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Are all your email subscribers the same? Of course not!

Some donate. Some volunteer. Some do both. And some have no CLUE how they got on your email list!

If you send all your email subscribers the exact same fundraising emails for every campaign — year-end or any other time — you’ll never unlock their full potential as supporters.

Think of it this way, if you’re at a party with coworkers or friends, would you approach each conversation the exact same way? Or would you try to connect with people by finding something in common — “Hey, heard you signed up for that 5k,” or “I live in West Village, too. Did you hear about the new zoning proposal?”

Segmenting your email list to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time will help you and your nonprofit get better fundraising results – more new donors, more renewals, more monthly donors and higher average gifts.

As you approach your year-end fundraising planning, consider these segmentation strategies for your campaign:

Donors vs non donors
Giving level (low dollar donors and high dollar donors)
Recurring donors
Lapsed donors

Action takers
Event attendees
People who downloaded content from your website

State by state

What might you do differently in these segments?

  • Send or suppress a particular email
  • Change the subject line
  • Send them to a donation landing page with a different (higher or lower) gift string
  • Ask prospects to make their first gift
  • Reference the relationship (as a XX level donor, or trusted volunteer)
  • Reference acquisition source, i.e. Care2 or  (“thank you for signing our petition in support of increased funding for early childhood education”)
  • Reference gift or membership anniversary
  • Reference their interest area (“as a member of our Safer Schools rapid response team”)
  • Adjust the minimum ask in the call to action (“chip in $5 or more,” or “$100 or more will make all the difference to a…”)
  • Test tone – institutional vs personal
  • Test length – shorter, more graphical appeal vs a longer appeal
  • Ask for a renewal, first time gift, or upgrade monthly gift
  • Customize the content by geography (In North Carolina…)

What’s your segmentation strategy? Share your experience with other readers in the comments section.

If you’ve never segmented your email list before, make your segmentation simple – 2 segments.

Give yourself more time for production and analysis. Remember what legendary management consultant Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets improved.”

  • Did we get a higher average gift by sending certain donors to a different landing page, without sacrificing the overall response rate?
  • Were we able to recruit new monthly donors by sending a special ask to a segment of the most likely monthly donors?
  • Did the prospect segment respond better to simpler, shorter messaging, or did they respond at the same rate?

Looking to kick your online fundraising up a notch? Join Kerri for an upcoming Nonprofit Marketing Guide webinar exclusive: “Advanced Techniques for Boosting Your Online Fundraising Campaign,” Thursday, Nov. 10, 1pm ET.


Published On: October 20, 2016|Categories: Email List Management, Email Marketing|