Nonprofit organizations are starting to increasingly turn towards email marketing software. Traditionally, nonprofits have relied on social media and websites to promote their causes and tell the story of their mission. The emergence of email has changed all that.
Every email subscription list in the world and every social media platform look exactly the same. So, how do you make your nonprofit stand out? What’s important is to choose the right nonprofit email marketing software. The best one for your organization will be easy to use, affordable, visually appealing, trusted by customers just like you, and it will feature or support all of the features you need to create great emails and campaigns. Some email marketing programs specialize in nonprofits and other nonprofits-based organizations.
Most nonprofits started their operations with a personal email address and have developed their skills by using their common sense. Let it be so, but today’s society has advanced so much that being way behind everyone in today’s digital market can be the greatest cause of failure in terms of your target audience reach and acceptance. In order to succeed in your email marketing campaign, you should use best email marketing software for nonprofits or one of the many other email marketing solutions for nonprofits.
Nonprofits are a driving force, working to build a better world. A strong nonprofit is able to get its message out to the public and connect with supporters. Email software makes it easy to reach just the right people, in just the right way. Here, we’ve selected some of the best email marketing software for nonprofits that can transform your work.
The benefits of email marketing
Email marketing is an absolute must for charities. And email marketing software is a must, too, as it offers greater performance and more control over campaigns, often at a relatively low price.
Email marketing software improves the growth of subscribers, supports the design and development of templates, creates organised and efficient lists to reach a wider and more targeted audience, and so much more.
The benefits of strong email marketing are huge. Successful emails can translate into increased funding, greater awareness, wider reach (regardless of geographical limitations), and ultimately better service delivery. But, despite all the benefits, some organisations still neglect email marketing.
It’s important to get to know your donor base, to ensure you have up-to-date details so you can contact them in a timely fashion, and to make sure all interactions are stored in one place.
That way, you can make sure only one person is reaching out to your donors, that you’ve recorded their contact preferences (such as whether they prefer you to reach out via email or phone), and that you have all relevant previous interactions on hand in order to provide better service.
Zoho Campaigns centralizes all donor information and interactions.
Zoho Campaigns has a set of contact management features that make it suitable for nonprofits. You can add custom fields to your sign-up forms and your contact management functionality to make sure you record the specific information relevant to managing your donors.
This email marketing software also brings together all donor information and interactions with your brand into one place.
The information you can add to this contact management hub is entirely customizable, but some useful details include:
- Email segments and lists on which they are included
- Campaigns they’ve been sent
- Updates to their contact details
- Social media activity
Using autoresponders — automated series of emails triggered by customer behavior — can not only save you time, but they also increase response rates and overall engagement, such as clicks, forwards, and newsletter shares on social media.
There are a number of different campaigns you can automate, such as welcome series for when people first sign up to your mailing list, thank-you emails for when someone donates, and reengagement emails when someone hasn’t interacted with your brand for a set period of time.
Mailchimp provides autoresponder templates for specific types of campaigns.
Setting up these autoresponders yourself and knowing which emails to add next in the sequence can be challenging.
Mailchimp provides autoresponder templates for campaigns such as welcome series so you don’t have to set up those steps yourself. All you have to do is either create the emails or edit the email templates for your purpose.
It’s important to keep track of how your email campaigns perform so you know which ones are effective, which ones you need to improve, and which aspects you can optimize to improve ROI.
When you’re running email marketing campaigns at nonprofits, this ROI often relates to donations rather than purchases. That’s why it’s key to have the tools in place to monitor which campaigns have led to donations.
Campaign Monitor’s integration with apps such as Salesforce allows you to track campaign metrics, such as donations.
Campaign Monitor’s App Store allows you to download add-ons that you can then use to extend the email marketing solution’s capabilities to track donations through customer relationship management solutions, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This allows you to see which email campaigns have led to donations.
