Best Practices:

Improving email
 response rates
    Jason Meyers
Email is still The King
 Despite the hype for Social Media, the
   “killer app” is still good ol’ email.

          What a...
Declining Response
                          advocacy emails

                                      2007           2008   ...
Engaging Action Alerts
• Part I - Content
• Part II - Timing
• Part III - Your List
• Part IV - Tactics
Part I - Content
     what to say
A letter to a friend
Facts are fine, but
email is about emotion
• Anger           • Compassion
• Fear            • Connection
• Egotism         ...
Anatomy of an Email
Find the “CRISISTUNITY” in your
campaign
•   In order to be effective, you must convey both
    Crisis...
Anatomy of an Email
Develop a “READER FOCUSED
THEORY OF CHANGE”
•   A chain of events that begin with your
    supporter

...
Anatomy of an Email
Have a specific and focused “ASK”


•   The ASK is the actual action that starts the
    RFTOC

•   E.g...
There can be only one.
Anatomy of an Email
Detail “SUPPORTING INFORMATION”
•   Some people will automatically be “with you”
    after the first fe...
Anatomy of an Email
Provide a “MOVEMENT STORY”
•   If “supporting information” appeals to logic, the
    “movement story” ...
Part 2 - Timing
    when to send
The moment of relevance
• Watch the media
• Watch your web stats and search queries
• Watch twitter trending topics
“enough is enough”
Part 3 - Your List
     who to send to
This isn’t about you




     “Help me, help you!”
Segmentation

•   Stated interests           •   Geography

•   Issue of previous action   •   Their riding/MP

•   Recenc...
Part 4 - Tactics
  tips to maximize response
Email similar to landing page




                         Credit: FairSay
Auto-populate




                Credit: FairSay
The Ladder of Engagement




                      Credit: FairSay
Ensure your emails are
recognizable when they arrive




                          Credit: FairSay
Easily scannable in preview
  pane of email software




                         Credit: FairSay
Keep the formatting simple




                         Credit: FairSay
Tell the story with images




                         Credit: FairSay
Links to action




                  Credit: FairSay
“A big red button”

             16%

             3%




            20%
            52%
             9%
Personalize when possible
Summary
•   Remember you are dealing with real people who have
    complex, personal emotional ties to your issue

•   Sen...
Jason Meyers
           jason@fivestones.ca
               fivestones.ca
         twitter.com/jasonmeyers

Special thanks to...
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2b Increase email response rates AO community conference

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2b Increase email response rates AO community conference

  1. 1. Best Practices: Improving email response rates Jason Meyers
  2. 2. Email is still The King Despite the hype for Social Media, the “killer app” is still good ol’ email. What advertising channels performed the strongest for your company in 2009? Source: Datran Media - 2010 Marketing and Media Survey
  3. 3. Declining Response advocacy emails 2007 2008 2009 20% 17.0% 16.0% 14.6% 15% 10% 6.3% 5.5% 4.8% 4.5% 4.6% 5% 4.0% 0% Open Click Action Source: 2009 NTEN eNonprofit Benchmark Study
  4. 4. Engaging Action Alerts • Part I - Content • Part II - Timing • Part III - Your List • Part IV - Tactics
  5. 5. Part I - Content what to say
  6. 6. A letter to a friend
  7. 7. Facts are fine, but email is about emotion • Anger • Compassion • Fear • Connection • Egotism • Hope • Self Interest • Love
  8. 8. Anatomy of an Email Find the “CRISISTUNITY” in your campaign • In order to be effective, you must convey both Crisis and Opportunity in your email • E.g. The government has introduced legislation harmful to our cause (Crisis), but the opposition parties can defeat it (Opportunity) Credit: Ben Brandzel
  9. 9. Anatomy of an Email Develop a “READER FOCUSED THEORY OF CHANGE” • A chain of events that begin with your supporter • Answer “Why me? Why now?” • E.g. The Government has introduced legislation harmful to our cause (Crisis), but the opposition parties can defeat it (Opportunity), but only if they get pressure from you and me (RFTOC) Credit: Ben Brandzel
  10. 10. Anatomy of an Email Have a specific and focused “ASK” • The ASK is the actual action that starts the RFTOC • E.g. Write a letter to the opposition party leaders • Most important... Credit: Ben Brandzel
  11. 11. There can be only one.
  12. 12. Anatomy of an Email Detail “SUPPORTING INFORMATION” • Some people will automatically be “with you” after the first few lines, while others will need more information to be convinced • Address any weaknesses in your argument • Good practice to site news articles and other outside sources of info • Provide another link after the supporting information Credit: Ben Brandzel
  13. 13. Anatomy of an Email Provide a “MOVEMENT STORY” • If “supporting information” appeals to logic, the “movement story” appeals to emotion • Describe “what is really going on” – e.g. "this is about ordinary people taking back our democracy” • Describe “what we are doing” - e.g. "we're building a network strong enough to get our message heard" • Describe the world we are trying to create – e.g. "together we can ensure no child goes to bed hungry" Credit: Ben Brandzel
  14. 14. Part 2 - Timing when to send
  15. 15. The moment of relevance • Watch the media • Watch your web stats and search queries • Watch twitter trending topics
  16. 16. “enough is enough”
  17. 17. Part 3 - Your List who to send to
  18. 18. This isn’t about you “Help me, help you!”
  19. 19. Segmentation • Stated interests • Geography • Issue of previous action • Their riding/MP • Recency of action • Customization of letters • Number of actions • First contact • Donation history • Other socio-economic criteria
  20. 20. Part 4 - Tactics tips to maximize response
  21. 21. Email similar to landing page Credit: FairSay
  22. 22. Auto-populate Credit: FairSay
  23. 23. The Ladder of Engagement Credit: FairSay
  24. 24. Ensure your emails are recognizable when they arrive Credit: FairSay
  25. 25. Easily scannable in preview pane of email software Credit: FairSay
  26. 26. Keep the formatting simple Credit: FairSay
  27. 27. Tell the story with images Credit: FairSay
  28. 28. Links to action Credit: FairSay
  29. 29. “A big red button” 16% 3% 20% 52% 9%
  30. 30. Personalize when possible
  31. 31. Summary • Remember you are dealing with real people who have complex, personal emotional ties to your issue • Send email when it makes sense, not on some artificial schedule • Create an email you would want to read • Reduce the barriers to action • Do your own benchmarking and track effectiveness over time • Remember what you are fighting for
  32. 32. Jason Meyers jason@fivestones.ca fivestones.ca twitter.com/jasonmeyers Special thanks to Duane Raymond and FairSay for the use of Tactics slide material

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