Skip to content
Home » Blog » Email Marketing for Non-profits: Practical Tips and Examples

Email Marketing for Non-profits: Practical Tips and Examples

  • by

Email advertising and marketing can do wonders for nonprofit organizations.

From spreading consciousness and constructing relationships with subscribers to turning supporters into donors. Email advertising and marketing can assist you obtain all these objectives.

If you’ve by no means run email campaigns earlier than, otherwise you’ve executed some however wish to make sure you’re doing it appropriately, you’re in the fitting place.

Through this text, we’d like to assist your nonprofit group begin utilizing email advertising and marketing to its fullest potential.

Below, we’ve gathered all the perfect practices, suggestions, and nonprofit email marketing campaign concepts to encourage your individual campaigns.

Let’s begin by reviewing the explanation why email advertising and marketing is efficacious for nonprofits.

Table Of Contents

Editor’s observe

This article is a content material collaboration between advertising and marketing specialists at GetResponse – an email advertising and marketing platform and nonprofit group tech consultants at TechSoup – a nonprofit tech market.

Why is email advertising and marketing important for nonprofit organizations? 

1. Most of us have an email tackle 

Email is simply the most well-liked channel of communication worldwide. It grew to become common as a result of it’s low-cost and accessible – nearly everybody who makes use of the Internet has an email account and sends emails. Whether you reside in Asia, Europe, Africa, or America – you need to use email to speak electronically.

2. Email is private

Email advertising and marketing permits nonprofits to have interaction with their viewers in a extra private manner.

Nonprofits can phase their email checklist primarily based on the pursuits and preferences of their viewers and ship focused email campaigns that resonate with them.

Personalized emails with related content material and calls-to-action can enhance engagement and drive donations and different types of assist.

3. Email advertising and marketing is cost-effective

Most advertising and marketing channels are pay-to-play. Even in the event you’ve constructed an engaged viewers on Facebook, the platform will restrict your natural attain and power you to maintain spending cash on advertisements. This isn’t the case with email advertising and marketing.

If you’ve acquired somebody’s permission to contact them by way of email, you’re nearly assured to achieve their inbox, supplied that you just observe email advertising and marketing finest practices.

As a end result, the one factor that you must pay to run email campaigns is your email advertising and marketing service. Their worth is often primarily based on the scale of your email checklist, and they arrive with many built-in instruments that’ll provide help to get your campaigns off the bottom in moments.

Free Email Templates in GetResponse.
Examples of free email templates in GetResponse

Also, the variety of emails you ship doesn’t impression the fee. This manner, you possibly can give attention to constructing your checklist with people who find themselves prone to develop into common donors and run a number of campaigns to realize that objective.

If you’re wanting for a trusted resolution, we propose you take a look at GetResponse. As a non-profit, you’re eligible for a 50% discount on email advertising and marketing providers.

If you’d relatively store round, right here’s a helpful checklist of the perfect e-newsletter software program, together with info on the options they provide.

4. Email supplies a excessive return on funding

According to a latest examine by DMA, the common email ROI is 38:1. This signifies that for each greenback you make investments in email advertising and marketing, you possibly can count on 38 {dollars} in return. And in the event you usually run A/B checks in your emails, you possibly can generate an much more spectacular return in your funding. 

That means you gained’t have to fret concerning the worth of email advertising and marketing software program. Instead, you’ll be capable to calculate the return on funding from the instruments included in your plan, e.g., webinars, touchdown pages, and automated emails.

5. Measurable outcomes

Email advertising and marketing is a extremely measurable advertising and marketing channel.

In their analytics dashboards, email advertising and marketing platforms present nonprofits with key information about their campaigns’ efficiency. This consists of metrics similar to opens, clicks, conversion charges, and gross sales income.

GetResponse Email Analytics dashboard main view.
GetResponse email analytics dashboard.

Equipped with this information, nonprofits can refine their messaging, determine key viewers segments, and optimize their campaigns for higher outcomes.

Most necessary email advertising and marketing instruments for non-profits

The key email advertising and marketing instruments that assist nonprofits plan and implement their email advertising and marketing technique are:

Email advertising and marketing platform

Professional email e-newsletter software program instruments empower your advertising and marketing group to construct relationships with supporters and develop your donor base. Marketers can create great-looking emails with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor and even AI-generative instruments.

