Email Marketing for Nonprofits | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Email Marketing for Nonprofits


Nonprofit emails taken to the next level

Americans donated $373.25 billion to charities in 2015. Learn how to spread the word and achieve more with email marketing for nonprofits.

Charitable giving is an upward trend. How could you help your organization raise funds? Send the right message at the right time with a great email marketing software.

Email marketing for nonprofits at a glance:

Budget option

A Google ad is likely to cost you a few bucks per click, which is a lot compared to cents you would spend with email marketing. Email marketing for nonprofits offers competitive prices.

Huge Reach

While not everyone is active on social media, there are hardly any people with no email accounts. According to Radicati, there are around 4 billion email accounts out there. That means one thing: HUGE opportunity.

Impressive ROI

Email marketing generates a 3800% ROI.

Email is the best channel considering ROI, probably because newsletter providers offer more personalization options than social media or Google AdWords. Moreover, you don’t need to compete that much for user attention. After all, e-mail produces less distraction and if a subscriber has opened your email, there’s a chance they will keep on reading. If the content is good, that is.

How successful email marketing for nonprofits works:

1. Build your mailing list

In order to send out successful nonprofit marketing emails, you need to start off building your email list.

One of great ways to grow your list would be creating online petitions and pledges with a newsletter signup form below. In that way, you will get emails from people who are passionate about your cause. Ask existing supporters to share petitions with their friends to expand the network.

Learn more here:

List Building Strategies

Spam Filter and Email Blacklists

2. Signup forms

In order to create an email list, you need to make sure your potential subscribers have the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter. Moreover, it is important that you go for double opt-in, to make sure that your subscribers know that they will receive updates from you. Lack of such consent might result in fines.
A good signup form should match your nonprofit’s corporate design.

With Newsletter2Go, you can get customizable signup forms that are optimized for mobile devices. After all, there’s a growing number of people who read emails on the go and you want to be where your subscribers are. Have them subscribe when they are on the move.

3. Audience Segmentation

You’re likely to have different types of audience that would like to receive specific updates from you. Your board of directors is expecting a different message than donors or a group of volunteers.

Furthermore, if you want to save time and go for marketing automation in the future, audience segmentation is the first step towards automated marketing campaigns.
It’s a powerful yet very intuitive feature that boosts email marketing for nonprofits very effectively.

How can you segment your audience? You can group them by these traits and many more:

User interests

Utilize this information to craft high quality newsletter with relevant content. Volunteering with a nonprofit or making a charitable donation stems usually from a personal or emotional decision. Utilize your newsletter to tell emotional stories and, consequently, drive engagement.
If you want to keep your biggest advocates with you, it would be prudent to learn about the reasons that attracted them to your nonprofit in the first place and then segment your donors accordingly.

Donation frequency

Matching the frequency of your email marketing efforts to the frequency of donations is key to success. Usually, you will be able to find the pattern one year after the donor had given his first contribution. Once you’ve have successfully found these patters, go deeper, for example segment by preferred giving channel or average gift size.


Target people in a particular area so that they could attend your event. Learn more here: Audience Segmentation

4. Campaign Creation

Now you’re ready to start building nonprofit marketing emails. You can select either a free template or go for a customized one that will match the corporate elements of your nonprofit and donation pages.

Looking for a professional newsletter? Feel free to check out our template library.

Once you’ve selected the template, you need to insert an image or two that will appeal to the heart. After all, an image says a thousand words. Which picture would tell the best story and appeal to your donors’ hearts?

If you are familiar with your donors’ interests and you segmented them into different interest groups, you will be more successful than sharing the same image to everyone. Some people would be tempted to donate if they see a beautiful place that needs to be protected, some will be propelled to act if they see an image of social injustice.

What subject line is more appealing? “It’s the last chance to donate”, Help us reach our goal?’”, “Help us improve more lives in 2016” or “Your tax-deductible gift to X”?

It all depends on your donors. Luckily, you can test out various subject thanks to multivariate A/B testing. All you need to do is to introduce up to three variants and the newsletter software will automatically send the best-performing variant.

5. Automated Campaign Creation

Setting up automated campaigns will increase subscriber retention. Here’s what you could send out:

  • welcome email
  • fundraising reminder email
  • event email
  • thank you email
  • re-engagement email

And so much more!

Basically, you can send trigger and lifecycle emails.

Trigger emails are sent out once your subscriber has taken an action, for example registered for your event. Trigger emails have a 152% higher open rate compared with standard emails.

On the other hand, lifecycle emails are sent on a regular basis, for example when your user has another newsletter subscription anniversary.

How many email clicks did your campaign get? Where exactly did people click? You will easily find answers to these questions and will learn much more with analytics. Newsletter2Go offers free reporting tools for powerful email marketing for nonprofits. Learn more here: Marketing Automation

6. Personalized Emails

Increase user engagement.

Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

Go beyond name personalization in the subject line. With a good newsletter software, you can do so much more… in almost no time. Once you’ve set up identifying traits to your contacts (age, location, gender etc.), you will find it easy to send relevant newsletters your subscribers wouldn’t want to miss.

How exactly could you personalize your newsletters? You could achieve astonishing effects with:

  • personalized design blocks
  • personalized subject lines
  • utilizing subscriber traits as a personalization tool

For example, you can start your email with:

Dear <Name>,

A <fundraising event in subscriber’s city> is coming up soon…

Utilize our powerful tool to learn more about your subscribers and target them with personalized content. Learn more here: Personalized newsletters

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.