Last week we covered our general tips for crafting successful email campaigns for nonprofits. This week we’ll examine the relationship between you, the nonprofit, and your donors.

In this four-part guide you’ll find do’s and don’ts for every step of the email marketing process:

  • Three tips for successful emails. (Part 1)
  • Three emails you should send to new donors before asking for money. (Part 2)
  • Three emails you should send to ask for donations. (Part 3)
  • Three emails you should send to maintain your donor list. (Part 4)

Do: Send ‘get to know you’ emails before asking for money.
Don’t: Ask for donations before you’ve established a relationship.

New donors are important to your financial future, but that doesn’t mean you can bombard them with donation requests as soon as they’re on your email list. Just like any relationship, there should be a ‘get to know you’ period.

To help you establish a relationship, here are three emails you should send before asking for a donation outright:

1. Welcome email

When you add a donor to your list, treat them like a VIP. Within 48 hours of adding a contact, they should receive a welcome email. With VerticalResponse, you can use the automated feature to schedule a welcome email as soon as a new contact is added.

Offer a friendly greeting and thank the recipient for signing up. Explain the benefits of being on your email list and lead the reader to more information, such as the history of your organization or FAQ section of your website. This is definitely not the time to solicit a donation. Simply establish a connection and the rest will come later.

2. ‘Did You Know?’ email

After you welcome the potential donor, send an email that offers information they might not know. Share information that might not be common knowledge, perhaps about how many people your organization helps each year or which services you provide.

The point of this email is simply to educate new subscribers. This is just the next step toward building your relationship with the donor.

3. Exclusive email offer for new subscribers

Make new subscribers feel even more special by offering an exclusive deal. This could be a tour of your facility, branded swag, or an invitation to your upcoming fundraising event. Be sure to explain that only new subscribers have access to this deal.

Now that you’ve cultivated an email friendship, you can start asking for donations. Stay tuned next week for Part 3 of our series: The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Campaigns for Nonprofits | Fundraising email fundamentals.

Use this guide to engage and connect with your subscribers and you’ll be growing your donor base in no time. Try out these tips to see where they take you and check out the VerticalResponse free program for nonprofits.

© 2016 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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