Nonprofit email marketing is still a great way for nonprofits to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. It’s a great tool especially when you connect your email engagement work to your nonprofit’s big mission goals. Ultimately, the most strategic way to use email is to work towards good email metrics.

But nonprofit email marketing can be complicated! In much the same way that social media is ruled by algorithms, whether and how your nonprofit email gets delivered to your supporters is subject to complex algorithms.

And we know that nonprofits are struggling to do email marketing well:

Nonprofits Still Aren’t Using Some of the Best Email Tactics

The Nonprofit Email Apocalypse is Coming

But don’t worry—we can help you build and maintain a great nonprofit email marketing program by keeping you updated on the email best practices nonprofits should follow.

Managing Your Nonprofit’s Email Marketing List

Let’s start with the most important part of your email marketing program: your email list.

Maintaining a healthy, engaged email list is more important than any particular tactic you might try in any specific email you send.

Follow these golden rules of nonprofit email list management:

1. Only add names to your list with permission. Make sure people know they are signing up or that you will be sending them email based on a transaction with you, such as completing a form, making a donation, or RSVPing for an event.

Implementing a nonprofit email welcome series is a great way to get new people on your email list off to a good start!

2. Segment your list, which is an essential email marketing strategy to increase engagement.  By creating subgroups on your list, you can can send specific groups of people the information they care most about.

3. When people stop engaging, try to re-engage them. 

We have lots of advice on running re-engagement campaigns! In fact, our All-Access Pass Holders can download several pre-written re-engagement campaigns we created especially for nonprofits. Here is some additional advice:

4. When they stop engaging with your nonprofit’s emails, stop emailing them!

Send Engaging Nonprofit Email Marketing Content

Ensure that you are emailing often enough and providing opportunities for people to click on links in your emails. People need to engage with your email (click, forward, reply to) for the email companies to see that the people on your list really do want your emails.

Did you know we offer a special monthly Writing Prompts newsletter that helps you think more creatively about the content for the following month?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Screwed something up in that email that just went out? It’s OK! Resends often have better open rates than the originals! Check out 36 subject lines and phrases to help you fix email mistakes.

Focus on Improving Your Email Deliverability

Following the steps above will help improve your nonprofit’s email deliverability. Let’s look at a few more important considerations, especially since email deliverability is down, for a variety of reasons. 

Moving Your Nonprofit Email List? How to Warm Up a New IP Address.  You definitely need a plan if you are moving to a new email service provider (for example, switching from Constant Contact to MailChimp).

You also want to work on your email list health well ahead of big emailing times of the year. In the nonprofit sector, that is typically year-end, but depending on your mission, it could be other times of year too.

More on Nonprofit Email Marketing Trends

We frequently include questions about email in our annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, as do others who release trends reports.

Here are some specific briefings on nonprofit email trends:

Nonprofit Marketing Email Trends for 2023: Another Peek at the Data

5 Top Takeaways from the Nonprofit Email Report (NeonOne)

We teach a two-part webinar series yearly on the latest email marketing trends for nonprofits, so watch our training page and join our free community for even more resources. And if you have the All-Access Pass, you get access to our annual Nonprofit Email Playbook as well!

Published On: April 25, 2024|Categories: Email Marketing|