July 16th, 2020
Are your emails beginning to feel stale and not interesting to you or the reader? Are you getting bored when it comes to email content development and template creation? Are your email open rates and engagements not where you want them to be?
STOP! Before you hit send on your next email, try some of these ways to spice up your emails and have a little fun with your supporters:
1. A picture is worth a thousand words.
- Use pictures to tell your story, whether it’s selling an item, needing donations for a worthy cause, or just an update from the CEO. Photographs can add that bit of spice to your email content and allow you to shorten the copy. Make sure the photos you choose relate directly to your copy, especially if the reader is not familiar with your organization’s activities.
- If the email is coming from a staff member, include his or her image next to the signature line. This helps the reader to connect with the author, it makes the communication seem more personable, and strengthens the relationship.
- Use animated GIFs … but sparingly. Animated pictures (GIFs) are a fun and popular way to help build anticipation, curiosity, and showcase emotions that might be lost from text-only emails.
- Include videos as links. Videos rank with the highest recall levels, and can often explain an action better than text. Videos also create involvement and can cross promote with your social media accounts (YouTube anyone?)
2. Need more clicks? Want to know what your donors like? Go interactive!
- Email polls can engage your donor’s interests while increasing your click-through rates. Keep them short, sweet, and simple. Simple one-question polls are best, and if you need feedback from a recent event/webinar, a 3-5 question survey works well. The longer the survey, the fewer the responses.
- Once your audience has answered a poll, close the loop! Thank them for their participation and update them on how you are using their answers to help make their experience with your organization better. You might want to report back on the results, too!
- Test your constituent’s knowledge. We all love trivia—many game shows (like Jeopardy!) have built vast audiences on trivia knowledge. It’s a fun and interactive way to increase your click-through rates. One MarkeTeam client deploys a trivia email every month about their organization, and it generally receives the highest click-through. You can educate your email recipients about your organization’s mission while also having fun!
- Do the unexpected and expected. Be innovative with your emails and provide content that highlights your mission. Provide opportunities to learn more, download items of interest, or reply to an email.
- Include social share buttons in your emails. Including social share buttons is an easy way for your organization to get FREE social media coverage and potentially reach new email subscribers and donors.
3. Content! Content! Content!
- Cross-deploy your organization’s social media, website and email content. This keeps your branding parallel across all communications and provides additional email content. If your organization posted an interesting YouTube video that’s gaining traction, redeploy as email. Take news stories from the website and share them. And if an email generates high click-through, make sure that content is also deployed on social media and on your site.
- Diversify your content! Have a mixture of cultivation and fundraising emails in the monthly line up. Newsletters, Thank yous, Close the Loops, fundraising, how-to’s, Did you know’s, and other formats make outreach interesting.
Having a schedule with a wide variety of content sources will keep you engaged in developing fresh emails and strategies while also building the relationship with your supporters and email recipients.
As always, whenever you have a new concept—TEST, TEST, TEST! Testing is great way to find out how receptive your email audience is to new creative approaches, content, or interactive buttons. Start slow, do not change everything all at once. Gauge your audience reactions and then build up from there.
Make email development and deployment interesting for all parties—you already have the creative skills to make it work for you!
Bethany Goodrum | Account Executive