “making the sale” • Not every email needs to push the call-to-action: some emails may just be informational Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #8
  9. 9. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Supporting landing page(s) Give interested readers somewhere to go once they’ve read the message You’ve motivated them to act – now bring them even closer • Once you’ve got readers’ attention, why let them wander off? • Draw them into the website with related content Use the landing page to help keep your message brief • Instead of packing every detail into a message (and losing a lot of readers in the process), email only the basics and let them find more information online Each kind of message might call for a different kind of landing page Sample message Related landing page(s) Monthly newsletter Multiple – one for more information on each article, plus a “donate now” button Event announcement More information + signup page Fundraising appeal Donation form Progress report on mission Slideshow of activities, summary of media mentions, “tell-a-friend,” donation form Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #9
  10. 10. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Learn along the way: test messages and methods Effective message testing can dramatically improve response rates What you might test What you should look for Variations on subject lines Higher open rates Designs, colors, graphics Higher clickthrough rates Day of the week or time of day Higher conversion rates Long copy vs. short copy Fewer unsubscribe requests With incentive vs. without incentive Product price vs. without price Logo placement Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #10
  11. 11. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Best practices Deliverability! Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #11
  12. 12. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Deliverability is a matter of trust Reputation determines if you arrive in an Inbox or in Junk – Low-reputation senders are more likely to land in junk mail or be denied altogether – Sending large quantities to invalid addresses can lower the impact of messages sent to strong supporters Low reputation can disable email content – ISPs often block images – ISPS also may disable links from non-trusted sources Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #12
  13. 13. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks How Blackbaud helps “Throttling” delivery – Spammers typically send large quantities of emails in a short period of time. – BB “throttles” or staggers large mailings by reducing messages delivered at one time Blocking invalid accounts – Spammers generally have large percentages of invalid accounts in their email lists. – If ISPs detect a high number invalid accounts, they reduce the number of emails they will accept. – If an ISP reports an address as invalid, we automatically block future emails to the recipient. Blocking complainers – When a recipient “complains” about your email by hitting the ‘Report Spam’ button, many ISPs will send an email to inform us of the complaint. – To eliminate the chance of future complaints from the same recipient, we automatically block future emails to that recipient. Monitoring reputation – BB uses a number of tools to monitor the “reputation” for all of our NetCommunity clients. – The goal is to detect/correct problems early before they can cause major issues. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #13
  14. 14. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks What you can do The single best thing you can do to protect your reputation is to prevent complaints. Send to subscribers only – Send email only to those who have requested it. – Sending to someone who did not request is more likely to result in a ‘Report Spam’ warning. Keep it relevant – Set expectations early and then send the type of email that people expect. – Limit cross-marketing email across your lists (subscriptions to one program, likely does not warrant weekly notices from all other programs) Maintain expected frequency – Tell subscribers how frequently they will receive email and then stick to the schedule. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #14
  15. 15. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Avoid looking like a spammer CAN-SPAM and PIPEDA (Canada) legislation requires: Bans false or misleading header information – “From,” “To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email. Prohibits deceptive subject lines Requires that you provide recipients a valid opt-out method – Must honor opt-out requests within 10 days; opt-out must be free Bans the sale or transfer of email addresses of people who unsubscribe Requires that “commercial” email be identified as an advertisement – Adult content must be labeled as such Ensures the email includes the sender's valid physical postal address Learn more here: http://www.ftc.gov/spam/ http://www.ic.gc.ca/ Note: Transactional messages are exempt from these rules Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #15
  16. 16. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks “Hard” and “Soft” bounces defined Soft bounces: Emails that are not delivered due to a temporary issue/error (but may get through eventually). Possible causes include: – Person has changed email accounts (and no longer opens this email) – Email box is full – Server is busy Hard bounces: Emails that are not delivered due to a “terminal” failure, generally caused by: – Email account is no longer valid – Domain does not exist (alo.com, homtail.com, commcast.net) – Email address is misspelled or has syntax errors (for example: joesmith@hotmail.om or joesmith@sbc global.com) Hard bounces will eventually be sent to Invalid Accounts Some soft bounces do eventually get delivered (but we can’t see which ones, unfortunately) Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #16
