I recently ran across a must-read post by Mike Snusz of Nonprofit-Fundraising. In the post, Mike offers tips for improving email fundraising efforts. Many of his suggestions are especially relevant for Biomedical Nonprofits that are attempting to share their mission in addition to requesting gifts.
Send Multiple Emails with Connected Messages
Mike believes that follow-up emails often outperform the initial appeal, and I agree. In today’s fast-moving world, it has never been easier for recipients to overlook emails. Biomedical Nonprofits face the added challenge of translating the science behind their research into benefits that improve human health. This can lead to sharing too much information in one email appeal.
Streamline your ask with an email campaign that builds interest over time. Use the principles of Leadership Marketing—sharing valuable information, becoming a trusted resource—to help potential donors understand and connect with your mission before you overtly ask for financial support. Keeping your brand top-of-mind will inspire your audience to get more involved on their own.
Here’s an example of an effective email strategy:
Email 1: WHY
Explain why your institution’s research is important by sharing statistics or stories that demonstrate a need for it. For instance, share compelling statistics about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s or the national impact of childhood diseases. It is still important to put the email in context (i.e. connect it back to your institution) so it can stand alone, but try to stay focused on WHY you do what you do.
Email 2: HOW
How does your Biomedical Nonprofit make a difference? Share news or events that highlight specific solutions your institution provides that address the issues raised in Email 1. Again, this email should be able to stand alone, so frame it as news and drive readers to your website to learn more.
Email 3: WHO
Finally, why not invite those who support your work to your institution to meet with those scientists who are doing the work? Connecting the “whos” behind your brand can humanize your institution and personalize its mission. Some research institutions create this connection by offering tours of their facilities. For bigger donors, these may even offer private tours. But you can also create a more personal connection with planned events that allow donors to meet with scientists one-on-one.
Design Your Email Appeal for Every Device
In addition to the kind of email content you send, think about how you are sending it, because the majority of email appeals are never opened. Reasons include subject lines that are vague or cryptic on small screens and images that are too large for devices other than computers.
Making sure your campaign works across all channels will help raise more money. To improve your response, keep emails simple in both content and design. Use more white space around text to improve clarity of your message, keep donation forms as straightforward as possible, and include compelling images that tell your story quickly. Remember, smaller image files download faster on mobile devices.
Do you have questions about managing your Email Appeal Campaign? Feel free to contact me by calling 866-960-9220 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you are interested, here is the link to Mike’s original post: http://npengage.com/nonprofit-fundraising/design-fundraising-appeal-that-raises-more-this-december/