Volunteer Hub – Email Marketing for Nonprofits
By: Volunteer Hub
With the proliferation of Facebook, Twitter, and now Google Plus as electronic communication methods, the “old fashioned” email is often forgotten. However, take a quick look at your inbox. You still get tons of email every day, right? Chances are you have at least a couple of electronic newsletter/email marketing items in there. And you probably even look forward to reading at least a few of them. Nothing against social networking (we all love it), but sometimes people need to communicate with fully-formed sentences and ideas. That’s why a well-designed and thoughtfully written marketing email is still a great communication tool for your organization. Luckily, it’s very easy and inexpensive to get up and running.
There’s a ton of email marketing providers in existence. Most start in the $10-$15 dollar a month range and go up from there, based on the amount of email addresses you have on your list. The typical provider will offer a free trial, so you can test them all out to see which platform you like best. There are so many to choose from that we hesitate to recommend any particular one, but a few of the more prominent providers include Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Interspire, iContact, Vertical Response, and Benchmark. A quick Google search will yield even more options. The important thing is to “try before you buy.” Some features to look for include: ease of use, high deliverability rates, anti-spam checking, and strong reporting functions.
After you’ve picked a platform, it’s time to get into the meat and potatoes of your correspondence. Most providers offer quite a few design templates for you to use as a canvas. You should be able to customize the design to include your logos and other artwork. We recommend staying within the theme of your other marketing materials for branding purposes. Get this established, and you are ready for some content. You’ll want to be brief but informative. Most importantly, make sure you offer some information of value. The newsletter shouldn’t be void of self promotion (in fact, it’s a great place to mention volunteer opportunities and position a “donate now” button), but the recipients should look at it as a source of information first.
Want to check out the who’s who and what’s what of email marketing?
Read The Buzz.
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