Communicating by email is a mixed blessing. It’s fast, easy, relatively inexpensive, and almost everyone has an email address. You can quickly get a message out to a lot of people. But here’s the problem. People get hundreds of emails a day and don’t have much time to weed through them.
How can you stand out and make sure people read your email message?
Pay attention to your subject line
A good subject line is the key to getting someone to open your email message. If they don’t bother to open it, your hard work has gone to waste.
Give some thought to it. Instead of Donate to our Annual Appeal or May 2016 Newsletter, try Find out how you can help Sarah find her own home or Thanks to you, Jenna aced her math test.
Stick to one call to action
Don’t ask someone to donate, volunteer, and contact their legislators in the same message. Your call to action will get lost if there’s too much information.
Short and sweet
Remember that your email is one of hundreds your donor will receive that day. Make it short and get to the point right away.
Make it easy to read and scan
Besides sending a short message, use short paragraphs, too. It needs to be easy to read in an instant. Don’t use micro-sized font either.
Be personal and conversational, but also professional
It may not seem like it, but email is one-to-one communication. Don’t address your message to Dear Friend. Use someone’s name.
Write as if you’re having a conversation with a friend, but keep it professional. You’re not a 15-year old texting to her friend. Basic grammar rules apply here.
Send your email to the right audience
You may want to reach out to tons of people about an upcoming event, but you’ll have better luck concentrating on people who will be interested. Just because email lets you communicate with a large audience, doesn’t mean you should.
Be a welcome visitor
If you communicate regularly and do it well, your donors should recognize you as a reputable source and are more likely to read your message.
Make sure people know your message is coming from your organization. In the from field, put DoGood Nonprofit or Lisa Jones, DoGood Nonprofit. If you just put a person’s name or email@example.com, people may not know who it’s from and ignore it.
No spam, spam, spam
Only send email to people who have opted into your list. Otherwise, you’re spamming them. Not all your donors will sign up for your e-newsletter, but that’s okay. The ones who do are interested in receiving it. Give people the option to unsubscribe,too.
Once is not enough
If you’re using email to send a fundraising appeal or event invitation, you’ll probably have to send more than one mesage. Try not to send messages to people who have already responded.
Be mobile friendly
Many people read their email on a mobile device. If your message isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out.
Your email message can stand out if you give some thought to it and do it well. Here’s more information about communicating by email
Photo by Clint Lalonde