AI subject line generator from GetResponse
AI topic line generator from GetResponse

Collect helpful details about subscribers and create contact segments utilizing tags and customized fields. For instance, by dividing the contact checklist into separate email segments like subscribers, supporters, one-off donors, and common donors, you possibly can flip your email advertising and marketing instrument right into a donor administration platform.

Email advertising and marketing platforms additionally present a excessive supply charge and be sure that your campaigns keep away from the spam folder.

Forms and popups

A subscription kind is a kind positioned on an internet site or weblog the place the customers can fill within the fields with their information to obtain emails on matters associated to your nonprofit. The major objective of the subscription kind is opting-in supporters to your mailing checklist.

You can both use an embedded signup kind – a kind that’s a part of your web site’s format – or a popup – a small window that seems on high of your web page.

Popup form templates available in GetResponse.
Popup kind templates accessible in GetResponse.

Landing pages

A touchdown web page is an easy web site with a transparent name to motion. You can use drag and drop editor to create efficient fundraising touchdown pages. Give folks a cause to donate by demonstrating the impression of their contributions.

You may use touchdown pages to share tales of actual folks impacted by your initiatives with completely different audiences. Add subscription types to those pages and develop your potential donor base. Always current the advantages of signing up for your e-newsletter, e.g., that you just’ll inform donors how their cash is spent and what impression it has on the trigger.


Webinars are positively among the many best email advertising and marketing instruments. You can use webinars to get new email subscribers by discussing fascinating matters or donors by operating reside fundraising occasions. Webinars ought to be part of your email technique: as soon as potential donors register for your webinar, you possibly can ship them email sequences earlier than and after the occasion.

A helpful function it is best to think about are on-demand webinars. You can document reside occasions and flip them into pre-recorded occasions folks can watch at their comfort.

Community Events and Webinars - screenshot of a landing page.
A web page devoted to neighborhood occasions and webinars on the TechSoup Global web site

Paid Ads

Facebook Ads and Google Ads can tremendously assist email advertising and marketing for nonprofits. You can allocate finances to get in entrance of latest audiences, construct your email checklist, and discover new donors. Also, in the event you join your Facebook Pixel with email advertising and marketing software program, you possibly can run retargeting advertisements to deliver subscribers again to your web page.

Website Builder

Having a devoted web site for your nonprofit group can actually set issues in movement. An internet site supplies a real base of operations for your entire on-line endeavors. If you’re wanting for a nonprofit web site builder, attempt GetResponse’s Website Builder. It’s completely free to get began, and we offer a 50% low cost on paid plans for organizations that require extra capabilities.

How to start out with email advertising and marketing in a non-profit?

Great email outcomes begin with nice planning. Write down your objectives and develop a nonprofit email advertising and marketing technique that can use emails to ship the fitting info to the fitting folks on the proper time. And what’s much more necessary, guarantee your viewers is aware of what to do with the knowledge they obtain.

Follow these steps to organize your nonprofit email advertising and marketing technique for success.

Step 1. Build your email checklist

Inform your goal viewers about the advantages of joining your email list. Again, give attention to motion: will they be capable to overview the outcomes of accomplished initiatives, share their opinion on key matters, donate cash, or assist your trigger otherwise? Make positive folks know why they ought to subscribe.

Step 2. Get to know your viewers

Email will not be solely about offering your contacts with info. For fairly a while now, it permits you to get to know the folks in your checklist. You can design two-way communication and ask your contacts for their info wants and preferences. When you realize what your viewers is about, you possibly can create content material they’ll have interaction with.   

Step 3. Build consciousness about your trigger

Share your mission, objectives, and initiatives with the goal viewers. Make positive all people is aware of what your group is about and learn how to be part of the trigger.

Step 4. Keep your viewers knowledgeable

lead by instance. If you name for motion, present that you’re all about motion your self. Share mission statuses and present a abstract with key info as soon as they’re accomplished. Being clear about your initiatives supplies context for nice content material concepts and helps your group achieve credibility.  

Step 5. Collect donations 

invite contacts to assist your non-profit financially. You can A/B take a look at campaigns for one-off and recurring donations and shortly uncover the simplest messaging and incentives.

Step 6. Segment your viewers

accumulate details about your contacts and group them primarily based on their pursuits (e.g., favourite initiatives, occasions, content material), email engagement, and their place within the funnel (contact, one-time donor, common donor, and so forth.)

