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Marketing How-To Series: Email Marketing Techniques That Will Lead To Better Fundraising Results

Take a second to think about the main methods that your nonprofit organization uses to communicate with your donors. Chances are, email is probably very close to the top of the list (maybe even at the very top). For this reason, it is so essential to make sure your organization is fully utilizing this communication tool in a way that garners the best results.


This blog will provide you with techniques that will surely enhance your email approaches, leading to better results and more engagement among your audience. We will cover the purpose of a marketing email, common email obstacles, how to overcome these obstacles, and the importance of using a call-to-action.

What Is Your Email Designed To Accomplish?

First and foremost, let's quickly talk about what you are trying to get out of your email communications. When it comes to the marketing emails that you send to your donors, there should always be an end goal related to your message. In other words, what do you want your reader to do when they finish reading your email? Should they be donating, registering, or purchasing something after they read your email? Or, is the email intended to inform them about important updates (such as date changes, speaker announcements, etc.)?


If you are unsure how to answer some of the questions mentioned above, take some time to think out your organization's approach to email marketing. Meet with your team and discuss the purpose of your emails. You should never send out emails that don't have a specific purpose — this is how you end up creating spam!

Common Email Obstacles


Before we get to the solutions, it's first essential to cover the challenges. The following three obstacles are prevalent for organizations of all kinds:

  1. Getting your audience to open the email.

  2. Getting your audience to read the email.

  3. Getting your audience to take action.


Overcoming These Email Obstacles

Now that we know the obstacles, let's discuss some of the best ways to overcome them:

  1. Perfect the subject line. If you want people to open your email, you need the right subject line in place. Here are some quick tips for your subject lines:

  • Be urgent (Try to use this sparingly. It's not good to be urgent all of the time).

  • Let them know it's important.

  • Be intriguing (a sense of mystery will help get more email opens).

  • Provide an offer or a deal when you can.

  • Personalize when you can (adding a person's name or organization in the subject line improves email opens drastically).

  • Keep it short and sweet.

  • Never use all caps (it will be more likely to be tagged as spam.)

  1. Keep your email message short and sweet. If you want people to read your message, it needs to be short and to the point. People get dozens of emails a day. If you write anything that is 1,000 words long, there is no chance that anyone will read it. Here are a few tips:

  • Hook your reader with an engaging opening sentence.

  • Be specific with your message. Take out any ambiguity and let them know what you want.

  • Highlight essential information with bold text or color highlights.

  • Use bullet-point lists rather than long, drawn-out paragraphs.

  • It's worth mentioning one more time: keep your message short and concise. Skip the small talk and get right to the point!

  1. Provide user-friendly links. If you want your readers to take action, such as donating or signing up for an event, you will need to supply user-friendly links. In other words, don't paste a long URL that looks like it might lead someone to a virus. If you can insert a button in your call-to-action section (more on that next), readers are more likely to click on it.


Always End With A Call-To-Action

If your emails are missing a call-to-action at the end, it's time to make a change. Here is an official definition: a call-to-action is a marketing term for any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale.


When it comes to emails, a call-to-action works best at the end. Be clear, provoke enthusiasm, and provide a clear set of instructions on what the reader needs to do. In most cases, it's best to have them click on a link or a button linking them to the page you need them to go—for example, sign-up, donation, event information, etc.

Our team here at AmFund is equipped with years of email marketing experience. If you need further assistance with your email marketing efforts, please contact us today.

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