Marketing

The basics of creating a nonprofit email marketing calendar

March 12, 2021 Nonprofits Decoded Team
Email marketing calendar basics and advice for nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations might not use email marketing as general companies do but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wary of the popularity and importance of email for marketing their services, programs or initiatives. In a worth, whether there are millions of people using a smartphone, the use and power of emails aren’t redundant. It is quite the contrary.

People genuinely open emails and take action, provided that the email attracts their attention and keeps them hooked from the get-go. This is where the email marketing calendar and strategy come to good use.

Here, we are going to share some of the basics that you need to understand when it comes to creating an actionable nonprofit email marketing calendar.

The advantages of email marketing for nonprofit organizations

For anyone in the marketing field, you know how impactful email marketing strategy is. It is one of the best ways to channel better value for your marketing strategies and outreach. If you are still contemplating why you should opt for email marketing for your nonprofit, here are a few reasons why.

Better engagement

We can’t stress this enough but if you want to keep your audience engaged, you need to work on email marketing strategies. It is an amazing way to keep your audience alert about the goodwill of the work you are doing with narration and storytelling.

Emails allow them to align their strategies, services, and agendas with their goals and values via email, approaching seem more actionable more personalized for the receiver. So, if you are trying to make your fundraising endeavor a successful one, opt for email marketing.

More donations

For most nonprofits, the primary aim is to generate new donors and raise money for the causes that they are supporting. With customized emails to the respective users, it enables the receiver to take the action from the email directly without being stuck in the loop. Instead of persistent and disturbing marketing strategies, email marketing is considered a more subtle yet effective mode of reaching out to potential donors without irking them to frustration.

Including a separate donate button as a call to action enables the receiver to take immediate action from the email and get everything sorted. It helps the nonprofit generate more donations with ease.

Improved participation

If you have a set of email subscribers list, make use of that. As a nonprofit, you want to network and make people aware of your activities. You can inform people about upcoming events or alert them about fundraisers that they can actively take part in.

Sometimes, it is the small gestures that go a long way. With emails, you can keep the subscribers in the loop and keep them informed of things that the normal social media outreach won’t do. You can also include a web-based ticketing system for rallies inside the emails.

Better credibility

In an era of technology, nobody is now stuck to old means of marketing. So, as a nonprofit, you need to jump on the bandwagon and implement ways that can help your brand and your organization grow without any issues. Email marketing is an amazing way to get your word and work out there to the audience that would likely work well with your interests.

When you are sending out customized and personalized emails to the subscribers, it helps them keep up with your work and trust your work ethics as a nonprofit and generally be more entwined with your work.

Determine your email marketing schedule

Now that you know how important email marketing is for nonprofits, the next step to creating your email marketing calendar is to determine a schedule. Now, if you look around on the internet for strategy, you are going to come up disappointed. Your strategy is subjective to your organization’s needs.

Instead of sending out random emails at a random time during the week, you need to maintain consistency instead. This is crucial to a successful email marketing calendar, which is usually part of a larger nonprofit content calendar. You want to send out enough emails to keep your audience hooked but not too much that ends up forcing them to unsubscribe from your email marketing list.

Curious how to format your email marketing content calendar? CoSchedule has put together a great starting point.

You don’t want to seem persistent and pushy. So, instead, draw up a schedule for when you will send the emails. You can automate the process using email marketing tools to further make the process a lot easier for you to handle.

Before deciding on a schedule, you need to sit down and decide how many emails you want to send. You want to assess what kind of target audience you have in your subscriber list and then draw out a plan accordingly. We’d generally suggest sticking to once a week as a maximum or once a month as a minimum.

Once you have the frequency of the emails decided, you can then decide which day you want to send the email and at what time. Try to send the email mid-week during the evening time when people are most likely going to open their emails.

Think about major events and holidays (Giving Tuesday, etc.)

As we just mentioned, when planning out your schedule for your email marketing calendar, you need to keep a check on the list of major events and holidays that are likely around the corner. As a nonprofit, you want to send out emails when you are raising money for fundraisers to help out families during Christmas or Thanksgiving. During such times, you need to get the most out of the situation by sending emails before the holidays and not during.

Also, every month has special days and weeks allocated to important cause awareness days. If your nonprofit supports any such events and you are going to raise money for them, you can plan your email market tactics a week or two ahead of time to collect enough by the day of the event.

Another important factor that the nonprofits need to make the most out of is Giving Tuesday. If you are from a Western country that celebrates Thanksgiving, you likely know about this day. It is the Tuesday following the Thanksgiving event, which marks the day of the holiday season fundraising event. If you want to make the most out of your nonprofit, you need to come up with a well-planned email marketing strategy that can help you find the most for your organization.

Keep in mind that you want to reel more donations in, so you need to plan the content calendar and the email marketing strategies ahead of time.

Tie in with your other fundraisers (such as annual appeal)

As a nonprofit, you want your audience to know about your journey and about the work that you are doing. So, as you are drawing up a list of the yearly content for your fundraisers and the overall campaigns that you are going to conduct, you must bind in your email marketing strategy based on that. This makes a lot of difference.

So, instead of just pushing out random emails sparsely throughout the year, you will have a complete annual email marketing calendar planned out that will further bind in well with the other content type that you are trying to push including social media posts and blogs.

Intersection of your content calendar with your email marketing calendar makes it a lot easier for you to reach more audiences and develop more authenticity among the potential donors and active participants.

Automate where possible

If you are a small or big nonprofit, you need to make use of automation. If you are spending half the time writing your email and then individually sending it out to people, that is all you’d do for the organization.

That is the last thing you want to do for the email marketing strategies. Instead, automate the process and have standard templates drawn out. Doing so helps you have a standard frame to just tweak the content and then send out the emails as a mass to people in a single click.

Review data and analytics, tweak where necessary

Last but not least is to keep track. You can’t understand the results of your marketing efforts until and unless you keep an eye out on the traction it generates. You need to check how many people are actively opening the emails, how long they are spending reading them, and how many people are sending your emails to the trash.

All of these metrics help you keep up with your efforts and help you understand what you are doing right and what needs to be changed. If the people are not even opening the email, you likely need a better subject line. If there are no conversions, you need a better call to action.

Keep up with the data and the metrics and make the necessary changes to drive better results.

What are the best analytics and metrics to track? Explore nonprofit KPIs that are key to success.

If you have been thinking of getting into email marketing for your nonprofit, there is no better time than now. You want to make the most out of the overall experience, so make sure that you take enough time out of the day to channel better outreach and engagement with the potential audience of your nonprofit.