Nonprofits get a 50% discount using Flodesk, which means just $19 a month for unlimited emails, contacts, and features. Flodesk never penalizes you for successfully growing your list. This relatively new platform is aimed at helping small teams create emails that look great effortlessly. The intuitive drag-and-drop email builder allows you to customize emails quickly, while the email and form template gallery offer you a head start. While Flodesk’s curated designs are beautiful, their layout blocks really set them apart. Layouts help you to create custom graphics, design collages, and specialty signatures right within the email builder—no other design software required. Once your email is sent, its layout blocks are responsive, meaning they’ll look great on any device and in any inbox. Flodesk’s workflows and stunning forms (which can even be used without a website) are also top features. Flodesk connects with 3,000+ apps through Zapier to automate tasks. Lastly, you don’t need a credit card for a free 30-day trial.
EmailOctopus allows you to create time-sensitive onboarding and drip emails, plus offers a 20% discount to nonprofits. Their rich library of free email templates make it super fast to create campaigns that are responsive to any device. You can build drip email sequences, import contacts, integrate with forms, and generate customized reports. Their segmentation also allows you to create highly targeted email campaigns based on the contact data that matters most to your organization. You can get started for free, and with pricing of less than $40 per month for 20k contacts, they are more affordable than the other platforms out there offering the same features.
AWeber Communications offers a discount of 25% to nonprofits, in addition to three complimentary months to start. You get access to their full range of tools, including powerful autoresponders which automate your email campaigns and help you stay in touch with your subscribers. You’ll also have a wide variety of email templates at your disposal, so you can choose one that best represents your organization. AWeber Communications’ reporting tool enables you to view the success of your emails in terms of how many have been opened and clicked through.
Benchmark Email offers a 25% discount for nonprofit organizations. You can choose from a variety of email templates and, if you don’t see one you like, you can always design your own. Benchmark Email also has excellent autoresponder capabilities to help streamline your email campaigns, leaving you time to focus on other tasks. You won’t be able to perform split testing, but you can still monitor the success of your campaigns with detailed reports on how your subscribers responded.
GetResponse offers nonprofit organizations an astounding 50% off their purchase. This discount enables you to keep your costs very low while sending out a high volume of emails. You’ll have access to hundreds of templates, making it easy to design a professional-looking email that fits well with your organization’s style. If you have a substantial contacts list, you can upload them directly to GetResponse, which saves you quite a bit of time. GetResponse also integrates with popular social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you can easily share your messages across those platforms.
VerticalResponse offers a whopping 10,000 free emails per month for nonprofits, along with several other discounts. Depending on how many emails you send per month, you may be able to enjoy VerticalResponse’s email marketing absolutely free. Nonprofits also receive discounted rates of up to 15% on emails in excess of 10,000. Other discounts are available for creating surveys, and you can enjoy 15% off events planned through VerticalResponse. For an event, you create a website, send out email invitations, and even promote it through your linked social media accounts. Not many other email marketing software programs provide services like this, so if you’re interested, it’s probably a good idea to take a look at what VerticalResponse has to offer.
It’s an easy to use, affordable, and feature-rich platform.
To use SendX’s email editor, you don’t need to know HTML or secret Sanskrit mantras. It’s a drag-and-drop editor that makes creating emails very easy and fast.
You don’t need to even start building your email from scratch. You get a responsive, pre-built library of templates that can be customized to your brand or use case.
Whether you build your own template or use pre-existing ones, you can do personalization with the recipient’s names, birthdays etc.
Email marketing automation by SendX can help you save time, grow engagement, and drive more people to fundraising events, or contribute to your cause.
The automation features in SendX lets you create a series of emails that are sent to subscribers when triggered by a specific time, activity, or event.
