Create an Exceptional Email Campaign for Your Organization

Last week, I raved about the brilliance of NLADA’s #GivingTuesday campaign. They sent a series of emails where they educated the reader on their mission in a disruptive and engaging way. Each message of the four #GivingTuesday messages kept the conversation moving, even if the reader didn’t read any of the previous messages. What made NLADA’s email campaign exceptional was the fact that the four messages could have been read as a series or stand alone. 

There’s Always Room for Improvement

Knowing that NLADA did a great job crafting their #GivingTuesday message this year, you might be wondering if there is room for them to improve their campaign. The answer is a resounding YES! As in all aspects of life, we can always improve. Even though NLADA had a great series of messages, they could have improved the campaign by creating an automated series of messages based on a recipient’s behavior

NLADA’s Series of Emails

If you’re like many people, you’re probably thinking….WHAT the heck is Charmaine talking about?! Let me first explain what NLADA did. They sent four messages throughout the #GivingTuesday period. 

1st Email: A Sneak Peek Just For You (sent on Black Friday)

2nd Email: 24 Hours to Make Bail (sent the AM of #GivingTuesday)

3rd Email: $XX left to make bail

4th Email: There’s still time to make bail before midnight

Don’t Lose that Feeling of Goodwill

I opened the second email and immediately made a gift using the link in that email. Almost instantaneously, I received an automated thank you message. I felt good about helping to scale justice. That feeling diminished slightly when I received the third and fourth email solicitations. I had already given and it was a bit disheartening to receive those messages. 

Sample Automated Email Series

If NLADA had created an automated series of messages based on my behavior of opening a message, clicking on the giving link, and then following through with the gift, I could have felt uplifted instead of feeling a bit disheartened. For example:

2nd Email: 24 Hours to Make Bail, is opened by recipient, who clicks on link to give

Recipient follows through with making a gift and automated thank you is sent

4th Email: With your gift we raised $xx towards bail 

—————————-

Now, let’s slightly alter the recipient behavior: 

2nd Email: 24 Hours to Make Bail, is opened by recipient, who DOESN’T click link to give

3rd Email: Charmaine, we’re only $xx away from making bail; recipient opens message, clicks on link, and follows through with making a gift

Automated email thanking for the gift

4th Email: With your gift we raised $xx towards bail 

—————————-

And, let’s alter the recipient behavior a bit more:

2nd Email: 24 Hours to Make Bail, is opened by recipient, who DOESN’T click link to give

3rd Email: Charmaine, we’re only $xx away from making bail; recipient opens message, clicks on link, but DOESN’T make a gift

4th Email: There’s still time to make bail before midnight; recipient opens message, clicks on link, and follows through with making a gift

—————————-

Can you see how crafting different automated messages based on your reader’s behavior could help to secure more gifts? It also makes sure you’re not frustrating those who have already supported your campaign. This little tweak can make a world of difference. 

There are several providers who offer email automation, including Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Emma, and ActiveCampaign. The key is to find an email provider that is able to work within your current gift processing system. 

For 2020, my challenge to you is to create customized donor journeys based on their behavior by utilizing email automation. I promise this will definitely help your NFP get it together (#NFPgit).

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