Now more than ever, organizations depend on digital fundraising to sustain their work. Although digital is often perceived as the realm of the latest and greatest, email is tried, true and remains an essential method for raising money online. Here are three reasons your organization should be investing in its email program now:
(Almost) everybody still uses email.
Although it may come as a surprise in our world dominated by text messaging, tools like Slack, and constantly changing social media trends, 89 percent of American internet users between the ages of 15 and 65+ still use email. With 3.9 billion active email users across the globe, more than half of world’s total population currently uses email — a significantly larger population than is active on social media — and data indicates that the younger share of these users is particularly active and actually prefers email over social media for promotional asks. In 2019, response rates to fundraising emails from nonprofits increased. With 2020 on track to be a record-breaker for progressive giving, we anticipate these trends will continue.
You own your list.
Our experience with clients has shown time and again that email continues to be a dependable tool and source of revenue for organizations fundraising online. While digital advertising offers an attractive shortcut to reaching likely donors, average costs per donation range between $39 and $200+ and can be prohibitive for some smaller groups. Building your email list provides a better long-term investment for not only your organization’s fundraising program but for your movement. By focusing on email address acquisition instead of one-off donation asks, organizations can build a supporter base that can be cultivated for both action and fundraising.
As social media platforms like Facebook prove to be increasingly tumultuous, prioritizing acquisition ensures organizations have a reliable way to stay connected with supporters that isn’t subject to algorithmic or platform policy changes. By collecting email addresses through actions such as petitions and letter writing campaigns and incentivizing followers to subscribe through organic posts and paid digital ads, organizations can move social media fans up the ladder of engagement with the ultimate goal of turning them into donors.
Once a supporter opts into your email list, you can serve them multiple fundraising asks without the content restraints of social media. You own your email list, and are able to communicate with subscribers as often as you’d like for a comparably low cost.
Organizations can optimize asks by experimenting with long- and short-form messaging and creative content including photos, videos, and GIFs. List segmentation allows you to further develop relationships with supporters by tailoring your messages so they speak specifically to the target group.
For fundraising, email is still #1.
By consistently delivering the highest return on investment and largest share of revenue for organizations fundraising online, email reigns supreme. When used effectively, email remains the most reliable method for bringing in donations with the added bonus of cultivating an audience of supporters that you can engage time and again. If you’re interested in growing your email list and developing a fundraising strategy that will help your organization meet its goals, schedule a call with the ACM team today.