Fundraising

How To Use Email to Promote Your Booster Fundraiser

Posted By Steph Silva

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Despite the fact that people like to associate different generations with different channels – “Snail Mail” for Baby Boomers, “Facebook Only” for Gen X, “Instagram Pics” for Millennials and “Snappers” for Gen Z – there’s a universal truth: they all read their email.

That’s why email should be a key outreach strategy for your Booster campaign.

Not convinced that you need to leave the cozy confines of your favorite social media site? Consider the findings of this report:

  • There are 3x more email accounts then there are Facebook & Twitter accounts COMBINED.
  • Unlike your social media posts, people will almost always see your email. Compared to Facebook, your message is 5x more likely to be seen on email.
  • People are more likely to act through email. For example, the click-through rate for email is 6x greater than what you would get on Twitter.

Still, there are no guarantees with email. You have to work hard AND smart to get people’s attention on email (but not as hard and smart as you have to on social media).

Here are a few tips to ensure that your email is seen, heard and acted on.

Start With the Subject Line

The subject line may be the most crucial part of the email. After the recipient knowing who the email is from, what they see in the subject line will have them hitting either open or delete. And since you want a broader audience for your fundraiser than just your immediate family and friends, an effective subject line is a must. Tailor your subject line to the recipient as much as possible.

  • If they are the friend of a friend, mention the connection. “Joe Waters said you would be interested in this campaign.”
  • If you’re pretty sure they may know something about who/what you are raising money for (maybe they live in the same town as you), mention it: “Raising funds for the family of Officer Harris.”
  • If they’re not familiar with the specifics, but may have an interest in the issue, lead with that: “Support the family of a fallen police officer.”
  • If you’re unsure of any connection, lead with something eye-catching. “What if your loved one didn’t come home?”

The golden rule with email subject lines is to personalize them as much as possible. When you can’t, an eye-catching appeal is your second best bet. This article features nine subject line styles that I found helpful.

Finally, don’t hesitate to experiment. Write out 5 to 10 email subject lines and ask people which one they like best. Also, if you send an email and don’t get a response, send another email a few days later with a different subject line.

Include an Image or Two

Images aren’t just for social media posts. They can work in email too. But you need to know the best practices.

  • Include just one or two images. Including more may push your email to the spam folder or slow down your email’s load time. What did you do the last time you got an email that was slow to open? Yup, DELETE!
  • One way to ensure that your images load quickly is to make the files as small as possible. I use a service called Compressor.io, which quickly reduces the file size of the image by as much as 90 percent!
  • Insert the images, don’t attach them. Email users want everything right in the email. Attachments are full of computer viruses – or so most people think.
  • Consider including a picture of your t-shirt. One of the benefits of fundraising with Booster is that donors get a great t-shirt they’ll love to wear. Show it off!

Make it Easy to Act

You’ve convinced someone to open your email. Check! You have their attention with your appeal and pictures. Check! Now, don’t blow it by making it difficult to act on your request.

  • Include a link to your campaign page. Why run the risk of them not finding it on their own? Also, beware of including additional links that may lead the supporter astray (e.g. A news story on the person or cause you are trying to help). If they want additional details they can find them on your campaign page.
  • Keep your email brief. A recent study showed that the ideal length of an email is between 50 and 125 words. That’s short! Save the longer narrative for your Booster campaign page. Even there, keep it brief.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one channel (e.g. email). Sometimes people need to see an appeal two or more times before they’ll act. It may take an email and a Facebook post to get people to act. Or it may take an email, a Facebook post and an article in your local newspaper to get people to give.

Your goal is to expose potential supporters to your campaign in lots of different ways. While the list of potential promotion tactics will vary by organizer, there’s one channel that should be at the top of everyone’s list: email.


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