More Than Just a Donate Button: The Anatomy of Successful Email Fundraising Campaigns

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What do donate buttons, click-thru rates, banners and list churn have in common? You need to know what these terms mean, and why they matter, if you’re implementing or managing email fundraising for your charity.

This speedy session will provide an overview of the ins and outs, both back end and front end, of how to set up and manage an email fundraising program. Starting with the anatomy of an email, we’ll review different types of emails (focusing on fundraising, advocacy and newsletters), how they can function and complement your existing fundraising/communications program, and share an overview of benchmarks and best practices. Then, we’ll hone in on a series of fundraising email case studies to show how email can function effectively in a variety of organizations at all different stages of program sophistication and maturity.

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More Than Just a Donate Button: The Anatomy of Successful Email Fundraising Campaigns

  1. 1. Holly Wagg, CFREPhilanthropic Counsel@hollywaggblog.goodworksco.caMore than just adonate button:The anatomy of successfulemail fundraising campaigns
  2. 2. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caHolly Wagg
  3. 3. If I can just add abutton I’mconfident that donationswill pour in!www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.ca
  4. 4. 1. Back end and front end of how to set up andmanage an email fundraising campaign2. Anatomy of an email3. Analytics and success benchmarks4. Emails in actionwww.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caLEarn
  5. 5. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caEmAil Matters10-25% annual revenue online65% of people made an online gift in 201233% online gifts sourced to email
  6. 6. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caSingle Touchpoint
  7. 7. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caIntegrateResponse rateAverage giftLong-term/life-time value of donorsflickr@rob_fuel
  8. 8. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caIntegrate1% total fileup to 50%segmentDirect mail $40Online $60-$93?response rateaverage giftvalue
  9. 9. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caESP to CRMNet CommunityLuminateSend bulk email Email fully integrated with donor data
  10. 10. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caLists1. Build your own list2. Acquire online names3. Cross promotion
  11. 11. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caFront EndSocial sharing iconsBannerTemplate (columns)Donate button
  12. 12. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caFront EndHyperlinksOther social mediaFooterUnsubscribe
  13. 13. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caDashboard
  14. 14. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caBenchmarks14% -> 13%1.7% -> 0.42%*benchmarks from 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study from M+R and NTEN0.21%
  15. 15. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caMetrics That Matter* benchmarks from 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study from M+R and NTEN1. List size2. Growth rate3. List churn4. Response/conversion rate5. Amount raised per email/annually6. ROI15%16%0.07% – 0.16%
  16. 16. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caFuture Metrics That Will Matter1. Inbox placement rate2. Open by device3. Read rate
  17. 17. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caAnalytics
  18. 18. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caOur goalBehaviour =motivation + ability + triggerBJ Fogg’s Behaviour Model
  19. 19. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caWho is this Email From?
  20. 20. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caWhen Should I send my email?Tues – Wed - Thurs*Old school, but sorta safe, ifmost of your list uses a desktop
  21. 21. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caWhen Should I send my email?*http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225266*http://visual.ly/best-and-worst-time-send-emailsA slightly moremodern perspective,but really, you shouldtest this
  22. 22. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caHow OftenOn average, charities send roughly 4 emailsper month* Image from 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study from M+R and NTEN
  23. 23. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caOpen My email, pretty please!Best subject lines -• No longer than 50 characters• No spammy words• Describe what your email is about
  24. 24. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.ca4 ‘U’ of Subject Lines* Brian Clark, Copyblogger1. Be USEFUL to the reader2. Provide a sense of URGENCY3. Convey the idea that the main benefit issomehow UNIQUE4. Do all of the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFICway
  25. 25. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caSubject Line Examples*35 Email Subject Lines…, Philanthropy for All• What an ipad means for Autism• How to end poverty• What the future holds for U of T grads• How can save a platypus today• What dogs and sunshine have in common
  26. 26. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caDesign Mattersfoldbanner 600px widefontbody copy11pt+ sans serifHeader copy12pt+ sans serifor serif
  27. 27. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caDesign Crimes• Don’t underline unless it’s a hyperlink• Too many different fonts• Too many colours• CAPS, italics, Bold, Reverse out
  28. 28. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caTip! Alt Tags are AwesomeTip courtesy of Marc Pitman, Fundraising Coach.com
  29. 29. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caCopy WritingDonor is hero= youOne to oneconversationMore on storytelling atblog.goodworksco.ca
  30. 30. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caCopy Writing1. The more you type, the less people read2. Keep it conversational3. One email = one message/action4. Call to action above the fold and standalone
  31. 31. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caCopy Writing
  32. 32. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caBefore you hit Send1. Do all your links work?2. Do you have a plain text version (and is it thesame as your html version)?3. Do you have alt tags on images?4. Do your pictures have links and are they goingto the right place?5. If your email is personalized, have youchecked your merge fields?6. Have you tested in multiple inbox clients?
  33. 33. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caTesting fail!Can you spotthe squishycopy?
  34. 34. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caA/b Testing50/50 split or 10/10/80Design elementsPage layoutMulti-step formsVideoCTA positioningImagesOffer elementsPrice pointsAsk stringDefault askPremiumsCall to actionCommunications strategiesTimingFrequencyContentCross-channelPersuasion assetsAchievementsSubject linesCopyTestimonialsBenefitsHugh Dwyer, Jacob Colie and Tom Williamson, A/B Testing – can you afford not to? #13NTCab
  35. 35. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caMobile• Mobile template ordecrease width 500px• Shorten subject line• Use preheader copy• Shorten copy and splitparagraphs
  36. 36. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caMobile• Increase text size• Give links room tobreathe• Include better photos• Keep emails under102KBMike Snusz, NPengage.com
  37. 37. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caWelcome Series
  38. 38. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caEmail and Direct Mail
  39. 39. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caNewsletter
  40. 40. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caStewardShip
  41. 41. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caYear-End CampaignNetwork for Good, 2012 Digital Giving Index
  42. 42. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caYear-End Emails
  43. 43. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caCampaigns
  44. 44. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caMonthly Giving
  45. 45. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caMatching Gifts
  46. 46. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caSpecial Events
  47. 47. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caCross promotion
  48. 48. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caCampaignsAdvanced Segmentation
  49. 49. www.goodworksco.ca | @hollywagg | holly@goodworksco.caThank you

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