Triggered email can deepen your relationships with online donors

Another cool thing about email fundraising is that you can create fully automatic campaigns that really connect with donors with relevant, useful messages. These can just run in the background, triggered mainly by actions people take on your website.

The Kissmetrics Blog, at Sell Like Amazon: 7 Examples of Triggered, Automated, and Personalized Marketing Campaigns You Can Set Up This Weekend.

These are aimed at commercial marketing email, but the ideas can apply to fundraising:

  1. Personalized Call To Action Once a donor as given, you now have a precious piece of information about them: You know something that stirred them to give. Some time after they give, ask them for the same (or similar) again. It’s almost like magic.
  2. Educational Email “Mini Courses” Offer a “subscription” or “mini course” — something of interest and value to them. It’s a great way to increase their engagement.
  3. Automatic Broadcast Resend At TrueSense Marketing, we do this virtually all the time: re-send your email appeals a day or two later to everyone who didn’t open (or didn’t click through; try both) the first time. It’s like a free 30% or so increase in response.
  4. Pull-Back Campaigns Connect with people who started to give but didn’t complete the transaction. Often, it was an oversight or error, and they can be won back by reaching out to them.
  5. Automated List Pruning Many experts warn that having a large percentage of people on your list who never open or engagement with your messages in any way could be hurting deliverability.
  6. Post-Purchase Check In Check in with recent donors and ask them how they’re feeling. Give them some good news about how their gift is already helping.
  7. Warm Prospect Outreach Work on ways to turn your non-donors into donors. Try different ways to get them involved.


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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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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.

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