How are you doing online? Study may help you know

It helps to know if your efforts are producing well or poorly, and it’s awfully hard to tell if all you have to look at are your own results. And that can be hard to know for online fundraising.

You can get a lot of useful facts from the 2010 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study from M+R Strategic Services and NTEN (PDF; registration required).

There’s a lot in the report that’s worth your noting, but I want to point out a couple of them.

About email list churn

Some organizations really freak out over list churn. Yes, email lists are more volatile than traditional lists. This data saw a typical turnover of 16.83% in 2009. Of that, only 6.88% was unsubscribe — that is, people leaving on purpose. The other 10% was other kinds of churn, most of it people not leaving purpose.

And get this:

… we found a positive correlation between email fundraising response rate and unsubscribe rate. The high unsubscribe rate on your fundraising email may be a sign that people are paying attention.

More response, more unsubscribe. That goes along with the old direct mail correlation of more response, more complaints.

Basic success numbers for email

Low High
Open rate 10.32% 16.42%
Click-through rate 0.29% 1.48%
Response rate 0.04% 0.28%
Unsubscribe rate 0.19% 0.38%

Go get the full study. Lots of useful numbers there.


Comments

4 responses to “How are you doing online? Study may help you know”

  1. Greg Buell Avatar
    Greg Buell

    Jeff, the chart you included shows a significantly higher Unsubscribe rate than Response Rate online. In other words, for every email an organization sends out they lose more donors than they retain with a gift? Is that correct?
    In direct mail we get some ‘Do Not Mail’ responses for every campaign, but the overwhelming majority of responses are donations. If my above assumption is correct, do you see this online trend changing in the future?

  2. Greg Buell Avatar
    Greg Buell

    Jeff, the chart you included shows a significantly higher Unsubscribe rate than Response Rate online. In other words, for every email an organization sends out they lose more donors than they retain with a gift? Is that correct?
    In direct mail we get some ‘Do Not Mail’ responses for every campaign, but the overwhelming majority of responses are donations. If my above assumption is correct, do you see this online trend changing in the future?

  3. Dave Raley Avatar
    Dave Raley

    Interesting point about the higher response and higher unsubscribe correlation – the thing I’ve found that is tough is the sensitivity of email service providers to high unsubscribes. Orgs get shut their email service shut down for high unsub rates.
    And Greg makes an interesting point about unsub rates being higher than response rates. I never thought about it before, but that’s regularly the case!

  4. Dave Raley Avatar
    Dave Raley

    Interesting point about the higher response and higher unsubscribe correlation – the thing I’ve found that is tough is the sensitivity of email service providers to high unsubscribes. Orgs get shut their email service shut down for high unsub rates.
    And Greg makes an interesting point about unsub rates being higher than response rates. I never thought about it before, but that’s regularly the case!

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog