By Jeff Kline


5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Email Marketing

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Whether you call it an email blast, an e-newsletter or a mass email campaign, it’s all email marketing—and if done right, it can be one of the most effective marketing strategies for nonprofits. In today's blog post, I'll discuss five reasons why your nonprofit should be leveraging this strategy. But first, let's get you introduced to the concept of email marketing.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the practice of sending an email to a list of people in an effort to sell them something—or, in the case of nonprofits, to get them to become a member, make a donation, register for an event or convert in some other way. The most important components of email marketing include:

  • Building and managing a list of email subscribers
  • Crafting a strategic message
  • Analyzing open rates and click-throughs

Performing all of these tasks requires the use of email marketing software. Popular email marketing products include Constant Contact and MailChimp. Here at Accrisoft, we use the email marketing software included in Accrisoft Freedom. (Stay tuned for a future post comparing the top email marketing software.)

Now that you have a better understanding of email marketing, let's talk about why you should start incorporating this into your marketing strategy immediately! 

5 Reasons Why Your Nonprofit Should Be Using Email Marketing 

1) More effective than social media (for customer acquisition)

Don’t get me wrong, social media is an extremely important component in any nonprofit’s marketing strategy. That’s why I wrote an entire blog series on it. Social media is a great channel for interacting with your audience and strengthening your personal relationships with them. And that’s an important first step toward reaching your ultimate goal—the conversion.

But when it comes to converting people into members, donors, customers and supporters, email marketing is the way to go. 

Forbes recently published an article on a study performed by Custora. The study found that customer acquisition via email marketing has quadrupled in the last four years. Email marketing now accounts for nearly 7% of all customer acquisitions that occur online.

For customer acquisition, email marketing is much more effective than social media.

2) An audience more likely to convert

One of the reasons email marketing is so effective for driving sales is that the people on your email list actually want to receive your messages. 

This phenomenon occurs as a result of two different scenarios:

  • Opt-In Scenario: People voluntarily signed up to receive your emails because they like your organization and want to receive communications from you. (For example, to opt in to my blog, you can fill out the "Subscribe By Email" form to the right.)
  • Opt-Out Scenario: You manually added to people to your email list, and when they began receiving emails, many of them clicked the “unsubscribe” link. But some of them chose not to opt out because they found the information to be relevant and valuable. (Below, you can see that my blog email contains an "unsubscribe" link.)

 opt-out email marketing

By following the Opt-In and Opt-Out strategies, your email list will only contain people who are more likely to convert into a supporter of your organization.

3) A more personalized channel

I don’t like the term “email blast” because I think it gives email marketing a bad reputation. It implies that you are blasting a single message out to thousands of contacts—in other words, spamming.

But in email marketing, what you’re really doing is segmenting your audience into lists, and sending each list a tailored email message that resonates with them and provides them with something of value. 

When you write a post on social media, you address your audience as a whole (“To all of our customers, we would like to say…”). But email marketing software allows you to address people individually by name, and privately in their personal inbox. According to Adestra, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 22.2% more likely to be opened.

create a personalized subject line using email marketing software

4) Mobile devices allow people to check their email constantly

Due to the prevalence of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), people are checking their emails all the time—in line at Starbucks, during the commute to work, in the waiting room at the dentist office, at the grocery store.

This infographic from KISSmetrics shows how, from 2011 to 2012, open rates on mobile devices increased significantly, while desktop open rates fell.


5) Measurable

There’s no guesswork in email marketing. When you use email marketing software, you can track who opened your email, which links were clicked, and how many people unsubscribed. These analytics make it easy to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t, so your future emails can be more successful.

These are the type of analytics we receive when using Accrisoft Freedom Email Marketing:

example of Accrisoft Freedom Email Marketing analytics 

UP NEXT: 9 Email Marketing Ideas for Nonprofits

Are you using email marketing to its fullest potential? Come back next week for a list of 9 email ideas that are perfect for nonprofits!

Email Marketing Software included with Accrisoft websites



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