Email is the workhorse of any successful online fundraising program. Email offers a number of benefits, particularly the opportunity for true one-to-one communications. It offers all of the personalization opportunity of direct mail, without the cost of mailing; all of the intimacy of the device (specifically smartphones), without having to train and monitor call center employees; and all of the immediacy of a text, without the 160-character limit of SMS.
Per Loyalty360, 61 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers own a smartphone and, by 2017, that number is estimated to rise to 86 percent. We check email on our cell phones repeatedly throughout the day, and 75 percent of Americans even admit to bringing their phones to the bathroom.
TopRank reports 64 percent of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices. And women are 10 percent more likely to click through on their mobile devices than men (and they are most likely your main donors). But this year alone, about 84 percent of all email traffic will be spam (The Radicati Group, opens as a PDF). To help break through this noise, marketers and fundraisers need to be even more diligent about crafting well-targeted and relevant emails.
While classic fundraiser segmentation (RFM) is still useful, email marketers also have non-financial engagement data to help us better flesh out the supporter profile and improve our targeting, including email metrics, Web stats, and social and behavioral data.
Complete these four steps to give your email fundraising program a boost:
1. Create a Mobile-Friendly Email Template. This will help increase the likelihood that your emails will be read by recipients and not be deleted immediately upon opening.
2. Create a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page Template for Pages Where Your Emails Link. This will help clickers stay on your site longer—and be more likely to complete the action you want them to complete.
3. Install Free Google Analytics and Quantcast Tags on Your Site. Once you start collecting data, you will see not only where viewers are coming from (and on what devices), but also where they go after leaving your site.
4. Set Up Goals, Custom Reports and Dashboards in Google Analytics. From device usage and social media profile stats integration to cross-channel campaign tracking, you can build highly customized reports that give you a constant stream of new data about your site visitors, email clickers, action takers and donors.
With a mind toward capturing supporters' attention on their mobile devices, a few tweaks can help you transform your email outreach into a true workhorse.