  17. 17. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Managing hard and soft bounces Some options for dealing with those frustrating bounces…. View/edit “Bounced” recipients via the Messages Gallery – Select message, view Message Statistics (magnifying glass) and click on recipients – “Bounced” recipients will display a yellow “action” icon – click for bounce error/reason – If user is a constituent in Raiser’s Edge, access the record directly to fix any errors Query on Bounced emails and the reason – then contact manually – Create query for “Soft” bounces and resend the message to that list – For the “Hard” bounces, contact constituents by another method (direct mail, phone) or include them in a future data cleansing initiative (see below) Remove/notate “Bounced” addresses – Use “hard bounce” query to globally add an attribute or action of “Bounced” to the user record, or globally change the phone type to something like “invalid” or “bad address” – Globally deleting the email addresses isn’t an option with standard RE functionality, but there is a custom phone type remover plug-in which is available through RE Support Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #17
  18. 18. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Managing invalid accounts In Invalid Accounts, you can view email address accounts that have been reported as “Invalid” by their ISP – An ISP may report an email address account as “Invalid” due to a nonexistent or canceled account. Typographical errors in the account name or domain name also cause an email address to be reported as Invalid. – Accounts that bounce email for another reason, such as a temporary network issue, a full mailbox, or due to a content filter, do not appear in Invalid Accounts. To prevent your email from being blacklisted, Blackbaud NetCommunity does not send emails to invalid accounts – For each email address in Invalid Accounts, you can view the bounce error that caused the ISP to report the account as invalid. – If you feel an account is incorrectly marked invalid, you can mark it as active to include it in a mailing. – If you correct an invalid email address in Raiser’s Edge, the incorrect address will/should still remain in the Invalid Accounts Gallery. However, the corrected email address will be included in future mailings. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #18
  19. 19. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks In summary… Some of the most important factors for deliverability include: Predictability Volume of email sent Bounce management Complaint history Reputation Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #19
  20. 20. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Best practices List growth Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #20
  21. 21. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 1: Know your list Don’t focus too much on acquisition – pay attention to your current list Organize and track your email file in The Raiser’s Edge – Regularly measure the size/growth rate of your email list vs. your entire database Keep your list clean (hint: let supporters do the work!) – Allow constituents to verify, modify, or delete personal data you collect at any time – Allow easy opt-outs; remove/update invalid or bounced addresses when possible – Avoid buying or selling of your list Set clear expectations and keep subscribers engaged – Respect subscriber expectations; reinforce newsletter/email subscriptions with a confirmation page or email that reminds them of planned frequency, topics, etc. (and be sure to honor these) – Communicate with subscribers regularly; always recap why you are emailing them and how they can opt out/update subscription preferences Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #21
  22. 22. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 2: Use your website Be sure to get permission – an opt-in list is the key to success Use site-wide forms to capture subscriptions – Make email a required field on all online forms. – Include opt in checkbox on all relevant forms (New User Registration, Profile/Login, etc.) Encourage subscriptions through transactional/acknowledgement emails – Drive readers back to the site to subscribe to newsletter(s) or other publications. Encourage readers to pass along your message to friends – Include option to subscribe from all publications. Direct staff and other close supporters (board, volunteers, etc.) to include subscription links in email signatures – May also include links for upcoming events, campaigns, etc. to drive traffic to website. Use Search Engine Optimization to increase traffic and subscriptions – Post web-based versions of current and past emails or newsletters (archive). – Content will be accessible via search engines (and will increase your rankings). Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #22
  23. 23. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 2: Use your website Make it easy to subscribe – users shouldn’t have to search for your form Feature a quick way to subscribe from each page of your site – Promote the benefits of subscribing on the sign-up page. – Offer a relevant incentive, such as an email-only discount, free shipping, or link to download an informational resource. – Offer multiple subscription options (by topic, frequency, format, etc.) Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #23
  24. 24. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Top of page • “Join our email newsletter” Subscription callout on home page • “Stay in touch” box describes benefits of signup Footer navigation • Link to newsletter Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #24
  25. 25. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Create an email subscription landing page Email subscription page • Benefits of subscribing • Quick, easy way to subscribe • Link to email archive • Invitation to share certain personal details – e.g., interest categories, suggestion box ideas Bonus: Link to manage all subscriptions from one location Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #25
