Fundraising email campaigns are one of the toughest forms of email marketing. Where most email campaigns are in the form of newsletters, a campaign with a developmental goal is a lot like a sales pitch except more difficult. When you’re sending off an email campaign for a sales product, webinar, or service, you’re still directly able to offer the consumer something of value. However, when sending of a fundraising email campaign, you need to create something of value in order to convert the reader into a patron. It’s not an easy task but this is how you do it…

Create the Survey Quiz – Surveys (or quizzes) appeal to people’s self interest, especially these days where everyone thinks what they have to say is of importance…and they want to get heard for it.

When constructing your survey, keep it short with multiple questions. If you already know your audience disposition, then craft questions leaning toward their preferences while offering a mixed bag of answers that allow them to agree while also offering the option for disagreement. As a rule of thumb, you want multiple choice answers to be structured like this:

  • Yes. [Offer a brief one sentence statement]
  • Yes. [Offer alternate statement]
  • No. [Offer reason]
  • Neutral [which can also be phrased as “I don’t know” or any variation thereof]

Survey length should be between 3-5 questions for an email campaign. This is because you want the survey to really be a teaser to your next page, the call to action. Sure, the survey can be thought-provoking, but this is not where you burden your audience with questions; this is where you want them to move quickly through the sales funnel and a survey is part of that funnel.

A survey also lets you camouflage your purpose. So instead of directly sending people to a page requesting donations, you’re engaging them, building trust, and getting them to agree with you on an issue that you’re later going to ask them to donate to.

The Call to Action – Once they’ve completed a survey and hit “submit”, they should immediately be directed to another landing page that thanks them briefly and promptly guides them through the next step. This next step is a one page or less copy that touches on the survey subject matter while appealing to their self-interest where the issue is concerned.

Follow roughly 150-250 words with a sub header and copy that breaks down where their contribution is going. Offer key points that expressly state what value they create through their donation, then wrap it up with a request for a contribution along with the proper fields and links to contribute. And always offer multiple ways for a donation to be made.

As a rule of thumb, calls to actions should be located strategically across your campaign as both buttons and hyperlinked text. A button atop works along with a direct “click here” link toward the end of the copy and a final button below marked with a noticeable color (red usually works).

On a side note, make sure your call to action page isn’t littered with any outside links. You don’t want people clicking away from your campaign even if back to your own website or resource page. If you must provide a reference link, do it below well past the final call to action.

Brand Everything – I may be a design snob that notices details while others are oblivious to it, but I promise you the eye will always be captivated by a strong design. Make sure your heading is stylized with brand-friendly typography and your label is strongly visible.

A/B Segmentation – Always offer two email campaign variables for A/B testing. Here you want to adapt subject lines. One can be more traditional and the other conversational. As far as subject lines go, I’ve been noticing that the trendier newer groups, organizations, and businesses are creating subject lines that are conversational. Personally, I’m more prone to respond to those subject lines. As Ask Andy says, “why think when we have an insanely great A/B testing tool.” And he’s right. Leave the A/B thinking to us…you have an entire email campaign to craft.

Every email campaign you work on with a landing page can and should also be adapted to social medial. You can offer a direct survey link leading to the landing page created for your campaign, with a provocative text that states a pivotal question and invites followers to take a quiz. Online quizzes, once insanely popular during MySpace days, have a made a strong comeback through Buzzfeed. You can ride this wave by offering your own quizzes. The junk food of online content, short self-identifying questions are so appealing to readers because they are so self-identifying.