Some examples are:
- Starting a series on emails updating about the organisation when a user signs up
- Congratulating a person for donating x amount or x hours of service for a good cause
- Stopping a campaign on receiving the required action or reply
|Pricing||Starts from $7.49/mo for 0-1000 contacts|
|Discount for Nonprofits||25% Discount. Use Promo Code WECARE|
|Trial||14-day Free Trial. No credit card required|
|Customer Support||24/7 Phone, Email & Chat Support|
|Features that stand out||Easy to use UI, Drag & Drop Editor, Automation capabilities, High-delivery rates|
|Refund Policy||First 30 days (no questions asked)|
The best strategies to improve email marketing
We’ve established that emails have massive potential. We’ve shown an effective email marketing campaign can help to raise awareness, support fundraising, showcase service delivery, attract long-term donors, and much more.
We’ve looked at the first steps of using templates, shown the importance of making emails mobile friendly, and demonstrated some easy tips for how to meet the needs of users.
Now we can explore more detailed steps, which organisations should follow to make the most of their email marketing software. Each of these steps aim to greatly improve your email campaigns.
Gather the right information
Gathering data is the best way to improve the impact of your emails. Start by looking at the tools you already have at your disposal – and charities tend to have lots of those tools. Check out past event sign-ups, membership data, gifts, comments on articles, and any other data that you have accumulated over the years.
Explore options around donor data, too, which you can find in your constituent relationship management (CRM) or donor management system, or from information submitted on a web page. Service user data may also be captured from questionnaires and surveys filled in when signing up for a particular service.
Every bit of that information, every small piece of data that you have available, is absolutely essential. Take all that data and start building lists. But ensure the act of building is targeted and engaged, not arbritrary.
The data you have accumulated may give you information beyond simply an email address. It may, for example, reveal geographical location, age, height, likes and dislikes, even a user’s favourite type of food. All of that data is important in targeting emails and engaging recipients. All of that data provides ample room for active personalisation.
Personalisation depends on getting the right emails to the right people – and, importantly, not wasting anyone’s time. Personalisation is vital to email marketing, because users can be put off by emails that they find irrelevant – and will soon unsubscribe from your campaigns.
Grow your donor base the right way
Lots of donors will willingly sign up to your email lists. You just need to make everything as easy as possible.
So make sure the sign-up form is easy to find and visible to as many people as possible, perhaps by putting it as a permanent fixture on your website footer or including a helpful button on pages that generate a great deal of traffic.
Consider introducing a pop-up sign-up form, which can be a good way of getting people to sign up without crowding your site.
Charities can use events to generate email lists. If you have a registration or sign-up page, for example, you can often use the opportunity to attract more users to your emails.
No one wants to read for hours before signing up. They want simple, quick, and practical information. Make your form short and sweet – and ensure that you specify exactly what the user is signing up to receive
And, finally, ensure that you get consent from users is also essential when growing your user base. You should ensure that the consent is GDPR-compliant, which means fulfilling certain important criteria. For more information, check out our article: The right way to ask for GDPR.
Personalise and target donors
Quality is better than quantity. When trying to sign people up, ensure that you are attracting people with legitimate interest, rather than attempting to attract anyone and everyone. Use the space at your disposal to explain exactly what users are signing up for and not trying to attact subscribers with purposeful ambiguity.
Ensure that you are capturing the attention of the crowd by specificially referencing the work you do, showcasing your mission. It’s also worth communicating the urgency of your goals, the aims that you are trying to achieve, the timeframe in which you want to achieve them, and any other quantifiable targets.
And, as mentioned, ensure messages are personal, as donors will feel more compelled to give following an emotional response. A general rule of marketing emails is that the more personal the message, the more likely to have a positive reaction. Remember, though, that charities and other organisations always have to balance quantity and quality.
Nonprofit organizations and small businesses can prosper using the same email marketing software that big corporations use. If they do not take advantage of it, they are missing out on a powerful communication tool that can reach thousands of donors, supporters, customers and clients. But, without the right email marketing software, all your hard work is going to waste.
The email marketing software market has grown over the last few years. As a result, there were many solutions to choose from, each able to offer a slightly different solution. The choice can be overwhelming and choosing the right one for you is essential to your success.