As discussed in the previous three posts in this series, developing a long-term strategy for engagement requires that you first take stock of the current state of your organization’s assets and audience. This helps you highlight where you are hitting the mark and identify opportunities for improvement.

This post focuses on the fourth element in our six-part how to.

  1. Messaging
  2. Segmentation
  3. Website
  4. Emails
  5. Social Media
  6. Multi-channel Integration

Donors count on receiving emails from nonprofits, and look to these communications as a source of current news. You should continue to use this medium as a means to communicate frequently with donors and provide them with information, as well as calls to action. As you create content and calls to action, take into account what you’ve learned about your messages and audience from earlier audit activities. Also, remember that the easier it is to perform a task, the more likely a donor is to engage.

To audit your email campaigns, analyze the results of email over a significant time period (e.g., 12-18 months) to establish averages for key metrics such as open rates, conversion rates and participation rates. Dig down a layer deeper by looking at which messages were most successful in terms of these metrics. Try to identify what those messages had in common (e.g., compelling content, attractive graphics, a specific deadline, a simple ask) so that you can inform decisions about future email campaigns.

Also, assess your use of automated email series (e.g., a Welcome Series for new donors; a Monthly Gift Appeal Series to engage donors) and their overall effectiveness.

To learn more, download A Guide to Long Term Donor Cultivation or check back next week for the next post in this series.