Giving Tuesday is on December 2! This is the second post in our series of tips to help you make the most of this philanthropic day. Check out the first post: Using Donor Stories for a Successful Giving Tuesday.
Today we’re going to take a look at how to write a successful e-appeal because let’s face it – one of the best ways to drive people to your donation page is email.
Nearly 1/3 of all charitable giving happens in the last three months of the year, according to 2013 Charitable Giving Index from Blackbaud. Email continues to grow as a part of non-profits’ strategies for increasing online giving during this time. Like direct mail, it is an opportunity to get directly in front of someone with their (possibly) undivided attention. You see unlike social media, which is fleeting, email increases your chances of reaching your donors.
That being said, not all email appeals are equal. Over the last few years, I’ve seen some pretty bad email appeals. Usually what makes them bad and potentially ineffective are usually avoidable mistakes. If you’re planning on using email as a part of your Giving Tuesday (which I recommend), here are a few tips to help you write a great appeal.
5 Tips for Writing a Great E-Appeal
Tip #1 – Start with an intriguing subject line
A subject line is a super important factor in whether someone chooses to open your email or send it directly to the trash. Make it intriguing, be direct and get to the point. The best subject lines I see are the ones that combine a call to action and impact. For example: Help 2 students get scholarships
Tip #2 – Use a clear, compelling call to action
A call to action is what makes giving happen. It is the clear request that directs a donor to your donation page. I can’t tell you how many emails I receive that don’t have a clear call to action. Such a missed opportunity! Make sure you have at least one call to action in your email.
Tip #3 – Be sure to put a call to action above the fold in addition to the end of the email
This is a pro-tip that’s super easy to implement. The common practice is to put a call to action with a hyperlink at the end of the email, just like we would in direct mail. Except that direct mail and email are not equal in this way. Email is a lot shorter and therefore advantageous to include a like above the fold – meaning the link is visible in the email before the reader has to scroll down.
Tip #4 – Make sure it’s mobile friendly
66% of emails are opened on a mobile device or tablet, according to Mobile Ink. The screen is smaller, which means that images might not always reformat well. Plus if your email is long, it can seem like it takes forever to scroll to the bottom. Some email marketing service providers (like MailChimp) will automatically
Tip #5 – Write like a real person
My best editing tip is this – when you’re finished writing a draft, read it out loud. If it doesn’t sound like something you would naturally say, change it immediately. Everyone receives lot of institutional/corporate sounding emails. Stand out by sounding personable. This will also make your organization memorable.
Those are my tips for this week.
Do you have tips for writing great email appeals? Share you tips in the comments below.