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emailIf you have a charity, there’s a possibility that you just use email to send bi-monthly emails and not much else.  If that’s the case, then you’re missing out.  Even though email lists feel like something from the early 00s before social media took off, charities have been deploying email as a secret weapon, often with success.  I recently came across an article that shared five ways an email can help your charity get better returns, listed below:

Help fundraisers when they need it: Even when we view fundraisers as unknowable and unpredictable, they usually go through a pretty definable lifecycle.  The stages of this lifecycle are timed according to when their fundraising event takes place, meaning you can email your fundraisers with tailored information at the right stages without lifting a finger, which will in turn help those fundraisers raise more money.  For example, set up a concise email with a clear call to action just before their page closes, urging the fundraiser to email their page to friends and family with a “last chance to donate!” message.  Making the ask at the exact time ultimately equals more money for your cause.

Get more results from your campaigns: The fundraiser life cycle applies to campaigns and campaigners as well.  Because of this, heavyweight campaigning platform spent time testing their email marketing to maximize the number of people that sign up to their campaigns.  One thing they discovered was that regular campaign updates to signatories are a great way to help them feel more involved, which means they’ll be more likely to share the campaign to get even more people to sign up.

Help new community members learn the ropes: Email not only increases the numbers behind fundraising and campaigns, but can also help real people with real problems.  Take, for example, Youthnet’s online support community TheSite; whenever a young person joins, there are a number of typical stages they go through before they can feel able to post themselves, including reading various posts, seeing the range of topics other users post about and reading the supportive responses users get when they post a problem.

Deliver email advice to your service users: When giving advice, go to the heart of it.  February, for instance, is Heart Month.  So the 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, helped subscribers to get active, eat better and use a step counter.

Help your colleagues communicate with their target audiences: Once you have a grasp of the other aspects above, you can arm your colleagues with email marketing as well.  Get your colleagues to find the email addresses of their target groups and train them to send short, useful updates to each list.