Top Five Things You Need To Know About Raising Money With Email Prepared for nTen By Madeline Stanionis
Email is… • Cheap • Easy • EVERYWHERE … but it sure is easy to make expensive mistakes! … or it sure LOOKS that way. … and that makes your job even harder!
This is a numbers game … … do the math • If you want your email to generate 10 gifts, then: • at least 1000 people need to receive your message • at least 250 people need to read (“open”) your email message • at least 50 people need to click on the link to the donation page
What you should know 1. It’s all about the list 2. Three ways to raise the money • Timing • Campaigns • Creativity 3. Write good email 4. Integrate with everything else 5. Follow the numbers • (And everything in between)
1. It’s ALL ABOUT THE LIST • The only good ways to build a list are: • Bring your offline donors online • Conduct issue or advocacy campaigns • Fun stuff • Flash, quizzes, e-cards, contests, etc. • Buying names • Chaperone another organization’s list and have them do the same for you
Bring your offline donors online • Send your donor online to make her gift • Ask for an e-mail address on printed forms • Put an insert into acknowledgements • Send your donor online to buy tickets to an event • Append your list
Petition/symboliccampaigns • Amnesty’s 700women • 120k signers • 50k new names
Timing If you take no other lesson from this workshop, remember this one: To be successful with email fundraising, you must send the rightmessage to the right person at the right time.
All kinds of timing opportunities • Campaign deadlines • Time between engagement and ask • Bad news & crises • Other people’s news • Events • BTW, best deadlines are real deadlines!
News broke Friday morning Appeal prepared and sent by Friday afternoon noon NARAL Pro-Choice America: e-mail after woman gets kicked out of Bush rally cuz of NARAL shirt
HRC: e-mail after Bush announces support for marriage amendment, Feb ‘04 • $670,000 • 9,400 donors • Average $70
Campaigns It’s the repetition!
Think campaigns vs. one-time only e-mail action alerts • What’s the difference?
Typical schedule: Year-end • Week of: • Nov 21: Thank you e-mail • Nov 28: Trib gift e-mail • Dec 12: Holiday giving e-mail • Dec 19: Last chance/trib gifts, web site promo • Dec 26: Last Chance for tax gift e-mail, web site promo, Jan 1: Follow up e-mail
Aish.com Membership Campaign • Goal • Generate 1,000 new members over 6-week campaign • Results: • Slightly over 1,000 members • Generated $80k • Campaign elements: • Home page, enews, other site promotion • Three e-mails • Tested pop-ups, pop-unders • BTW – Aish.com had previously not asked members to join via e-mail
Aish.com membership campaign - second e-mail • From editors of Web site – personal touch • Generated about $20k • 300 new members
Aish.com membership campaign - final e-mail • From most popular writer on site • Generated ~$20k
The easiest campaign of all Send out the same message twice. Or three times. Seriously!
Creativity There’s a lot of noise out there! You gotta be LOUD to be heard!
Original Text: • Reading from computer screens is about 25% slower than reading from paper. Even users who don't know this human factors research usually say that they feel unpleasant when reading online text. As a result, people don't want to read a lot of text from computer screens: you should write 50% less text and not just 25% less since it's not only a matter of reading speed but also a matter of feeling good. We also know that users don't like to scroll: one more reason to keep pages short. The screen readability problem will be solved in the future, since screens with 300 dpi resolution have been invented and have been found to have as good readability as paper. High-resolution screens are currently too expensive (high-end monitors in commercial use have about 110 dpi), but will be available in a few years and common ten years from now.
Alternate version • Online reading is 25% slower than paper • Readers feel uncomfortable reading online • Readers don’t like to scroll down Web pages So, until we have affordable high resolution monitors: • Use 50% fewer words • Keep pages short
Subject lines • Tease, tell or take action? • TELL: Exact offer at the exact moment that your constituent wants it. Simply "tell" your supporters what's up. • "Send a blanket to Bamgarian flood victims.“ • “Annual Golf Shirt Gala tickets now," or "Your membership expires soon - renew today.“ • "Six vegan-friendly ways to decorate Easter eggs“ • TEASE: Timing isn’t perfect, but message is! • "The movie President Bush doesn't want you to see." • "It's beginning to look a lot like justice..." • TAKE ACTION: What do you need from me? • Specific. Less "Tell them no" and more "Tell Big Tobacco to stop selling to children." • Local, if possible. "Tell Big Tobacco to stop selling to Boston children."
Bad sub lines hall of fame • “Learn about how H.R. 376 will be detrimental and discriminatory.” • “Organization name Web site update.” • “There's Still Time to Oppose Proposed Oil and Gas Exemptions from the Clean Water Act, Madeline!” Too long! Too wordy!
A typical schedule • January • 1st-10th New year telemarketing calls • 5th Renewal 1 direct mail drops • Jan 15 Renewal 1 post email sent • February • 10th Renewal 2 pre-email sent • 25th Renewal 2 direct mail drops • March • 10th Pre-Telemarketing email sent • 22nd-29th Renewal telemarketing calls • April • 1st Renewal 3 direct mail drops • 10th Renewal 3 post email sent • May • 10th Renewal 4 pre-email sent • 15th Renewal 4 direct mail drops • August • 1st Last chance renewal direct mail drops • 22nd Last chance renewal post email sent
Human Rights Campaign’s integrated TM/DM renewal series: • Late series telemarketing pre-email. • Goals: Boost response for segment across channels; Support phone program • Rec’d .5% response Integrate direct mail and telemarketing with online…
Mid series direct mail post-email • Goal: Boost response for segment across channels • Rec’d 1% response • Extensive copy testing with NO difference…reminder is what matters!
Standard and internal org stuff Open rate is the percent of people who opened the e-mail…not entirely accurate, but a good gauge. (This is a respectable open rate.) The data, continued…
Standard and internal org stuff Clicks are the percent of (uniques) recipients who clicked on a link, or, in this case, clicks to the donate page. Nice number here… The data, continued…
Standard and internal org stuff Conversion is the percent of people who visited the donation page who completed their donation. Response rate is based on total recipients. The data, continued…
There’s a lot of data • Car dashboard –there’s a lot ofgauges. Which doyou pay attentionto? • Online data dashboard. Pay attention to: • Open rates (trends) • Click through rates • Conversion rates
Typical response rates • Nothing is typical, really • Big lists usually = lower response… • …and smaller lists usually ROCK • But if I must…
These days I’m really happy with: • 20-25% overall open rates • 6-8% clicks on e-newsletters • 15% clicks on action alerts • 60-75% conversions on actions • 10-12% response on actions • 3% clicks on fundraising appeals • 30% conversions on appeals • 1% response rate on appeals http://www.e-benchmarksstudy.com/
You won’t have usable data if your email is landing in the spam filter! • Stay out! • Work with a reputable email messaging vendor • Respond to and comply with spam complaints • Ask users to add you to “white” and “buddy” lists • Goodmail: the future
Making the most of the numbers to get the most out of your online program…Segmenting and Testing