Lost Email Opportunities

in Copywriting - Nonprofit,Email

Do you share the same problems as many nonprofit email marketers? For example: Are you missing the boat because you don’t include personalization, targeting, and testing in your campaigns?

A recent article in Direct Marketing News stressed the importance of getting back to basics in order to maximize email ROI. I sometimes wonder if nonprofits short cut their email efforts simply because the channel is so cost effective.

Yet that short cut approach means you’re leaving money on the table. You’re losing opportunities to

acquire more donors or members

have higher response donation requests

increase membership renewals

increase the number of sign-ups to events; and so on.

One basic approach to lift overall email response rates is with A/B testing. What might you test? Examples include:

subject lines

call-to-action (CTA)

Suggestion: Take keywords that perform well in search and test them in subject lines and CTAs to optimize your copy.


your lead or theme for your email

“when” you send the email


Although it’s not A/B testing, you’ll also benefit by experimenting with your content. For example:

don’t have an “ask” in every email

send snippets from the news (link to full article) on a topic related to your charity or association industry

any special reports or white papers your subscribers might value

Another way to boost ROI is with a welcome series for new subscribers; or with a series of emails related to a trigger event that’s significant to your nonprofit. And if they’ve subscribed to your email BEFORE donating or joining … then use the series to ask about their preferences. Find out which part(s) of your mission are they most passionate about?

With that preference information you can send more targeted emails. And targeted emails yield higher response overall. Don’t miss the boat. Don’t lose opportunities to acquire more donors, members, and revenue by short-cutting your email efforts.

Get back to basics. Include personalization, testing and targeting in your email campaigns. More on targeting and other response lifting ideas in my next post.

Related posts:

3 critical factors impacting email performance

7 tips for better email subject lines

“When” to send email

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5 Clues to More Relevant Email Targeting — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
May 16, 2012 at 7:07 am

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