Proper contact list segmentation has a huge effect on all efficiency metrics of your email advertising and marketing. Emails tailor-made to particular person contact segments have a number of occasions larger open and click-through charges in comparison with email blasts send to everyone on the list

Step 7. Make positive your content material’s high degree

Ensure your content material bridges the hole between your organizational objectives and your viewers’s info wants. Figure out what info folks must assist your group actively. Create tips for your content material so that you could preserve high quality over time. 

Step 8. Stay compliant

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is Europe’s present privateness regulation. Adopted in April 2016, it replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive – and marks the largest change in information safety in 20 years. 

You must adjust to the GDPR when: 

  • your group relies within the European Union (EU), 
  • you course of the private information of people within the EU. 

If you employ GetResponse, your group can relaxation straightforward understanding that your – and your contact’s – information is protected, safe, and actively protected. 

For extra info concerning GDPR compliance, learn the GetResponse Earns Official Declaration of GDPR Compliance weblog.

Email advertising and marketing finest practices for non-profits

Below you’ll discover tried and examined methods to make use of emails and email sequence to show contacts (your email readers) into common donors. These concepts will provide help to kick off an important points of email advertising and marketing. Once you begin, you possibly can benchmark email outcomes towards your earlier expertise and enhance with each the instruments and messages.

1. Create e-newsletter templates 

A well-designed e-newsletter template is extraordinarily necessary for email advertising and marketing success, and right here’s a case examine with TechSoup Polska that proves it: 1200% enhance of orders worth from a e-newsletter over a 12 months.  

There are many points to take into consideration when designing email templates. If you’re interested by designing your first email, it’s a good suggestion to make use of one of many pre-designed templates and customise it to your wants. 

Screenshot of predesigned email templates in GetResponse.
Predesigned email templates in GetResponse.

Take a have a look at the foundations that TechSoup Polska follows whereas creating their newsletters: 

Structure. We divide our content material into sections to facilitate info comprehension. 

Consistency. We all the time use model colours and make the most of related graphic parts. 

Clarity. We try to maintain our newsletters clear and not overloaded with content material. 

Adjusting messages to the goal group. We direct particular content material to chose recipient teams (e.g. we inform customers of Google for Nonprofits about Google Ad Grants coaching). 

Image of newsletter templates used by TechSoup Polska.
Newsletter templates used by TechSoup Polska

Here are just a few items of recommendation from Liza Nema, Project Coordinator at TechSoup Polska, on learn how to put together an expert e-newsletter template:

  • Think about what sort of content material you’ll be sending to your recipients. 
  • Choose a template. 
  • Customize the template in response to your wants – use email editor to alter the colours to be according to your model, add logos and different graphic parts. 
  • Add a call-to-action in order that your recipients can carry out the specified motion: donate cash, join for an occasion, and so forth. 
  • Before you ship your e-newsletter, examine its preview for desktop and cell gadgets. Make positive your campaigns each look and work nice.
  • Analyze statistics and modify your content material primarily based on that information. Check your best-performing campaigns and select a benchmark email for additional campaigns.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s good to refresh your templates each now and then and bear in mind to keep up your basic model graphic parts.

If you’re wanting for in-depth info on learn how to design nice email advertising and marketing templates, you’ll benefit from the Email Design Best Practices for 2022 article, the place Michael covers all the weather of an email intimately.

2. Automate email advertising and marketing communication

Once your e-newsletter template is prepared, you can begin automating your communication. You can use circumstances, filters, and actions to construct automation workflows – automated communication flows. 

The objective is to make use of automation to construct relationships with the folks in your contact checklist and assist them make the fitting selections. You can talk along with your viewers with nice precision utilizing information saved in your account. You can:  

  • Create automation occasions primarily based on customers’ habits 
  • Take motion primarily based on chosen circumstances 
  • Use filters for much more exact focusing on 
  • and so forth. 
An example of an automation template that allows splitting contacts after signup.
Automation template permitting you to separate contacts after signup to check which email performs finest.

Automation permits you to ship customized advertising and marketing experiences. You can monitor and charge prospects’ actions to create customized segments primarily based on particular information and standards. This manner, you possibly can ship customized and related emails to your viewers.

Once you automate your communication, you possibly can monitor efficiency, study out of your expertise and optimize the method. And most significantly, you save time and sources for different initiatives.