  26. 26. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Provide an incentive to opt in Incentives for Subscribing • Gift challenge campaign to encourage wide subscriptions Clear Call to Action • Click to campaign landing page Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #26
  27. 27. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Campaign Overview + Benefits • Describe gift challenge program and impact Easy Subscription Process • Anonymous subscribe Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #27
  28. 28. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 3: Grow your list through 3rd parties (online) Think about how to leverage external resources to grow your list Investigate alliances or partnerships with similar or complementary organizations to reach common supporters – Promote partner’s program/events/subscriptions to your list, and vice versa. – Corporate or media sponsors may email signup invitations on your behalf. Promote email/newsletter in online articles, press releases, etc. – Include a reference and link to newsletter after the byline. – Promote email/newsletter or articles in industry directories or websites. Use social networking sites and blogs to increase reach – Encourage staff and supporters to promote to your newsletters or email articles via their MySpace/Facebook/Blog pages. (Works well with specific call to action or campaign.) – Encourage staff to contribute to and comment on industry blogs when relevant. Make sure they link back to the organization’s website. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #28
  29. 29. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 4: Grow your list offline Don’t be afraid to ask for your supporters’ email addresses – if they like and trust you, they will gladly provide them Ask for email addresses at every touch point – Over the phone, at special events, office/store/school visits, registration desk, box office, etc. – In addition to adding the email address, ensure you are noting “subscription preferences” in The Raiser’s Edge (add attribute, solicit code, etc.). Provide option to receive future communications via email vs. direct mail – Emphasize the how email is more “green” than printed mail. – Publicize online versions of traditionally offline material online (i.e., Annual Report, Press Releases, Newsletters, etc.). Offer opt-in service to receive special offers or reminders via email – Advertise special discounts, upcoming sales, event/ticket availability, etc. via email. Include your website address on all printed materials – Promotional items (bags, t-shirts), forms, surveys, direct mail, print ads and catalogs. – Promote your email/newsletter in your other organizational publications. Utilize an Email Append service like Blackbaud’s EmailFinder – Finds email addresses for many constituents already in your database; invites them to subscribe. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #29
  30. 30. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 5: Cultivate new subscribers Acquisition is only half the battle – have a plan for keeping them involved Hook subscribers early, and keep them engaged over time Optimize the “Welcome” message – Send out a welcome/confirmation message immediately after they subscribe. – Thank them for signing up; recap subscription details. – Include link to privacy policy, contact information, and link to manage subscriptions. Send follow up message within a week (or less) – Link to the most recent newsletter (and/or past issues). – Provide helpful links and/or important places to visit on your site. – May include a link to special offer or “insiders only” information/benefit. After a few months of active email, survey readers to see if you are meeting expectations – Is the timing, frequency and content meeting your readers’ needs? – Are your readers interested in learning about other topics? Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #30
  31. 31. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 6: Targeting Non-Responders Don't forget the non-responders – Just because someone doesn't open in 72 hours doesn't mean he/she is not interested Three is the magic number – As a rule, emails perform best when the same message is sent to a non-responder three times (in a bit of a different creative shell of course) Many organizations focus on the 30 percent who open and cast off the 70 percent who don't – A subject line with "last chance" or "final offer” can help activate your non-responders Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #31
  32. 32. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Best practice examples Using your website Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #32
  33. 33. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) Top of page • Name/Frequency of Newsletter Subscription callout on landing page • Previews topics and features • Explains other ways to get involved Sample Issues • Link to view archives • Current issue posted on actual page Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #33
  34. 34. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks CFW – Email Preferences Form Separate Email Sign Up • Specifically reference Email Sign up (not direct link to Login page) Shorter Form for lower barrier to entry • Only ask enough to create record • Only capture interests/subscription data • User creates login so can manage subscriptions (vs. nuclear opt out) Sidebar Callouts • Value-add links to Donate, Get Involved, etc. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #34
  35. 35. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Accion International - Subscription Landing Page Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #35
  36. 36. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks NY Foundling Email Preferences Process Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #36
