Nonprofit Email Marketing: The Complete Guide

The start of a new year is the perfect time to make a fresh start on your nonprofit’s email marketing. When you run a nonprofit, it may seem like email marketing is not for you, but this couldn’t be further from the truth

It’s true that you’re not trying to sell a product or turn a profit, per se, but you are trying to raise as much money as possible for a very worthy cause. In fact, there’s already a good example of how to use email marketing services for a nonprofit – sending automated thank yous to donors. 

You know how important those donations are but, with the pile of work getting ever higher on your desk, it can be tricky to get around to acknowledging them properly. What about some gentle reminders for previous donors? Or a quick way to circulate details of upcoming events? Don’t be surprised if you find that nonprofit email marketing is, in fact, an incredibly powerful resource. 

nonprofit thank you email

Email Marketing for Nonprofits – What You Need to Know

Don’t let the phrases ‘email marketing’ and ‘marketing automation’ fool you into thinking that these tools are useless for your nonprofit. In fact, targeting your emails can help you raise more money than more traditional methods. 

When you work in an organization where every cent needs to go to a great cause, simple and effective is the way to go. Before we explain more about how email marketing services for nonprofits can work, have a look at just some of the potential benefits:

  • Email marketing can improve targeting through using segmentation, personalized content and automated workflows 
  •   Email marketing helps engage with the audience through sending autoresponders after they make a donation and keeping them updated about what’s happening with the funds donated (and this transparency and level of information can encourage further donations in the future).
  • Newsletters sent regularly to those on your email list can be a great way to keep your nonprofit fresh in their minds, boosting donations.
  •  Nonprofits email marketing can be useful in other ways too – why not request feedback from donors, sponsors, and members? There’s always something you could do better
  • You may have heard about e-commerce marketers using upselling and cross-selling, or sending automated emails on anniversaries and birthdays. Did you know this could work for your nonprofit too? Send a thank-you email when a donation is made, a reminder when an event ticket is added to the basket but not booked, and an email congratulating a contact on the anniversary of their donation or signing up to your email list. The possibilities are plenty, and your nonprofit could most certainly benefit.

Keeping your nonprofit visible is an essential part of keeping it operational, and email marketing services can take the hard work out of it. Marketing automation is definitely the nonprofits’ friend.

Increasing Engagement with Nonprofits Email Marketing

Whether you’re a global corporation trying to turn the biggest profit of all time, or a small nonprofit raising funds for a relatively unknown local cause, the basic key to email marketing success is the same. The golden rule? Know your audience.

Grow Your Email List – Before you can do great things with your nonprofit email marketing, you need to have a list of genuine, interested, and consenting subscribers. This is much easier to achieve when you have a signup form making it simple to subscribe. This can be on your website, included in social media pages, landing pages, websites… basically, the more convenient you make it to the subscribe, the better for all involved. 

email marketing for nonprofit

Segmentation and Personalization – Personalized and relevant content is essential when you send nonprofits marketing emails. Once you have that mailing list growing, segmentation lets you easily make sure that, for example, potential volunteers receive emails when you need volunteers and those who have expressed a preference for making a financial donation receive content relating to that. With dynamic segmentation, your email marketing software can keep up with the organic changes in your audience’s interests and needs. 

email marketing nonprofit example

These are just a taster of the ways in which email marketing for nonprofits could make 2020 the best year you’ve had so far. Some more excellent methods of using these services for the greater good may include:

  • Boosting sales to a fundraising event through enabling online ticket purchases (and requesting permission to add supporters to your mailing list)
  • Increasing visibility with regular newsletters
  • Automated emails when visitors to your site behave in a certain way – perhaps visiting a key page and navigating away.  Or adding an item to their basket in your nonprofit online shop, but not checking out

There’s a lot to be said for the peace of mind that using email marketing software can give you too. Providing that you only add subscribers who have agreed to be added, the various automation and personalization features and functions mean that you can stay current, relevant, and free of the fear of the dreaded email blacklist. Know your audience, use your email marketing wisely, and enjoy a fruitful 2020.

Read more:

Email Marketing 2020 – a Decade in Summary

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing in 2020

4 Steps to Creating an Effective Email Autoresponder