Re-engage Inactive Email Subscribers

in Email,Fundraising,Online Fundraising

Right now – and I mean this week before Thanksgiving Day – is the ideal time to start re-engaging your inactive email subscribers.

Why?  Because about 28% of inactive email subscribers re-engage during the holiday season (Direct Marketing News, Oct 2010).

That’s a HUGE chunk; nearly a third of your email list!  For example: If you have an email list of 49,000 subscribers . . . then you can get 13,720 of them responding to your holiday emails that weren’t responding before (statistically speaking).  Wouldn’t you like to have 13,721 more donors interacting you?

Answer seems obvious to me.

Now, even though today is Monday, November 22nd, it’s NOT too late to take action.  It’s not too late to do your best to re-engage a big portion of your dormant email file.

  • In the next day or two send out a PURE cultivation email (no “ask” whatsoever).  Wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  And ideally share a short success story related to Thanksgiving and your mission.  The email ought to be short and sweet; a couple hundred words or less.
  • Sometime in the first full week of December (or thereabouts), send an email with a hard ask.  Consider focusing on your monthly giving program if you have one.  Of course, share a success story and link to your website for more information and to donate.
  • Send another PURE cultivation email during the week of December 20th.  Include either a happy photo (linked to Christmas if possible), or something poignant but not depressing.  Share a warm greeting for a Merry Christmas.  I think this email should be less than 100 words. 
  • Send out two reminder emails during the last week of the year.  Remind people to please join your monthly giving program and that there’s still time to make a tax-deductible gift in 2010.  And the second one is very short and to the point with a final push for a year-end gift.

And for all who respond be especially gracious via email and direct mail (i.e., send a thank you note by mail too).  Pour on the sincerity.  Remember, these people have been inactive for awhile so it’s almost like welcoming a new donor to your file.  Make them very glad they responded.

Also, keep them engaged after the first of the year.  Send out via email a simple poll or survey.  Have a series of 3 – 5 emails that targets these re-engaged email subscribers to include pure cultivation, interaction opportunities, success stories, and a soft ask.

Take advantage of the season to “wake up” a significant portion of your email subscribers.  Play the odds.  With relatively little effort you have the potential to reap great rewards.  Boost response to your emails during the holiday season with compelling content and a simple plan.