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Email Content that actually Converts

Email content that actually converts readers is hard to create sometimes. Many nonprofits face challenges with putting word out there about their work, creating compelling content, asking for donations without looking desperate, and making sure donors read every last one of their emails.

Of course, there are other solutions like aiming to stand out on social media, leveraging story-telling platforms like Instagram, creating compelling donation videos among others. However, a solid nonprofit email strategy can 10 times help amplify your message and reach new and existing audiences with ease.

In this article, I’m going to give you the top nonprofit email marketing strategies and answer your pain points: How can I make my emails stand out? What kind of content should I include? How can they help increase donations?

1. Start with your website 

I say this because a lot of the emails you’ll be sending out will somehow lead your audience to your website. You will want them to land on your donation page or blog or programs page at some point so make sure that your website is well designed and optimized for user experience

Another thing you can do is incorporate an opt-in email section on your blog or home page where people who visit the website to connect with your brand can subscribe to your newsletter. 

The call to action you use at this point is very important in generating leads for your newsletter. Say something that explains what your newsletter is about to entice people.

example of a bad call to action
An example of a terrible CTA
example of a good call to action
An example of a good CTA

2. Don’t Ask for Too Much Too Soon

When you get a new subscriber, think of them like you’re going on a first date. You’re only starting to get to know them so you can’t straight away get to “let’s move in together”. That means- don’t ask for donations quite yet.  

Instead, take some time to show them why your mission is important, and build a relationship. Start with a warm welcome email message and follow up with stories of impact, necessary updates, and links to social media channels and your blog. Share the names and faces behind your brand to grow open rates and gain trust. 

Remember this in everything you do. People only subscribe to email lists because they’re connected to something: a cause, a mission, or a collaboration. 

email content that actually converts
An example of a Welcome Email

3. Segment your emails 

Now you know how to treat new people in your audience. What about donors? How do we approach them? 

Segment your emails to focus on specific niches of your audience. Personalize the “From” and “Reply-To:” fields with a person’s name rather than the organisation name. They will be more willing to open the email.

Once you acquire donors, break them up into smaller lists by donation amount and programs they donate to so you can send the right messages to the right people. Many email marketing services, like MailChimp do a great job in keeping your donors informed. If you don’t have the time and expertise on how to write and design your content in Mailchimp, reach out today so we can help you connect more deeply with your donors. 

4. Keep it Coordinated

Email doesn’t exist in a vacuum. 

Your potential donors or members will get skeptical if they don’t see that same content in their inbox appear on social media for example fundraising campaigns. 

So, for higher chances of success, get all your digital platforms to work together. Not everyone will respond to an email or a facebook post but distributing that same content across platforms helps you cover all your bases. 

Someone who forgets to visit your blog via the email will be reminded to visit it when they are on their Facebook page. 

That’s how advertising works – the more people see it, the more they get curious to learn more. 

5. Optimize for mobile users 

Platforms like MailChimp and even Gmail itself already have you covered on how it appears on a smartphone but there are a few things you can do on your end to ensure emails are mobile-optimized:

  • Make your subject lines short and catchy, so that all characters are seen and grab your reader’s attention.
  • Your content should be concise and easy to read. Make sure the most valuable content and calls to action are up top. 
  • Use short and punchy sentences and leave breathing room between paragraphs. 
  • Images should be minimal but striking and not too heavy to load. 
  • Use buttons instead of links. It’s easier to click from a button than a link on small screens.
email content subjects that increase email opens
One liner subject lines are the way to go. Use quick introductions of what content people can expect in the Newsletter.

6. Types of emails that stand out 

The Welcome Email: This email helps you put your best foot forward. While crafting it, set a positive tone and provide expectations for what subscribers can look forward to in the future. Story-telling Emails: I can’t stress this enough. Every nonprofit must employ story-telling aspect in everything they do because it’s central to drawing donors and supporters to the brand.

email content that actually converts

Success Story: Instead of telling, show. Record or write on one of your beneficiaries who overcame a great adversity as a way to show impact. Show their journey and bring people into your world. 

email content that converts

‘Thank You’ and Update Emails: These are a great tool to help improve donor retention.

Some ideas you can use in your update emails include: 

  • Major milestones for your nonprofit, like raising a certain amount of money or community outreach programs 
  • Celebrating your organization’s anniversary
  • New programs, campaigns, or initiatives your nonprofit is rolling out.
email content that converts

Matching Donation Email: Although you can’t match all the time, a matching donation email invites donors to participate and give more and is also a great way to acquire new first-time donors

email content that converts

Statistics Email: Personally, we are not a big fan of these because they are better suited for things like annual or quarterly reports but you can find creative ways to use them to grab your readers’ attention. For example, you can use them as subject lines or even use them to explain the number of people reached during a campaign you launched, how many were helped etc. 

email content that converts

I think we can both agree that your email strategy has got to be as diverse as possible in order to encourage readers to convert into donors and donors to make recurring donations. The best ideas come from the simplest of things. You don’t have to think too hard on what your readers would be interested in- the answer is already in your mission. 

Let us handle your email marketing needs

We are trusted by big brands to shape content and design compelling newsletters for their audience. From email segmenting to crafting catchy subject lines that increase open rates and clicks, your brand is bound to create deep and meaningful connections.
Send out your Newsletter today!

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Tess Hazel

Tess Hazel is the copywriter at era92 Creative. She loves to read novels and runs a personal blog about poetry and creative nonfiction short stories.

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USA Office

9385 12th Ave Sw seattle, wa 98106
+1(213) 674-9869
info@era92.com

UK Office

12 Mill Square Portstewart BT55 7TB Northern Ireland
+44 7956 989809‬

Uganda Office

Lungujja, Kampala along Kalema Road
+256 784 239 786‬
info@era92.com
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