Nonprofit Email Marketing: The Basics

Email marketing is a powerful advertising and networking tool that no serious nonprofit organization should be without. Whatever your 501c3s mission, targeted email marketing is the best way to keep in touch with your donor base, expand your reach and improve your fiscal contributions.

Conceptually, email marketing lists are simple. Theyre not unlike the opt-in catalog subscriptions of yesteryear, or traditional printed nonprofit newsletters/flyers - theyre just online.

Visitors can stop by your charity site and explore. If they like what they see, they may want to keep in touch with you and know what is going on with your organization. If you have an email marketing system set up, they can subscribe to your update emails by joining your virtual mailing list. In the future, youll send out update newsletters that will offer them organizational news, special fundraising events, or useful information and it will draw them back into your site for a return visit. Its as easy as that.

By allowing site visitors to sign up for your nonprofit email newsletter list, youre building a database of people who are specifically interested in your organization and its well being. They want more information on who you are, when the yearly fundraising events are, and when things change. Theyre hungry for data - and your email marketing campaign can give it to them!

This kind of targeted marketing is always far more valuable (and reliable) than scattered marketing techniques (like sending out thousands of snail-mail brochures to a random list of names). This special customer database will consist of people who have a genuine interest in your charity, making the list is more likely to generate new leads.

Sending out periodic email newsletters or marketing messages reminds your happy donors to come on back and give more. It keeps them connected to your site (and your nonprofit), even with millions of other distractions!

If your nonprofit website accepts Donations, Membership and Event Registrations you can add the links to those 3 areas of your website. That way, everyone that you send a email newsletter to can contribute to your nonprofit with very little effort. If your website does not have this capability, it can be easily added for a small monthly fee. To see how easy it is, sign up for a 7 day free trial (no credit card required)

Most nonprofits send out newsletters to announce fundraising drives, new accomplishments, new hires/volunteers, news, and other tidbits that might be of interest to their contributor base. You can tailor your email marketing service to showcase the information or fundraising event youre trying to push at the time, or just keep them informed with timely press releases.

Ian Anderson is co-founder of Intersection360. Ian specializes in hosted application architecture and GUI design.

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