1. Make sure your layout is responsive. One critical component of your year-end appeal is its ability to be read easily on a mobile device. According to the email marketing platform Adestra.com, mobile email opens accounted for 59% of all emails sent from their platform worldwide in September 2018. With similar findings from other email marketing platforms, your message needs to be easily readable by users on the go. Furthermore, you need to provide a simple way for users to give directly from that email on a mobile device. With the click of a button, your donors should be able to arrive at your donation form and provide all the details necessary to make a donation on the spot.
2. Keep it brief. Given that your users may be on the go when they receive your appeal, it’s important to keep your message as concise as possible to communicate your needs and the benefit of their involvement in your cause. Keep in mind that many recipients will scan rather than read the full contents of your email. Be sure they can easily see the important info and direct them to a compelling call to action.
3. Focus on the donor. When writing an appeal for donations, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re asking an individual. You’re not asking a crowd of people, you’re asking one person to give of his or her money to support your cause. Keep it personal. If this person is on your mailing list because he or she has given or volunteered in the past, be sure to first thank them for what they’ve already done to support your cause. Consider explaining what specific dollar amounts could do to benefit your cause. For example, if $20 could provide school books for one student for the school year, let the donor know this. Just be sure the donation amounts described align with this donor’s giving history.
4. Segment your mailing list. In order to ensure your email is as specific as possible, be sure to segment your mailing list based on the amounts of past donations. Rather than telling someone whose given $1,000 in the past what a $50 donation could do for your organization, be sure to organize your lists so your ask is in keeping with the amounts given by donors in the past.
5. Talk about results. One thing it’s important to emphasize is how your organization has used the funds you’ve been given to date to benefit those you serve. Tell real-life stories of an individual or a group of individuals who have directly benefited from your services, and explain how each donation can make a difference.
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