Email tactics to use this Tax time
— Written by Samara Gentle, Head of Digital Fundraising and Marketing at Marlin Communications
The end of financial year is upon us already! While you might still be getting through your latest shoulder appeal, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking ahead about what you might do differently to help drive support from your donors. After all, Tax time is the biggest time of year.
Today, I want to inspire you to approach your emails in a different way. The goal is to gain learnings, increase giving and generally inspire your donors to want to continue changing the world.
Who is the email coming from?
Traditionally, your emails might come from the same person every time, like the CEO or the Fundraising Manager.
Why not try shaking it up this giving season by changing your email signatory??
For instance, if you provide people or animal based services, a plea coming from someone on the ground, such as a case worker, facility manager, nurse or volunteer, may help you dial up the urgency.
A/B Test Idea: If you haven’t done it before, A/B test your email coming from someone different in your organisation that is closer to the cause than someone in the fundraising team or your CEO.
How are you speaking to your lapsed donors?
Email is a great channel for engaging lapsed donors. Compared with direct mail packs, it’s pretty low-cost.
Lapsed donors is a really interesting segment for emails. You can use personalisation to remind your lapsed donor when they last gave and test different messaging to see what resonates to bring them back.
A recent experiment shared by our partner NextAfter showed that when a lapsed donor’s last gift date is referenced in the email copy it can lead to a 122% increase in conversions. That’s a pretty massive increase just from a lapsed donor segment!
A/B Test Idea: In your next appeal, segment your lapsed donors and A/B test referencing the date and amount of their last gift.
Including PURLs in your emails
This isn’t a new revelation but often technical limitations get in the way of some organisations implementing this tactic.
Use this as your sign to make it a priority for your next appeal! I promise you that implementing PURLs is not as hard as it sounds. Just try it – you’ll see how easy this is and the great returns you can see!
A/B Test Idea: If you need more convincing put an A/B test behind it! Add PURLs to half your database and monitor the results for conversion and average gift amount.
Don’t send every email to every person in your database
If we haven’t made the time to think out our segments and communication schedule for each segment, the default starts to become ‘just send it to everyone’.
Unfortunately, taking that approach can mean sending too many or too few emails and your results aren’t really going to change.
You want your emails to be targeted and appropriate so as to not overwhelm some segments or under-communicate with others.
For example your regular giving segment would maybe get 1 or 2 emails in the lead up to EOFY, however your cash givers need more of a reminder, not forgetting that important email on 30 June!
Hot Tip: Create your communications journey in advance and think strategically about how many touchpoints each segment should get, including any print or phone calling that’s likely to happen during the campaign.
Follow up and thank your donors
Finally, it’s essential to follow up with your donors after your appeal has ended. This is to ensure you’re giving supporters a well rounded experience in preparation for the next time you reach out to them for support.
Thanking by email is EASY! You can create very plain emails that are hyper-personalised so that your supporters feel they’ve been sent a more real email rather than just a generic thank you.
Thank them for their support and let them know how their donations have made a difference. This will help build strong relationships with your donors and can encourage them to continue giving to your organisation in the future.
Hot Tip: The more personal and real this email looks, the better! No banners, no images or fancy videos. Just a heart-to-heart thank you.