I really don’t know how many tips and tricks for nonprofit outreach I’ve read, but pretty much all of them beg you to stop using text emails. I am here to beg you, again. Yes, it might cost you a little bit of money to pay for an email marketing service. I recently signed up with MailChimp.com because they are offering a free basic service for lists under 1,000 (you can send up to 6,000 individual emails with the account). Not too shabby.
As you probably know, there are many reasons to use an email service that go beyond pure aesthetics. For one, you can track how people use your email – do they forward it, click on links…are they even opening it? With MailChimp (and probably other providers as well), you can see who opened your email and what they were interested in. In fact, you can see how many times they opened the email – and, if they have any sort of avatar, you might even see their picture and location.
I hope I’m painting an idea for you…some way where your impersonal email account allows you to make personal connections with people on your list. Say you notice someone always clicking on links to volunteer opportunities, but they never show up to your regularly scheduled work days – maybe you should reach out to them personally and see what barriers are preventing them from coming. Or maybe you’d notice that your board members aren’t opening your emails – probably time to talk to them about how they prefer to receive information about events. Novel idea, eh?
Ok. You got the point. I’m going to assume you already use something like Constant Contact, Email Now, or Mail Chimp. If you’re not, just know that I stopped listening. I won’t be opening your emails anymore, and it doesn’t matter how loud you shout.
Want to take your email marketing to the next level? Check out Network for Good’s Email Fundraising Guide.