Whether you work in nonprofit or retail, marketing or engineering, email communication with prospects, customers and donors is essential. And while every organization uses email just a little bit differently, nonprofits – according to a study by Campaign Monitor – experienced higher-than-average email open rates in 2018 compared with other industries.
Campaign Monitor looked at more than 30 billion sent emails in 2018 across several different industries. They found that the nonprofit sector was one of only two industries in the 22 that they looked at that had an average open rate of more than 20 percent.
Here are a few other email stats that were unveiled by Campaign Monitor:
- The best day for awesome open rates for nonprofits was Sunday, with a nearly 23 percent open rate.
- The best next day for open rates for nonprofits was Monday, with a 22.5 percent open rate.
- The next best days for open rates were Tuesdays (20.4 percent), Saturday (20.4 percent), Friday (20.2 percent), Thursday (20.1 percent) and Wednesday (20 percent)
While nonprofits excelled at open rates, they skewed slightly below the overall average when it came to click-through rates (CTR), averaging 2.66 percent – slightly below the 2.69 percent overall average. This ranked nonprofits 13 out of 22 total industries. However, the study did find that the highest CTR for nonprofits happened on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Additionally, unsubscribe rates for nonprofits aligned with the average at 0.17 percent, and click-to-open rates were only slightly below average (14.1 percent) at 12.99 percent.
Now that we know the stats, here are some nonprofit email strategy tips to make your email campaigns a success:
- Use your CRM, like ResultsPlus, to gather up-to-date, detailed and accurate information about your constituents. You can do this by integrating ResultsPlus with your email system and sending emails directly from the CRM. If your CRM is up-to-speed on your constituent data, then you can be more confident that your emails are going to relevant, engaged recipients. This also means that you can better customize your communications. Rather than sending out a general email blast to your entire constituent base, you can send out more personalized emails, which will increase your chances of higher open rates, as well as more donations and support.
- Make it easy for people to sign up to be on your email list. Put it on your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, etc. It’s also important to make sure that your sign-up form is simple and doesn’t ask for too much information, as people will be less likely to fill it out if it is too extensive. Keep it minimal by making just the constituent’s name and email the required fields.
- Don’t over-blast your constituents. Create relevant emails that are personalized and sent to segmented donor lists. Your CRM should have information on campaigns, fundraisers and appeals that donors have given to before, as well as events that they have attended. Use this information to send event invites only to those who have attended or expressed interest in the past, and to send fundraiser information to those who have donated in the past or are new contacts. If someone has repeatedly turned down event invites in the past, you may want to remove them from that email list and send them only information that they’ll find relevant.
- Say thank-you! By sending personalized thank-you emails when your constituents donate, attend an event or volunteer, you increase your chances of future support.
- Make your emails compelling. Use imagery, stories, updates about projects and fundraisers and testimonial to draw readers in and give them a feel for what your organization is doing and how their support will impact it.
How strong is your email game? If you’re a ResultsPlus user, we encourage you to dive into your database and use it to drive more successful email campaigns!