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email marketing for non-profits: 5 reasons you should do it

You’ve spent time setting up a Facebook Page, ventured into the whole Twitter thing… but are you doing the number one thing to build your online community and presence?

That’s right: email marketing.

A recent benchmark study showed that 35% of online fundraising revenue was generated through email marketing.

But it’s not just about raising revenue and donations online. It’s about building your support base, extending your outreach and communicating effectively — without breaking the bank. Here are five reasons you need to integrate email marketing into your communications strategy:

1. Target Your Communication. The individuals involved in your organization participate in different ways — so you want to communicate with them in a way that’s meaningful to them. That means setting up your lists so you can easily sort and target specific electronic communications: is this person a business organization that has sponsored an event? Is this person a volunteer? Many email marketing companies allow you to segment or create groups within one mailing list. This is a great option for when you want to send a newsletter out to everyone involved in your organization, or a request for donations for a specific event that would only go to business partners.

2. See Who’s Reading Your Emails. You send that mass email out to a list of contacts you’ve collected — but is anyone reading it? Sending your electronic communications through an email marketing company like Mailchimp or Constant Contact let’s you see who is reading your emails, if they are clicking on specific links, which links are being clicked on and how often individuals are clicking. Great information for keeping your outreach relevant!

3. Visual. Visual. Visual. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Sure, you can send a text email out to 500 supporters from your email account, but adding pictures amplifies your message. Email Marketing companies have professionally designed templates that allow you to easily add photos and text without needing to speak HTML language or tech talk. All you really need is a handle on how to maneuver in program like word (the interfaces look similar!). Make in impact with your email marketing!

4. Easy Website Integration. Do you have a stack of business cards on your desk waiting to be added to your contact list? With email marketing companies, you can create an easy newsletter sign-up form and display it right on your organization’s website. That way, next time you can tell an interested supporter “We’d love to send you information! Why don’t you sign up for our newsletter on our website?”

5. It’s free. That’s right. Many email marketing companies (Mailchimp is a favorite of mine) allow you to start your electronic communication campaigns FREE. It remains free until you reach a certain level of subscribers (with MailChimp, it’s 2000 subscribers and up to 13,000 email deliveries per month). For non-profits, this is a great way to economically boost your outreach.

Want to get started with Email Marketing? We’d love to help.

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