  37. 37. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Attribute-based Form The form uses four different constituent attributes that are setup using tables (not the Yes/No type). This allows us to use two table entries - "Yes" and "No" - and because "Yes" is listed first, the attribute appears to default to it. Note: all queries they pull for lists must now exclude attributes where the answer is No for certain types of email. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #37
  38. 38. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Best practices Template creation and visual design Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #38
  39. 39. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Key points Design for the preview pane of email applications One giant image is a bad idea Never put important information like the call-to-action in an image Avoid large blocks of text – use headlines for increased scannability Provide a link to a web-based version of your email (at the top) Remind recipients to add organization to their address book/safe sender list Test HTML emails in multiple email clients before sending Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #39
  40. 40. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Design for the preview pane: sample “don’ts” Often, only the top 2–4 inches (or 400–600 pixels) of your email will be viewable in the preview pane Use images and text wisely – use images for text very sparingly Don’t put all your content in just one image – and use ALT text if you do Image displays, but no content! No text + no ALT tags = no content! Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #40
  41. 41. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Design for the preview pane: sample “do’s” Good use of images/text to preview message content Use HTML text when possible to ensure proper rendering (avoid risk of image suppression) Image displays and call-to-action is above the fold Image and text display, and call-to-action is above the fold Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #41
  42. 42. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Using one giant image: bad idea It might look pretty – but if the image is blocked by the email client, you don’t have much of a message left Disney and Apple are notorious for this kind of thing – unfortunately most of the rest of us don’t have the name recognition and can’t get away with it No image, no alt tags…no call to action Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #42
  43. 43. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Design for mobile devices Many recipients read email via a Blackberry or iPhone According to MarketingSherpa.com, “64% of key decision makers are viewing your carefully crafted email on their Blackberrys and other mobile devices ... And, chances are, your email looks downright awful.” Design emails for mobile reading – Mobile readers are more likely to scan, not read – Include compelling call to action of your subject line – Avoid “top heavy” images in the design – Use ALT tags on images – In addition to testing email clients, test messages in handheld devices Acknowledge mobile readers – Ask reader to “flag” message for later review – You may want to eventually offer separate subscription/preference for mobile delivery and provide a shorter, text-only version Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #43
  44. 44. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Email editing do’s and don’ts Never copy and paste text or images directly from Microsoft Word or another word processing program. – Always either “clean” the code before pasting, or try pasting into Notepad or another plain text editor and then copy/paste into the email message. – Pasting directly from Microsoft Word tends to transfer some of the underlying code which will inevitably disrupt/distort your message. Be careful when selecting text to edit/replace. – If you select more than just the text you are trying to edit (say, a blank space at the end or beginning of a word) you may inadvertently delete the underlying code/formatting that should be there. When sending email, only use Web-safe fonts. – Most email tools will only offer a few limited fonts for email text. The most common of these are Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and Times New Roman. – Don’t try to use non-web fonts – they won’t work – If you have a specific font that you want to include for branding purposes, it is safest to do it in image form – but do this very sparingly. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #44
  45. 45. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks More email editing do’s and don’ts Always resize and compress images before inserting into your message – NetCommunity allows you to easily add/place images in the message, but it does not have robust built-in image editing tools. – It’s best to use 3rd party graphic software to prepare the images before uploading Always include important content within body content, not just in images – Many email browsers/tools automatically block images by default and your reader may or may not decide to display the images. – To ensure your most important messages are viewable (especially for mobile devices), its best to include them in the first part of the message or near the top of your content. Use consistent “From” name to build your sender reputation – The “From” line should reflect an identifiable organizational figure, not a name that people are not familiar with. (The safest bet is using your organization’s name.) – Be sure to use the same name repeatedly over time to recipients come to expect to “hear” from you. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #45
