The Creative Nonprofit Podcast Episode 009

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I looked at 41 nonprofits, of which, only 12 had newsletters and only 1 of those sent me a welcome email.

I was completely blown away, and that’s part of the reason I wanted to do this podcast episode.

Not sending a welcome email for a new subscriber is like opening the door for someone to come into your house, then going to sit and turn the TV on by yourself. It’s not a positive experience, it’s actually a negative one.

But thankfully, the technology to automate welcome emails is quite easy to implement, and it’s included in many email service providers, including MailChimp (not sponsored).

In this episode, number 9, we dive into:

  • The reasons you should be automating a welcome email, and benefits [2:03]
  • This episode does not cover “thank you” emails for new donors [6:05]
  • Tactic Number 1: Make your email send immediately [7:56]
  • Tactic #2: Make your email personal [9:40]
    • Send the email from your executive director [10:47]
    • Use a more casual subject line [12:41]
    • Use a casual, first person tone in the email [13:15]
    • Utilize the signature to reaffirm who it’s from [13:50]
  • Tactic #3: Provide more value to your new subscriber [14:31]
  • Tactic #4: Share expectations of what’s to come [15:59]
    • Not setting expectations will increase unsubscribe rates [17:37]
  • Tactic #5: Don’t assume people are ready to donate [18:12]
  • Tactic #6: Have a clear call to action, and a maximum of 1 or 2 [20:04]
  • Tactic #7: Include visuals to reinforce the personality and message [21:26]
  • Tactic #8: Quick telling people to do this one thing on social [22:17]

Examples of nonprofit welcome emails to learn from

Canadian Red Cross: [27:03]

  • I’m not just subscribing to “get updates”
  • Great job of expectations being set
  • Trailing off into a “buffet of calls to action”
  • Signature is a miss, from the “Digital” team? Unnecessary

Canadian Cancer Society: [31:52]

  • Not personalized to me as a subscriber
  • Good use of expectation setting throughout the email
  • “Add us to your safe-sender list” is probably not worth the space it takes up in this email
  • Lacking a clear call to action

Charity:Water [34:48]

  • Personalized from Scott Harrison, thought still generic email which is okay
  • Not personalization to me as a subscriber
  • Consistent tone of voice and personality from Scott Harrison
  • Good use of story and engaging language in the mission
  • VERY clear call to action to watch the video
  • Lacking any mention of expectations for future emails

Until next time!

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