How do you send emails to supporters and others who want to hear from you?
- An email marketing tool built with nonprofits in mind?
- Gmail (Google Mail)
- Microsoft Outlook?
- Carrier pigeons?
If you answered anything but the first in that list, we're here to sound the "bad idea" alarm. (We won't get into why carrier pigeons are a poor decision... Let's just say their delivery time isn't up to snuff and clean-up is a nightmare.)
Let's talk about Outlook, Gmail, etc.
Many nonprofit organizations get started with email marketing by sending out e-newsletters via Outlook, Gmail or one of their many cousins. But beware; there are rules, caveats, landmines and poison darts-ok, so we have a bit of a flair for the dramatic-awaiting the nonprofit using these email clients for email outreach.
While these are fine solutions for 1-to-1 email, they weren't designed for sending email newsletters or fundraising appeals to groups of people. Here are six reasons why using Outlook (or something similar) for a nonprofit's email marketing is a recipe for disaster:
- Your emails may look terrible. Outlook sends HTML email in such a way that it only renders properly for other people using Outlook. What about all of your other subscribers who use another email client, like Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.? According to a recent survey, 54% percent of recipients opened their email in webmail, while only 27% used Outlook.
- You may get blacklisted. If you send too many emails from your own computer, your internet service provider (ISP) may think you're a spammer and will most likely block you.
- Say hello to your recipients spam, junk or bulk mail folder. If you send attachments with your email, you are increasing the likelihood of your email being marked as spam. In addition, if you put your email list in the TO: or CC: field, that's a recipe for chaos. Not only do people not like their email address shared with others, all it takes is for one subscriber to click "reply-to-all" then you've got communication pandemonium. Think the BCC field is the answer? Sorry to disappoint, but chances are your email will end up in the recipient's spam, junk or bulk mail folder.
- Send emails to thousands of recipients, and you'll get all the bouncebacks and autoreplies from them. So much for free time! Will you be able to manually process them? Hard bounces (i.e. bad/incorrect addresses) should be removed from your list immediately, or your email address will be blacklisted by ISPs. Soft bounces (i.e. server timeout, full mailbox, etc.) should be retried a couple more times before removing them.
- You might be breaking the law. According to the CAN-SPAM law, if someone requests to be removed from your list, you must do so within 10 business days. Most people who send their emails from their desktop computers don't have scripts to help them automatically process unsubscribe requests. They simply ask people to "reply with unsubscribe in the subject line." That's prone to mistakes, and potentially a CAN-SPAM lawsuit from the FTC.
- You won't know if anyone is reading your emails. Outlook and other desktop email applications don't come with tracking tools to show you how many people opened and clicked your campaigns. How can you tell if your messaging is effective? How do you know if people are reading your information or just "filing" it in an email folder or the trash?
Send Email the Right Way
So what's the right way to send HTML email newsletters? Consider EmailNow, an email marketing service designed just for nonprofits.
EmailNow (powered by Emma) was built by email marketing experts to do the tough stuff for you. It allows you to send beautiful email appeals without having to become a designer, a software engineer or someone who knows HTML or CAN SPAM laws. The secret? We built in all the expertise you need right into EmailNow and then priced it right. We're a nonprofit that understands that's what other nonprofits need. Here's how EmailNow makes managing your email campaigns a snap:
- You'll easily organize and manage your subscribers while you grow your audience the right way.
- You'll easily create stylish campaigns and let EmailNow's engine and relationships help you get great results.
- You'll see how your audience members responded and use that knowledge to create more effective campaigns.
- Your emails will get into your supporters' in boxes because a team of deliverability experts keeps you off spam lists. You just hit send.
Starting at just $29.95/month, EmailNow is an affordable and reliable email messaging service for nonprofits today. And most importantly, EmailNow is not like the other various programs designed to help you manage your customer and member email communications. What sets us apart? Here are four reasons:
- The ease-of-use: Our intuitive interface makes even the most sophisticated email-marketing features easy for anyone to use, saving you time and effort and allowing you to let non-technical staff members help you manage your lists, content and account. And if you are using Network for Good's DonateNow, you can see the fundraising results from your email campaigns right in your donation reports.
- The effectiveness: We focus a lot of time and attention to make sure we're getting the highest rate of delivery possible. And that puts our nonprofit clients in the best position possible to stay connected with their supporters and turn those supporters into volunteers and donors.
- The relationship: We understand your email marketing needs because we are a nonprofit, and whether you're just getting started or you have a question about a campaign or its results along the way, we stay involved to make sure you're getting the most out of EmailNow.
- The price: EmailNow is designed with small to mid-sized nonprofits in mind, so we've priced it that way, too. With affordable setup and monthly pricing, EmailNow is just as affordable as it is easy, particularly when you factor in the extensive features and unlimited customer support.
We'd Love to Tell You More
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 888.284.7978. One of our online fundraising specialists is waiting to introduce you to the easy and affordable world of email marketing with Network for Good's EmailNow powered by Emma. Learn more about EmailNow.