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Email Strategy

Observe these rules to develop an effective Email Strategy to support fundraising.

Know Your Goals -- In advance, set clear goals that describe who you want to contact and the action you want them to take.

Know Your Audience -- Gather basic demographic information first from your fundraising database. A brief pop-up poll, or a more extended survey, will help you gather more information.

Count -- Right from the beginning, count every thing. Install counters on your site. Count replies. Know what works for you and what does not. What works for one agency will not necessarily work for another.

Never Never Spam -- Fundraising online is about creating, building and strengthening relationships, not sending messages indiscriminately.

Offer Opt-In/Opt-Out Opportunities -- Make it easy, even for your supporters, to subscribe and unsubscribe from your lists. Ask everyone how and when they want to hear from you and do what they ask.


Invest In Infrastructure -- The more email relationships you maintain, the greater your return on the hours it takes to manage an email strategy. As the number of addresses you manage climbs, the more you will need the support of an email marketing service provider.

Deliver The Right Message To The Right Supporter At The Right Time -- Target the arrival time of your messages so that they will not be trashed with other messages that are considered non-essential.

Focus -- Don't deliver frivolous or multi-topic messages. Respect the stated interests of your opt-in lists and never send messages that are off topic.

Make It Attractive Yet Flexible -- Use the power of HTML Email to make your messages attractive and appealing. But always embed a plain text version that will be read by older email programs.

Personalize -- Personalize your emails. Technology can make sure that the name of the recipient appears on the first line of the message: "Dear Marc,"

Plan and Manage Frequency -- Plan a delivery schedule and stick to it. There is seldom a good reason to send more than one or two e-mails per month to your supporters.

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