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Inflight Briefing: 007

5 min read
Nov 15, 2022 2:50:12 PM
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Delivered weekly, the Inflight Briefing is designed as a blueprint for the builder and inspiration for the curious. It's for the purposeful (that's you!) doing marketing for good. 

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007: How effective are your emails?

There are a lot of pieces that go into making an email a success. Chris Barlow, chief happiness director at Beeline Marketing puts it bluntly, “Research shows that email is the number one fundraising channel.” So it really does matter how you write that email. 

From the subject line to the call to action, how do you find that perfect mix? Does one person on your team make the final call, like your boss? How do you know if you’re sending too many or too few emails? Are you even sending to the right people? And do you have a plan to win back recipients who are unengaged?

We’ve learned a few things by sending loads of emails, but we have to be honest — we still don’t know it all. Your audience is different from ours or any of the experts we’ve read, so we want to encourage you to hit send before you have every answer. Only after you try can you put the pieces together and begin to better serve and grow your community. 

- william (1)
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Snackable snippets 

When’s the last time you cleaned your email lists?

Content really matters in an email, but if you’re sending the best content in the world to someone who isn’t interested in the subject, it matters a lot less. Sending your emails to the right audience is essential to building engagement and having healthy unsubscribe levels. If you haven’t spent time recently cleaning that list up, that might be the best place to start.

Are you fighting to win back unengaged recipients?

Just because someone hasn’t been engaging with your emails doesn’t make them a lost cause. It’s important to have a strategy for every kind of person on your email list. Research has found that the best time to send this email is about three months after a person has dropped off with engagement. But it’s always a good time to find ways to engage with your community.

 Subject line 101

Daniel Murray produces an amazing newsletter and podcast called “The Marketing Millennials.” He spoke a few weeks back with email marketing expert, Jay Schwedelson, specifically about subject lines, and I have pages of notes from the conversation. I feel like I’m giving away the keys to the kingdom by sharing these resources.

What’s the right number of emails to send?

Within the world of email marketing, there’s always a conversation around the topic of how many emails to send. Everyone is looking for that Goldilocks number — not too many, not too few, but just right. The reality is that there isn’t a perfect number out there, and sometimes the best idea is to send more at specific times.

 Is your nonprofit in the business of serving its donors?

Chris Barlow, chief happiness director at Beeline Marketing — yes, that is his technical title, and yes, it is amazing — has some highly quotable lines during his conversation with Noah Barnett at Feathr. He’s convinced that if you serve your donors, they will be attracted to your brand and mission. Also, he’s thoroughly convinced that email is here to stay.
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In the news

Elon Musk is changing things quickly at Twitter. Some larger companies are not interested in the volatility and advertising less on the platform. This could be an opportunity for nonprofits to fill the gap or it may be a sign that it’s a good time to wait and see what happens. 

With the midterms leading toward a divided congress, this may be good news for nonprofits. Steve Taylor, a principal at a lobbying firm for nonprofits, Integer, said, “The fact that the margins are very slim is going to work very much in the favor of nonprofits.”
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Something for your inspiration folder


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