E-appeals: when does too much become too much?

E-appeals: when does too much become too much?

There was a time, not so long ago, that organizations would send out emails on an ad-hoc basis. These emails, sent randomly throughout the year, would feature a mixture of information, requests for action and requests for money with little thought put behind strategy for each email. We would never send direct mail in this way – so the question is why do we email in this way?

Many organizations feel that they email too much and show concern over soliciting. Perhaps they think about the amount of mail they send and try and replicate this in email. But email lists are different from mail lists. Long silences and ad-hoc emails from an organization are recognized by your constituents and if someone is not hearing from you regularly they are likely to lose interest in the emails you do send. In our experience, the revenue results and list growth results from a full and comprehensive email schedule are stronger when compared to e-appeals that are sent out on a random and ad-hoc basis.

Good emailers send out email regularly. They may even send an appeal once and then send a number of reminder emails for that appeal. If that sounds excessive to you – you may be surprised with the extremely positive results we have seen with this strategy. Revenue goes up and unsubscribe rates remain steady.

One key way to ensure you don’t have lengthy email silences is to send regularly scheduled e-newsletters which provide information and updates from across your organization on a regular basis.
So what can you do today to improve results from you emails?

If you don’t have a regularly scheduled e-newsletter yet, create one now. Put together a calendar of emails for the year and schedule in e-appeals. These may come at calendar specific times, for example – holiday, mother’s day, father’s day, new year, thanksgiving, etc. Other important dates for e-appeal scheduling can also be related back your organization’s mission. Make sure there are enough emails going out throughout the year – at the very least 2-3 a month. Sending reminders will boost the amount you send and will help to boost your revenue. And don’t forget to send non-fundraising emails too. Send a thank you email. Send an update on how donor dollars have helped you this year. Send an advocacy ask. Send a great story from your organisation. There is so much you can email your list about – just make sure you are doing it with some fore-thought!

For more information on best practice email scheduling, please contact Matt Barr, Fundraising Innovation Consultant at matt.barr@hjcnewmedia.com

posted on May 04

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