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Benchmark Team

The Use and Benefits of Email Marketing for Nonprofits

Nov 11 2009, 12:09 PM by

What is the best way to reach out to clients? What does one's target audience require? What method of communication should be used? When it comes to facing these tough questions, nonprofits are no exception. Most corporations and organizations have discovered that the answer to these problems can be found in email marketing. However, for nonprofits, the concept of email marketing is still relatively new.

Although email marketing may not be able to provide the solution to every issue, it is an excellent, affordable and convenient tool that helps allow easy communication with customers. Whether it’s to do with membership drives, donations or even carrying out a fundraising event, email marketing provides real value for the time and money you put into it.

If you are a nonprofit planning to use email marketing for the first time, take a look at the following tips:

Create a strong contact list

The most obvious way to build a contact list would be to include links on your homepage, links leading to the subscription center, sign-up sheets, searches that have been paid for and more. However, when it comes to nonprofits, the number one focus should be on creating a strong contact list. This means the list should, as far as possible, consist of those who have specifically asked to receive information from the nonprofit in question. Face-to-face sign ups and website sign-up forms are the best ways to achieve this.

Increase interest and awareness

Sending out regular newsletters is a great way to keep your signed up members interested and aware of what’s going on in your nonprofit. You can use email marketing to increase the number of your audience to an event, draw in volunteers and bring in donations amongst other things. Each newsletter should provide new, fresh and engaging information. You can also provide news regarding the outcome of previous events.

Don't provide excess information

Avoid bombarding your contact list with excess information. Newsletters should be provided consistently but not too frequently. The information within them should be targeted to satisfy the requirements of your members. Ask your members how often they would like to receive email communication and stick to their choice. Try and place a feedback form in every communication sent and conduct surveys on a regular basis. This helps you keep in touch with the needs and grievances of all those on your contact list.

Recognize the uniqueness of email

Most nonprofit marketers are familiar with direct mail and have had a good amount of success with that approach. They therefore tend to use their best direct mail pieces in their emails. However email is a unique medium, different from direct mail. For the best response, email needs to be short, to the point and with clearly defined calls to action. Placing direct mail content in email, results in lengthy and confusing content with no clear call to action. It is therefore important to note the uniqueness of email and adapt to it.

Benefits of email marketing for nonprofits:

1. Email marketing is relatively inexpensive. With email marketing you can create and send out all sorts of email communication at a cost that is way cheaper than that of direct mail.

2. Email marketing makes it possible for you to use online surveys. This is a great way for you to learn about customer satisfaction and stay in tune with the needs, issues and requirements of your members.

3. With email marketing you can develop, look after, promote and track meetings, fundraisers and other events that have been a success.

4. Members can be informed of the latest news and upcoming events within the span of a few minutes.

Email marketing is a great way for nonprofits to raise awareness of charitable events. So if you are a nonprofit don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach out to your members. 

Posted in Tips & Resources

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