The end of the year is an avalanche of projects and activity, from fundraising and #GivingTuesday to holiday parties and vacations. It’s no surprise that some marketing projects get lost in the shuffle. This year, don’t let that be email: With a return on investment of over 100%, email is your most valuable asset during this high giving season. Last year, M+R reported that email revenue increased by 24% in 2017, and accounted for 28% of all online giving. Email revenue has been on the upward trend for the last few years—we can expect that to continue in 2018, which is why we think email marketing merits its own end of year giving campaign checklist.
It’s easy to see email continuing to lead the digital marketing pack in fundraising, because it allows you to tailor messages, A/B test, and automate. Before we get to our checklist, let’s review why these strategies matter for end of year giving campaigns:
Tailor donor messages
You don’t talk to your nephew and your boss in the same way, so why talk to all donors in the same way? Donors are human, and they each have very individual relationships with your organization. They have unique reasons for giving, have come to know you from different campaigns, and have given various amounts in the past. For giving season, be sure to segment your list based on past donor behavior so you can tailor your asks based both on how subscribers know you, and how much they typically donate.
A/B test your end of year giving campaign
Especially at the beginning of your end of year giving campaign, be sure to test different subject lines, images, and calls-to-action. This will help you get a sense of what messaging resonates most with your audience, and double-down on that later in the season when more donations occur. Keep track of what you’ve tested and review the data regularly so you can continue improving.
There are some fundraising messages you just can’t automate — namely, those donation asks that are sent to top donor and repeat donors. However, for subscribers that have never donated to your organization, consider setting up an automated drip series of donation asks to nurture them down the funnel of engagement. This can be set up in advance so you can have plenty of time to sent personal messages and A/B test other emails during the busier months.
End of year giving campaign checklist
Now, you know you have to do all these things, but how can you remember all the things you have to do? (Say that 3 times fast.) Lucky for you, we’ve created a handy checklist so you can build powerful, error-free, and effective fundraising emails for your end of year giving campaign.
Some of the prerequisites:
- Test your donation platform to make sure it is working
- Review some landing page and form best practices to make sure your donation page is optimized
- Set up Google Analytics goals to track donations if you haven’t already
- Set up an automated email to immediately thank donors after they’ve donated
- Consider adding a donation-ask pop-up to your website that drives to your donation page
- Consider building a dashboard to track email and donation traffic on your site
Ready to move beyond the prerequisites to the campaign? Sign up for our list below and access our full end of year giving campaign checklist.