Here’s a fantastic case examine displaying how an ecommerce promoting artisanal espresso makes use of automation to teach new contacts: 54% of gross sales due to the tutorial marketing campaign. 

Examples of emails in LandCafe's automation workflow.
Emails in LandCafe’s automation workflow

The marketing campaign was carried out in response to the Learn -> Like -> Trust -> Buy circulation. As a non-profit, you possibly can simply adapt this technique and convert it to Learn -> Like -> Trust -> Donate.

3. Observe the outcomes of your email advertising and marketing campaigns

There are a number of components that contribute to efficient email advertising and marketing communication. Pay consideration to your on-line advertising and marketing statistics and use information to make higher selections. 

When it involves particular person emails, take note of engagement – a measure of how folks work together along with your emails. The hottest engagement metrics are:

  • Open Rate: the share of contacts who open a selected email out of your complete variety of subscribers. 
  • Click-through charge: the proportion of contacts who clicked on a hyperlink, CTA, or picture inside a selected email. 
  • Conversion charge: the proportion of contacts who full a objective expressed by the decision to motion. 
  • Unsubscribe charge: the proportion of contacts who’ve opted out from the mailing checklist after an email marketing campaign.

Engagement is additionally crucial to deliverability – the power to ship emails to subscribers’ inboxes. That’s one more reason to continually search for the perfect potential content material for your viewers. And information can assist you with that.

If you’d like to check your outcomes towards business benchmarks, right here’s the Email Marketing Benchmarks report providing a great deal of helpful insights into emails, advertising and marketing automation, touchdown pages, and webinars.

4. Find bottlenecks and enhance email advertising and marketing efficiency

It’s not potential to create a excellent email advertising and marketing program or marketing campaign. There’s all the time room for enchancment. That’s why in your profession, you’ll see some nice, common, and relatively poor outcomes. And it’s completely OK so long as you continue to learn from your expertise and carry on testing new concepts.

The commonest points you observe originally are:

Slow email checklist progress. Building an inventory organically with the audience takes time. But it doesn’t imply that it is best to sit and wait. Actually, there’s a lot you are able to do to velocity up the list-building course of. You can: 

  • add a pop-up kind to your web site: pop-up types are laborious to overlook, and in the event you clarify why becoming a member of your email checklist is a good suggestion, you possibly can count on a excessive conversion charge. 
  • run a contest: competitors could be each a sign-up incentive and an concept to have interaction along with your viewers. 
  • write a weblog put up: write about your group, highlighting certainly one of your key initiatives. Add a sign-up kind or a hyperlink to your sign-up web page. 
  • add an opt-in hyperlink to your email signature: I’m positive you ship numerous emails each month. Make positive your recipients know they will sign-up for a e-newsletter.  
  • discover partnerships: discover folks and organizations with an analogous audience and supply them visitor posts and joint email campaigns. A robust community of partnerships is extremely helpful. 
  • run a webinar: webinars are an effective way to construct a stable contact checklist. Do the analysis and select a subject that’s fascinating for your audience. Run promotional campaigns and invite folks to register. Webinars are additionally excellent for content material partnerships. Team up with different organizations to get in entrance of their viewers.

Read extra to discover ways to construct an email checklist from scratch and learn how to create a popup in moments.

The following three KPIs may relate to contact engagement. The key to a excessive engagement charge is relevance. That’s why segmentation is so necessary. If you group contacts primarily based on their info wants and preferences, you’ll be capable to plan and ship communication they may have interaction with.

Low open charge. People are prone to open emails with the knowledge they discover helpful. Make positive that the three parts seen within the inbox earlier than opening an email signify the contents of the message. The three parts are: 

  • sender: ensure folks know that the email comes from a good sender – you 
  • topic line: spark curiosity, draw consideration however confer with the contents of the email 
  • preheader: use this additional area to elucidate or broaden on the topic line

Low click-through charge. Make positive your emails are mobile-friendly. Your name to motion ought to be clear and straightforward to observe. You can run A/B checks to seek out out what content material and messaging engages your viewers most.

Low conversion charge. When you see that individuals open your emails and click on the supplied hyperlinks however don’t do the motion you have been hoping for (e.g. don’t register for reside occasions, don’t donate) it is best to take a step again and look rigorously at your worth proposition and viewers.

