Five email marketing tactics you don’t know yet


Be honest – do you use email to send bi-monthly emails (when you remember) but not much else? If that’s the case, you’re missing out big time. Right now, other charities are deploying email as their secret weapon – and it’s delivering real results.

Here are five ways that email can help your charity get better returns in fundraising, campaigns and service delivery.

Help fundraisers when they need it most

As much as we might think of fundraisers as an unknowable, unpredictable entity, the truth is they usually go through a definable lifecycle.

What’s more, their lifecycle stages are timed according to when their fundraising event takes place. That means you can email your fundraisers with tailored information, at the right stages, without lifting a finger. And that information will help them raise more cash for you at every stage.

Want an example? Just before their page closes, set up a concise email with a clear call to action urging the fundraiser to email their page round to friends and family with a ‘Last chance to donate!’ message. Making the ask at exactly the right time means more money for your cause.

Get more results from your campaigns

As the largest campaigning platform in the world, know a thing or two about email campaigning. That fundraiser lifecycle also applies to campaigns and campaigners too. So spend time testing their email marketing to maximise the number of people that sign up to their campaigns. One of the things that they’ve found is that regular campaign updates to signatories helps them feel more involved. And when they feel more involved, they’re more likely to share the campaign to get even more people to sign up.

Change email

Help new community members find their way round

Email doesn’t just increase the numbers behind fundraising and campaigns – it can help real people with real problems too. When a young person joins TheSite, Youthnet’s online support community for young people, there are a number of typical stages that they go through before feeling able to post themselves. These include:

  • reading funny posts that show them support comes in lots of ways
  • seeing the range of topics other users post about
  • reading the supportive responses users get when they post a problem

We helped them map out those stages, and created a mobile-ready email onboarding journey to support new community members as they move through it. That means more young people getting the help they need, when they need it.

Deliver email advice to your service users

When it comes to advice, go right to the heart of the matter. February is Heart Month. So British Heart Foundation put together a 10-day challenge to help people improve their heart health. The campaign was delivered by a series of automated emails, and helped subscribers to get active, eat better and use a step counter. Heart health, a personal challenge, and automated emails. A beautiful, life-saving combination.

BHF email

Help your colleagues communicate with their target audiences

Once you’ve mastered all of the above, don’t hide your light under a bushel – arm your colleagues with the secret weapon too. Those guys are sitting around trying to Snapchat or Whatsapp their target audience – all of whom have perfectly useable email addresses. Help them!

Get your colleagues to round up the email addresses of their target groups (small lists are fine – remember, reach the people who count, don’t count the people you reach). Train them to use Mailchimp to send short, useful updates to each list. Show them how to use the results to get more results for themselves.

Those are just five ways email can help you get better results for your charity. I can tell you even more, but you’ll have join my email list for that…

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Matt Collins is managing director at digital marketing agency, Platypus Digital, and tweets @charitychap