Introduce your nonprofit to new supporters with a welcome email series
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
The best way to introduce your newest email subscribers to your organization is to automate a welcome email series. These emails quickly and effectively get the attention of your new supporters and initiate a relationship with no required effort on their part. With a welcome email series, you can turn new supporters into donors, and new donors into recurring donors. Read on and discover how this tactic can start these new relationships off right.
What is a welcome email series?
A welcome email series is a group of emails with a cohesive message introducing your new shareholder to your organization in incremental steps over time (daily, weekly, etc.) This way, no one is overwhelmed or left in the dark completely. They typically end with a call to action and clear, concise and achievable action steps.
Can it be automated?
Absolutely and it definitely should be. You will want to set up an automated workflow in advance.
What tools can you use?
Most email programs have tools for email automation. You can trigger an automated welcome email upon a new subscriber or new online donation, for example. Consider integrating your fundraising platform with your email platform. Use data from the donation to segment the type of welcome they get and personalize it accordingly.
What might you want to send?
When it comes to deciding your email marketing messaging, the first thing you must do is decide what your goal is for your welcome series. These are focused emails meant to educate your audience about your nonprofit and drive them to follow through on your call to action.
Important: These emails should be independent of your other messaging; this is not the time to send them your normal email newsletter content.
What are some examples?
Say you’ve got a new online donor. In your welcome series, you would want to make sure to:
- Graciously thank them for their gift, and make sure it’s easy for them to donate again in the future.
- Share stories that paint vivid pictures of the impact of their gift. There can be several of these if there are multiple ways in which their donation can help, make sure to personalize this.
- End with a call to action, be it asking for another online gift or telling them how they can get involved with your organization in another capacity, such as volunteering.
Or, say you’ve got a new email subscriber. You should:
- Thank them for subscribing and make sure they know that your emails won’t be just another thing cluttering up their inboxes. Let them know that they will get a few emails to introduce them to your organization.
- Share stories of impact with relevant testimonials from other subscribers or donors.
- End your series with a call to action, most likely an online gift or donation.
Lastly, say you’ve got an event attendee on your hands. Be sure to:
- Thank them for coming to the event and ask for their feedback, if any.
- Share highlights and images from the event and invite them to share on their social media channels.
- Communicate the impact of the money raised from the event; who it helped, how it helped, etc.
- End with an invitation to the next event or a “stay tuned for next year’s event” of some kind.
How should you pace the emails?
Space out welcome emails so as not to overwhelm people (i.e., no more than once per week.) It may even be beneficial to you to spread them out over a few weeks and exclude those people from your regular distribution lists while they are receiving welcome emails. That way, they are only getting their sequential welcome series and not being bombarded with everything else.
Don’t forget to track your results! Do your research, check open rates and click rates with email. Evaluate what works and what didn’t. Then, adjust as needed from there.
Automating a welcome email series to new subscribers, new donors or anyone new to your organization can only help you achieve the goals of your nonprofit or organization.