First, clearly clarify the objectives of your group and the methods you’re going to realize them. Then put your message in entrance of the fitting crowd – look for people who find themselves prone to assist your trigger. Send the fitting message to the fitting folks and simplify the donation course of – in order that it’s fast and straightforward.

Note: You’ll additionally wish to guarantee your email checklist is hygienic and nicely maintained. To study extra about this, learn our email checklist administration information.

Inspiring examples of nonprofit emails

There’s no higher supply of inspiration than a fantastic email out of your business. And boy, are there many nice emails despatched by non-profit organizations! Once once more, we teamed up with Liza to point out you just a few inspiring examples from our inboxes:

Nonprofit email advertising and marketing instance 1: Kiva

An email from Kiva.
An email with a short abstract of 2020 and inviting supporters to start out 2021 robust 

What is that this email marketing campaign about?

Kiva is a nonprofit group that allows you to simply mortgage cash to folks that can’t get a mortgage from a financial institution.

This marketing campaign supplies a abstract of their campaigns in 2020, highlighting how many individuals supported them, how a lot cash they’ve donated, and what number of loans they’ve made.

What’s so go about this email marketing campaign?

After getting the recipients enthusiastic about how a lot impression they’re making, the email leads you to a single CTA, letting you lend cash instantly.

This is a superb tactic that may assist nonprofit organizations have interaction their viewers higher and collect extra donations from their supporters.

Nonprofit email advertising and marketing instance 2: Kiva

A fundraising email.
An email that includes the loans nearing the top of their fundraising interval

What is that this email marketing campaign about?

This email marketing campaign tells the story of certainly one of many individuals whose life modified after they acquired a mortgage from Kiva.

What’s so go about this email marketing campaign?

Sometimes it’s laborious to get your donors engaged in your trigger. What can assist is sharing a relatable story that reveals the actual impression a single donation could make.

In this email marketing campaign, Kiva not solely reveals an instance of an individual whose life modified after they acquired a mortgage but additionally suggests which loans are about to run out.

This is a superb tactic that may drive quick responses from individuals who could in any other case hesitate to take motion.

Nonprofit email advertising and marketing instance 3: Movember

Movember email raising awareness.
An email sharing the mission and progress the Movember basis made thus far earlier than the World Cancer Day

What is that this email marketing campaign about?

Movember is the main charity altering the face of males’s well being globally, specializing in psychological well being and suicide prevention, prostate most cancers, and testicular most cancers.

This email marketing campaign shares the mission and progresses the Movember basis made thus far earlier than World Cancer Day.

What’s so go about this email marketing campaign?

With this email, Movember manages to drive consciousness amongst individuals who may not in any other case know the model’s mission. What’s value noting is that they’re doing this round World Cancer Day, which takes place in February, relatively than November that’s usually related to the charity.

Nonprofit email advertising and marketing instance 4: Movember

An email with research and health projects funded by donors.
An email displaying groundbreaking analysis and well being initiatives funded by donors

What is that this email marketing campaign about?

This email reveals a abstract of all of the groundbreaking analysis and well being initiatives that have been funded by folks supporting the Movember trigger.

What’s so go about this email marketing campaign?

There’s no higher option to get your supporters and donors engaged than to point out them they’re making an actual impression by becoming a member of your trigger. This email does it nicely. Not solely is informative but additionally very well-designed. In addition, the email ends with one major CTA – make a $50 donation – that’s laborious to overlook or ignore.

Back to you

In conclusion, email advertising and marketing is usually a highly effective instrument for nonprofit organizations to achieve their audience, promote their mission, and drive donations. By following the perfect practices outlined on this article, you possibly can create efficient email campaigns that resonate along with your subscribers and obtain your group’s objectives.

Remember to maintain your emails customized, participating, and visually interesting, and don’t neglect to trace your metrics to optimize your campaigns regularly.

Finally, remember the fact that constructing a powerful email checklist takes time and effort, so be affected person and persistent in your efforts. With the fitting technique and instruments, email advertising and marketing is usually a helpful asset for your nonprofit group and provide help to make a significant impression on the world.

Pro tip 💡 Are you prepared to start out your individual campaigns? Be positive to take a look at the low cost for email advertising and marketing providers for nonprofit organizations, and see you in our inboxes!

This article was final up to date in March 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *