September 21, 2023

E-mail advertising can do wonders for nonprofit organizations.

From spreading consciousness and constructing relationships with subscribers to turning supporters into donors. E-mail advertising will help you obtain all these targets.

When you’ve by no means run e-mail campaigns earlier than, otherwise you’ve accomplished some however wish to make sure you’re doing it accurately, you’re in the suitable place.

By way of this text, we’d like to assist your nonprofit group begin utilizing e-mail advertising to its fullest potential.

Beneath, we’ve gathered all the most effective practices, suggestions, and nonprofit e-mail marketing campaign concepts to encourage your individual campaigns.

Let’s begin by reviewing the explanation why e-mail advertising is effective for nonprofits.

Desk Of Contents

Editor’s word

This text is a content material collaboration between advertising specialists at GetResponse – an e-mail advertising platform and nonprofit group tech consultants at TechSoup – a nonprofit tech market.

Table of Contents

Why is e-mail advertising important for nonprofit organizations? 

1. Most of us have an e-mail handle 

E-mail is simply the preferred channel of communication worldwide. It grew to become common as a result of it’s low cost and accessible – nearly everybody who makes use of the Web has an e-mail account and sends emails. Whether or not you reside in Asia, Europe, Africa, or America – you need to use e-mail to speak electronically.

2. E-mail is private

E-mail advertising permits nonprofits to interact with their viewers in a extra private method.

Nonprofits can section their e-mail checklist based mostly on the pursuits and preferences of their viewers and ship focused e-mail campaigns that resonate with them.

Personalised emails with related content material and calls-to-action can enhance engagement and drive donations and different types of assist.

3. E-mail advertising is cost-effective

Most advertising channels are pay-to-play. Even for those who’ve constructed an engaged viewers on Fb, the platform will restrict your natural attain and power you to maintain spending cash on adverts. This isn’t the case with e-mail advertising.

When you’ve acquired somebody’s permission to contact them through e-mail, you’re nearly assured to succeed in their inbox, supplied that you just comply with e-mail advertising greatest practices.

In consequence, the one factor you might want to pay to run e-mail campaigns is your e-mail advertising service. Their value is often based mostly on the scale of your e-mail checklist, they usually include many built-in instruments that’ll enable you to get your campaigns off the bottom in moments.

Free Email Templates in GetResponse.
Examples of free e-mail templates in GetResponse

Additionally, the variety of emails you ship doesn’t impression the fee. This manner, you’ll be able to concentrate on constructing your checklist with people who find themselves prone to change into common donors and run a number of campaigns to attain that purpose.

When you’re on the lookout for a trusted answer, we propose you take a look at GetResponse. As a non-profit, you might be eligible for a 50% discount on e-mail advertising providers.

When you’d relatively store round, right here’s a helpful checklist of the most effective publication software program, together with data on the options they provide.

4. E-mail supplies a excessive return on funding

In accordance with a current examine by DMA, the common e-mail ROI is 38:1. Which means for each greenback you make investments in e-mail advertising, you’ll be able to count on 38 {dollars} in return. And for those who recurrently run A/B checks in your emails, you’ll be able to generate an much more spectacular return in your funding. 

Which means you received’t have to fret in regards to the value of e-mail advertising software program. As an alternative, you’ll be capable to calculate the return on funding from the instruments included in your plan, e.g., webinars, touchdown pages, and automatic emails.

5. Measurable outcomes

E-mail advertising is a extremely measurable advertising channel.

Of their analytics dashboards, e-mail advertising platforms present nonprofits with key information about their campaigns’ efficiency. This contains metrics corresponding to opens, clicks, conversion charges, and gross sales income.

GetResponse Email Analytics dashboard main view.
GetResponse e-mail analytics dashboard.

Outfitted with this information, nonprofits can refine their messaging, establish key viewers segments, and optimize their campaigns for higher outcomes.

Most necessary e-mail advertising instruments for non-profits

The important thing e-mail advertising instruments that assist nonprofits plan and implement their e-mail advertising technique are:

E-mail advertising platform

Skilled e-mail publication software program instruments empower your advertising group to construct relationships with supporters and develop your donor base. Entrepreneurs can create great-looking emails with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor and even AI-generative instruments.

AI subject line generator from GetResponse
AI topic line generator from GetResponse

Gather useful details about subscribers and create contact segments utilizing tags and customized fields. For instance, by dividing the contact checklist into separate e-mail segments like subscribers, supporters, one-off donors, and common donors, you’ll be able to flip your e-mail advertising device right into a donor administration platform.

E-mail advertising platforms additionally present a excessive supply fee and make it possible for your campaigns keep away from the spam folder.

Types and popups

A subscription type is a type positioned on an internet site or weblog the place the customers can fill within the fields with their information to obtain emails on subjects associated to your nonprofit. The first purpose of the subscription type is opting-in supporters to your mailing checklist.

You may both use an embedded signup type – a type that’s a part of your web site’s structure – or a popup – a small window that seems on prime of your web page.

Popup form templates available in GetResponse.
Popup type templates out there in GetResponse.

Touchdown pages

A touchdown web page is an easy web site with a transparent name to motion. You should utilize drag and drop editor to create efficient fundraising touchdown pages. Give individuals a cause to donate by demonstrating the impression of their contributions.

You may as well use touchdown pages to share tales of actual individuals impacted by your initiatives with completely different audiences. Add subscription types to those pages and develop your potential donor base. All the time current the advantages of signing up in your publication, e.g., that you just’ll inform donors how their cash is spent and what impression it has on the trigger.


Webinars are positively among the many best e-mail advertising instruments. You should utilize webinars to get new e-mail subscribers by discussing fascinating subjects or donors by working stay fundraising occasions. Webinars needs to be part of your e-mail technique: as soon as potential donors register in your webinar, you’ll be able to ship them e-mail sequences earlier than and after the occasion.

A helpful characteristic it’s best to contemplate are on-demand webinars. You may file stay occasions and switch them into pre-recorded occasions individuals can watch at their comfort.

Community Events and Webinars - screenshot of a landing page.
A web page devoted to group occasions and webinars on the TechSoup World web site

Paid Advertisements

Fb Advertisements and Google Advertisements can tremendously assist e-mail advertising for nonprofits. You may allocate funds to get in entrance of recent audiences, construct your e-mail checklist, and discover new donors. Additionally, for those who join your Fb Pixel with e-mail advertising software program, you’ll be able to run retargeting adverts to carry subscribers again to your web page.

Web site Builder

Having a devoted web site in your nonprofit group can actually set issues in movement. A web site supplies a real base of operations for your whole on-line endeavors. When you’re on the lookout for a nonprofit web site builder, strive GetResponse’s Web site Builder. It’s completely free to get began, and we offer a 50% low cost on paid plans for organizations that require extra capabilities.

How you can begin with e-mail advertising in a non-profit?

Nice e-mail outcomes begin with nice planning. Write down your targets and develop a nonprofit e-mail advertising technique that may use emails to ship the suitable data to the suitable individuals on the proper time. And what’s much more necessary, guarantee your viewers is aware of what to do with the knowledge they obtain.

Observe these steps to arrange your nonprofit e-mail advertising technique for achievement.

Step 1. Construct your e-mail checklist

Inform your goal viewers about the advantages of joining your email list. Once more, concentrate on motion: will they be capable to assessment the outcomes of accomplished initiatives, share their opinion on key subjects, donate cash, or assist your trigger differently? Be certain that individuals know why they ought to subscribe.

Step 2. Get to know your viewers

E-mail isn’t solely about offering your contacts with data. For fairly a while now, it means that you can get to know the individuals in your checklist. You may design two-way communication and ask your contacts for his or her data wants and preferences. When you already know what your viewers is about, you’ll be able to create content material they’ll interact with.   

Step 3. Construct consciousness about your trigger

Share your mission, targets, and initiatives with the goal viewers. Be certain that all people is aware of what your group is about and tips on how to be part of the trigger.

Step 4. Preserve your viewers knowledgeable

lead by instance. When you name for motion, present that you’re all about motion your self. Share undertaking statuses and supply a abstract with key data as soon as they’re accomplished. Being clear about your initiatives supplies context for nice content material concepts and helps your group achieve credibility.  

Step 5. Gather donations 

invite contacts to assist your non-profit financially. You may A/B check campaigns for one-off and recurring donations and shortly uncover the simplest messaging and incentives.

Step 6. Phase your viewers

accumulate details about your contacts and group them based mostly on their pursuits (e.g., favourite initiatives, occasions, content material), e-mail engagement, and their place within the funnel (contact, one-time donor, common donor, and so forth.)

Proper contact list segmentation has a big impact on all efficiency metrics of your e-mail advertising. Emails tailor-made to particular person contact segments have a number of occasions greater open and click-through charges in comparison with email blasts send to everyone on the list

Step 7. Be certain that your content material’s prime degree

Guarantee your content material bridges the hole between your organizational targets and your viewers’s data wants. Determine what data individuals must assist your group actively. Create tips in your content material so as to preserve high quality over time. 

Step 8. Keep compliant

GDPR (Basic Information Safety Regulation) is Europe’s present privateness legislation. Adopted in April 2016, it replaces the 1995 Information Safety Directive – and marks the most important change in information safety in 20 years. 

It is advisable to adjust to the GDPR when: 

  • your group relies within the European Union (EU), 
  • you course of the non-public information of people within the EU. 

If you employ GetResponse, your group can relaxation simple understanding that your – and your contact’s – information is protected, safe, and actively protected. 

For extra data relating to GDPR compliance, learn the GetResponse Earns Official Declaration of GDPR Compliance weblog.

E-mail advertising greatest practices for non-profits

Beneath you’ll discover tried and examined methods to make use of emails and e-mail sequence to show contacts (your e-mail readers) into common donors. These concepts will enable you to kick off a very powerful facets of e-mail advertising. When you begin, you’ll be able to benchmark e-mail outcomes in opposition to your earlier expertise and enhance with each the instruments and messages.

1. Create publication templates 

A well-designed publication template is extraordinarily necessary for e-mail advertising success, and right here’s a case examine with TechSoup Polska that proves it: 1200% enhance of orders worth from a publication over a yr.  

There are lots of facets to take into account when designing e-mail templates. In case you are fascinated about designing your first e-mail, it’s a good suggestion to make use of one of many pre-designed templates and customise it to your wants. 

Screenshot of predesigned email templates in GetResponse.
Predesigned e-mail templates in GetResponse.

Check out the foundations that TechSoup Polska follows whereas creating their newsletters: 

Construction. We divide our content material into sections to facilitate data comprehension. 

Consistency. We at all times use model colours and make the most of related graphic parts. 

Readability. We try to maintain our newsletters clear and never overloaded with content material. 

Adjusting messages to the goal group. We direct particular content material to chose recipient teams (e.g. we inform customers of Google for Nonprofits about Google Advert Grants coaching). 

Image of newsletter templates used by TechSoup Polska.
Publication templates used by TechSoup Polska

Listed below are a couple of items of recommendation from Liza Nema, Undertaking Coordinator at TechSoup Polska, on tips on how to put together knowledgeable publication template:

  • Take into consideration what sort of content material you’ll be sending to your recipients. 
  • Select a template. 
  • Customise the template in accordance with your wants – use e-mail editor to vary the colours to be in step with your model, add logos and different graphic parts. 
  • Add a call-to-action in order that your recipients can carry out the specified motion: donate cash, join an occasion, and so forth. 
  • Earlier than you ship your publication, verify its preview for desktop and cell gadgets. Be certain that your campaigns each look and work nice.
  • Analyze statistics and modify your content material based mostly on that information. Verify your best-performing campaigns and select a benchmark e-mail for additional campaigns.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s good to refresh your templates now and again and keep in mind to take care of your basic model graphic parts.

When you’re on the lookout for in-depth data on tips on how to design nice e-mail advertising templates, you’ll benefit from the E-mail Design Greatest Practices for 2022 article, the place Michael covers all the weather of an e-mail intimately.

2. Automate e-mail advertising communication

As soon as your publication template is prepared, you can begin automating your communication. You may use circumstances, filters, and actions to construct automation workflows – automated communication flows. 

The purpose is to make use of automation to construct relationships with the individuals in your contact checklist and assist them make the suitable selections. You may talk along with your viewers with nice precision utilizing information saved in your account. You may:  

  • Create automation occasions based mostly on customers’ habits 
  • Take motion based mostly on chosen circumstances 
  • Use filters for much more exact focusing on 
  • and so forth. 
An example of an automation template that allows splitting contacts after signup.
Automation template permitting you to separate contacts after signup to check which e-mail performs greatest.

Automation means that you can ship personalised advertising experiences. You may monitor and fee prospects’ actions to create customized segments based mostly on particular information and standards. This manner, you’ll be able to ship personalised and related emails to your viewers.

When you automate your communication, you’ll be able to monitor efficiency, be taught out of your expertise and optimize the method. And most significantly, you save time and sources for different initiatives.

Right here’s a terrific case examine exhibiting how an ecommerce promoting artisanal espresso makes use of automation to teach new contacts: 54% of gross sales because of the tutorial marketing campaign. 

Examples of emails in LandCafe's automation workflow.
Emails in LandCafe’s automation workflow

The marketing campaign was carried out in accordance with the Be taught -> Like -> Belief -> Purchase move. As a non-profit, you’ll be able to simply adapt this system and convert it to Be taught -> Like -> Belief -> Donate.

3. Observe the outcomes of your e-mail advertising campaigns

There are a number of components that contribute to efficient e-mail advertising communication. Take note of your on-line advertising statistics and use information to make higher selections. 

In the case of particular person emails, take note of engagement – a measure of how individuals work together along with your emails. The hottest engagement metrics are:

  • Open Charge: the proportion of contacts who open a particular e-mail out of your whole variety of subscribers. 
  • Click on-through fee: the proportion of contacts who clicked on a hyperlink, CTA, or picture inside a specific e-mail. 
  • Conversion fee: the proportion of contacts who full a purpose expressed by the decision to motion. 
  • Unsubscribe fee: the proportion of contacts who’ve opted out from the mailing checklist after an e-mail marketing campaign.

Engagement is additionally crucial to deliverability – the power to ship emails to subscribers’ inboxes. That’s one more reason to always seek for the most effective attainable content material in your viewers. And information will help you with that.

When you’d like to match your outcomes in opposition to business benchmarks, right here’s the E-mail Advertising and marketing Benchmarks report providing a great deal of helpful insights into emails, advertising automation, touchdown pages, and webinars.

4. Discover bottlenecks and enhance e-mail advertising efficiency

It’s not attainable to create a good e-mail advertising program or marketing campaign. There’s at all times room for enchancment. That’s why in your profession, you’ll see some nice, common, and relatively poor outcomes. And it’s completely OK so long as you continue to learn from your expertise and carry on testing new concepts.

The most typical points you observe initially are:

Gradual e-mail checklist development. Constructing an inventory organically with the audience takes time. But it surely doesn’t imply that it’s best to sit and wait. Really, there’s a lot you are able to do to pace up the list-building course of. You may: 

  • add a pop-up type to your web site: pop-up types are arduous to overlook, and for those who clarify why becoming a member of your e-mail checklist is a good suggestion, you’ll be able to count on a excessive conversion fee. 
  • run a contest: competitors may be each a sign-up incentive and an thought to interact along with your viewers. 
  • write a weblog publish: write about your group, highlighting one in every of your key initiatives. Add a sign-up type or a hyperlink to your sign-up web page. 
  • add an opt-in hyperlink to your e-mail signature: I’m certain you ship numerous emails each month. Be certain that your recipients know they will sign-up for a publication.  
  • discover partnerships: discover individuals and organizations with the same audience and provide them visitor posts and joint e-mail campaigns. A robust community of partnerships is extremely useful. 
  • run a webinar: webinars are an effective way to construct a strong contact checklist. Do the analysis and select a subject that’s fascinating in your audience. Run promotional campaigns and invite individuals to register. Webinars are additionally good for content material partnerships. Staff up with different organizations to get in entrance of their viewers.

Learn extra to discover ways to construct an e-mail checklist from scratch and tips on how to create a popup in moments.

The next three KPIs may relate to contact engagement. The important thing to a excessive engagement fee is relevance. That’s why segmentation is so necessary. When you group contacts based mostly on their data wants and preferences, you’ll be capable to plan and ship communication they’ll interact with.

Low open fee. Persons are prone to open emails with the knowledge they discover useful. Ensure that the three parts seen within the inbox earlier than opening an e-mail symbolize the contents of the message. The three parts are: 

  • sender: ensure individuals know that the e-mail comes from a good sender – you 
  • topic line: spark curiosity, draw consideration however consult with the contents of the e-mail 
  • preheader: use this additional house to elucidate or develop on the topic line

Low click-through fee. Be certain that your emails are mobile-friendly. Your name to motion needs to be clear and straightforward to comply with. You may run A/B checks to seek out out what content material and messaging engages your viewers most.

Low conversion fee. While you see that individuals open your emails and click on the supplied hyperlinks however don’t do the motion you had been hoping for (e.g. don’t register for stay occasions, don’t donate) it’s best to take a step again and look fastidiously at your worth proposition and viewers.

First, clearly clarify the targets of your group and the methods you’re going to attain them. Then put your message in entrance of the suitable crowd – search for people who find themselves prone to assist your trigger. Ship the suitable message to the suitable individuals and simplify the donation course of – in order that it’s fast and straightforward.

Observe: You’ll additionally wish to guarantee your e-mail checklist is hygienic and effectively maintained. To be taught extra about this, learn our e-mail checklist administration information.

Inspiring examples of nonprofit emails

There’s no higher supply of inspiration than a terrific e-mail out of your business. And boy, are there many nice emails despatched by non-profit organizations! As soon as once more, we teamed up with Liza to indicate you a couple of inspiring examples from our inboxes:

Nonprofit e-mail advertising instance 1: Kiva

An email from Kiva.
An e-mail with a short abstract of 2020 and inviting supporters to start out 2021 sturdy 

What is that this e-mail marketing campaign about?

Kiva is a nonprofit group that permits you to simply mortgage cash to individuals that can’t get a mortgage from a financial institution.

This marketing campaign supplies a abstract of their campaigns in 2020, highlighting how many individuals supported them, how a lot cash they’ve donated, and what number of loans they’ve made.

What’s so go about this e-mail marketing campaign?

After getting the recipients enthusiastic about how a lot impression they’re making, the e-mail leads you to a single CTA, letting you lend cash instantly.

It is a nice tactic that may assist nonprofit organizations interact their viewers higher and collect extra donations from their supporters.

Nonprofit e-mail advertising instance 2: Kiva

A fundraising email.
An e-mail that includes the loans nearing the top of their fundraising interval

What is that this e-mail marketing campaign about?

This e-mail marketing campaign tells the story of one in every of many individuals whose life modified after they acquired a mortgage from Kiva.

What’s so go about this e-mail marketing campaign?

Typically it’s arduous to get your donors engaged in your trigger. What will help is sharing a relatable story that reveals the actual impression a single donation could make.

On this e-mail marketing campaign, Kiva not solely reveals an instance of an individual whose life modified after they acquired a mortgage but additionally suggests which loans are about to run out.

It is a nice tactic that may drive quick responses from individuals who could in any other case hesitate to take motion.

Nonprofit e-mail advertising instance 3: Movember

Movember email raising awareness.
An e-mail sharing the mission and progress the Movember basis made to date earlier than the World Most cancers Day

What is that this e-mail marketing campaign about?

Movember is the main charity altering the face of males’s well being globally, specializing in psychological well being and suicide prevention, prostate most cancers, and testicular most cancers.

This e-mail marketing campaign shares the mission and progresses the Movember basis made to date earlier than World Most cancers Day.

What’s so go about this e-mail marketing campaign?

With this e-mail, Movember manages to drive consciousness amongst individuals who may not in any other case know the model’s mission. What’s value noting is that they’re doing this round World Most cancers Day, which takes place in February, relatively than November that’s sometimes related to the charity.

Nonprofit e-mail advertising instance 4: Movember

An email with research and health projects funded by donors.
An e-mail exhibiting groundbreaking analysis and well being initiatives funded by donors

What is that this e-mail marketing campaign about?

This e-mail reveals a abstract of all of the groundbreaking analysis and well being initiatives that had been funded by individuals supporting the Movember trigger.

What’s so go about this e-mail marketing campaign?

There’s no higher solution to get your supporters and donors engaged than to indicate them they’re making an actual impression by becoming a member of your trigger. This e-mail does it effectively. Not solely is informative but additionally very well-designed. As well as, the e-mail ends with one major CTA – make a $50 donation – that’s arduous to overlook or ignore.

Again to you

In conclusion, e-mail advertising could be a highly effective device for nonprofit organizations to succeed in their audience, promote their mission, and drive donations. By following the most effective practices outlined on this article, you’ll be able to create efficient e-mail campaigns that resonate along with your subscribers and obtain your group’s targets.

Bear in mind to maintain your emails personalised, partaking, and visually interesting, and don’t neglect to trace your metrics to optimize your campaigns frequently.

Lastly, take into account that constructing a robust e-mail checklist takes effort and time, so be affected person and protracted in your efforts. With the suitable technique and instruments, e-mail advertising could be a useful asset in your nonprofit group and enable you to make a significant impression on the world.

Professional tip 💡 Are you prepared to start out your individual campaigns? Make sure you take a look at the low cost for e-mail advertising providers for nonprofit organizations, and see you in our inboxes!

This text was final up to date in March 2023.