Are we sending too much email? Probably the wrong question

The old myth that sending direct mail can chase away donors has transferred itself to email. Many organizations live in the same fear that their emails are like deadly file-killing time-bombs — and the fewer of them you send, the less danger you are in of making all your donors angry.

That’s not something you should be worrying about. Here’s something that should worrying you, from Clairification: Warning: Your Nonprofit is Sending Too Few Emails.

If you’re afraid you’re sending too much email, read this very carefully:

… the sweet spot for email seems to be 16-30 campaigns per month, depending on the size of your organization. Companies that send 16-30 campaigns a month see a click rate more than 2X greater than the click rate of companies that send two or fewer campaigns a month.

There’s a right number of campaigns for your organization. It may not be 30 times, but it’s probably more than you’re doing now.

Two caveats:


  1. Don’t make all your emails appeals for funds. It’s a relationship. Sometimes you’re asking. Sometimes thanking. Sometimes reporting. Sometimes sharing useful information. Sometimes asking for action other than giving.
  2. If all you ever do is talk about yourself, then you’re sending too much email no matter how little you send. Make everything about the donor. Be relevant. Then you can — should — communicate frequently.


Comments

4 responses to “Are we sending too much email? Probably the wrong question”

  1. You’ve been emailing me great posts like this one every single day for years. Keep ’em comin’!
    Emails are like employees.
    If they provide value, you welcome their visits to your office each day. But, if they annoy you, cause trouble, or break the law (like spam), you will reject or fire them without warning.

  2. You’ve been emailing me great posts like this one every single day for years. Keep ’em comin’!
    Emails are like employees.
    If they provide value, you welcome their visits to your office each day. But, if they annoy you, cause trouble, or break the law (like spam), you will reject or fire them without warning.

  3. Mariana Evica Avatar
    Mariana Evica

    I don’t disagree with you on tactics! However, our email management is priced by the number of emails we send during a particular time frame. Are there metrics I can reference to shore up this argument? Exec level will inquire.

  4. Mariana Evica Avatar
    Mariana Evica

    I don’t disagree with you on tactics! However, our email management is priced by the number of emails we send during a particular time frame. Are there metrics I can reference to shore up this argument? Exec level will inquire.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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