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10 Tips for Email Marketing for Planned Giving Programs

by: Allison Sanka on



As part of a broad-scope multi-channel marketing strategy, email marketing is a timely and cost-effective way to keep your organization in the hearts of your donors, especially your most loyal ones. Offering an opportunity to inform, enlighten, educate, and connect with your most enthusiastic loyal donors, email marketing should be a critical piece of your multi-pronged planned giving marketing strategy. Email is a fantastic way to recap direct mail messaging, and yet another opportunity to keep your message front-and-center.
  
Following are 10 tips for marketing planned giving to your organization's most loyal donors via email:

  1. Design emails with smart phones in mind. Clean layout with crisp photos works best. We test our emails on smartphones, laptops, tablets and use responsive design to have the content automatically resize to the user’s screen.
  2. Clarify the sender. The organization's name should be in the "From" field - simply a person's name might elicit a delete if they don't recognize it right away. 
  3. With subject lines, less is more. To make the most of this, limit your subject lines' length to 20-30 characters. To spark intrigue and opens, use engaging language like numbers (“7 ways you can help”,) and open ended questions (if people can answer the question “no” they have no incentive to open your email.)
  4. Also, with content, less is more. Email content should be brief and include links to your website for more information. Typically 3-4 topics of fewer than 60 words with "read more" links engage the reader and encourage visitation to the website for more interaction.
  5. Include a firm call-to-action. Whether it's a response or click, encourage a dialogue and interactivity through your email. 
  6. Incent or give them something in the email. Whether it's an exclusive piece of news, an offer, freebie, download, or special benefit from your organization, the reward benefits both you and them in terms of building loyalty. 
  7. Include all required information in your footer. Unsubscribe link (one click is best,) the organization's name, physical mailing address, and phone number should all be included in every communication. If you want to learn more about email marketing compliance, visit the FTC website.
  8. Timing is everything. Test different deployment times and days, because what works for you may not be best for your organization. 
  9. Beef up your loyals email list. With each call or visit, ask permission to add them to email lists. On direct mail reply cards, add in a checkbox so they can be added to your PG email list. Ensure you have permission to email your donors by opt-in, not just opt-out.
  10.  Combat list churn. Typically, 30% of email addresses become unreachable each year, so it's important to keep lists updated and healthy.

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