Successful Email Campaigns 01/22/2008 web 2.0
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Email campaigns can be faster and less expensive than full on direct mail campaigns, but with that in mind there are many potential pitfalls to avoid.

Seth Godin says:

“It’s super easy to ignore a direct (e)mail solicitation when all you have to do is hit delete and no one notices.”

So you ask…

What can I do do to give my organizations email campaign the best opportunity to sell a product or acquire new donors?

From my experience a successful email campaign will include these Six essential elements:First Impressions. Give the reader a clear and meaningful reason to donate in the first glance or at least first sentence or two. Email campaigns need to be much more to the point than direct mail letters. With an email you have around 9 seconds or less to compel the reader to read on or take the next step.

  • Easy and Secure Donations. Make it as easy and secure to donate as possible. Pay close attention to what a donors experience feels like. If you were to donate to your organization online today would you be inclined to donate again and if no, why not? I have seen online donation pages that required me to read and agree to a whole page of small print before I could donate… now that was not an organization I would want to donate to!
  • Three, Two, One action! Include a short video about your organization that is well produced. Your movie doesn’t need to be on par with Steven Spielberg’s latest movie production… just something that will say in images what it is you do, why a donor should give and show in images what past donations have been used for. Sites like YouTubemake it very easy to post videos online easing the time and production costs of making our own video.

*See the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley’s well produced video above if you need some inspiration!

  • Target Your Audience. Choosing the best fitting email lists can help you narrow down that vast field of potential donors and don’t forget to test, test and test to find the right lists! Here is a compilation of most of the Jewish email lists on the market toady: Jewish Email Lists
  • Be Professional. Have a professional, well designed and action friendly web-page. While this might not be the focus of your online marketing campaign, if interested, most web savvy donors will take a peek at your website to find out more about your organization and how they can get involved. Check out this wonderfulJewish Web Site Design firm if your organization is thinking about redesigning it’s web site. The Negev Design web site folks did an excellent job with Negev Direct’s web site and we are very satisfied customers.
  • Opt In. Invite he potential donor or buyer to opt-in to your email list to receive periodic updates from you. You can assure your new member that they will not be receiving spam from you, only offers that you think they would be interested in. If you don’t ask you can’t grow your list

And this just in from Denny Hatch…

Confuse ’em, ya lose ’em

Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs. Andrew J. Byrne

“Notice how in those e-mails where the campaign wants action, it sprinkles live hyperlinks throughout the message. Thus the moment a prospect decides to act, the click-on mechanism is right there. Force a person to hunt for a hyperlink and chances are you have lost the response.*

Make it easy to order (or donate). Elsworth Howell, Founder Grolier Enterprises and Howell Book House.