  46. 46. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Tips for making sure email arrives looking its best Always use inline styles when formatting Emails – In-line styles can dictate: • Image and text alignment • Appearance/formatting of Bulleted lists • Text size/color formatting • Link Styles • Spacing/padding for text and images Be sure to copy/paste body content and/or call outs carefully – Carefully select text to be edited. – Right-click elements to copy > soft return > paste element. – Ensure spacing is appropriate (use <br> tag for one line/space, <p> tag for 2 lines). Ensure images fit within template [guidelines] before inserting – Using an image that is too large or too small can greatly distort the overall template. – Be sure to use “Alt Tags” on images in case they do not display properly. Use browser testing to ensure image, text and cells alignment and padding – Many ESPs will not correctly align elements unless specified (in-line) within each area of the template. – This is something to watch out for when doing browser testing. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #46
  47. 47. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Test messages in multiple browsers before sending Browser testing allows the user to preview how the email will “render” or look when it’s delivered to recipients’ inboxes Option 1: Manually Test – Create multiple "test" accounts in various email systems – Build test lists via imported lists or constituent queries in The Raiser’s Edge for quick access Option 2: Utilize a paid Testing Service (if possible) – Paid preview services are either pay-per-use or a subscription-based fee – Simply upload an HTML email and see how the email SHOULD render in browsers – Some vendors also offer Spam Checking and link-validator services But a disclaimer: No email will look the same in all email clients – Previews are only "best guesses" for how the email might render – Browser testing doesn't take into account any user preferences/settings that may be configured on the recipients’ end (servers or inbox) Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #47
  48. 48. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Feature demonstration Email Campaigns Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #48
  49. 49. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 1: Target Lists Insert one or more Target Lists containing the primary recipients for your appeal. Each list may be sent one or more test messages prior to sending the final message. Each member will only receive one message from this appeal. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #49
  50. 50. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 2: Seed Lists Insert one or more Seed Lists containing recipients you wish to have copied on every message. Seed list recipients receive all test messages to every list and are not counted within the statistics and reports. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #50
  51. 51. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 3: Exclusion Lists Insert one or more Exclusion Lists containing those recipients you wish to exclude from any messages sent from this appeal. Recipients in this list will not receive any emails. Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #51
  52. 52. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 4: Create Your Messages! Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #52
  53. 53. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 5: Prepare Splits N number of test messages for each list allow testing of content, subject line, scheduled time of departure, from name, and from email address Test message sample size can be based on exact quantities or percentage of list Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #53
  54. 54. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 6: Send Final Send “winning” message to remainder of list Any recipients of tests or exclusions will not receive a second message Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #54
  55. 55. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Step 7: Reporting Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #55
  56. 56. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Feature demonstration Conditional Content in BBNC 6.1 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #56
  57. 57. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks NetCommunity 6.1 – conditional content Add conditional content to an email message to customize the message for different types of recipients Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #57
  58. 58. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Why use conditional content? The more specific your message, the greater the impact Not all communications are for all your constituents It enables you to customize each of your messages for various segments while just clicking “Send Final” once Help reduce unsubscribe rates by using all the information you’ve got about your constituents Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #58
  59. 59. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks An example… Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #59
  60. 60. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Set up your lists… Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #60
  61. 61. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Design your message… Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #61
  62. 62. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Add your conditional content… Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #62
  63. 63. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Preview the message for each segment… Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #63
  64. 64. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Send, and view your reports! Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #64
  65. 65. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Send, and view your reports! Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #65
  66. 66. BBNC Email Tips and Tricks Questions? Andrew Shuttleworth, Blackbaud Internet Solutions andrew.shuttleworth@blackbaud.com www.blackbaud.com/connections Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Andrew Shuttleworth | Page #66

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