2019 Online Fundraising Trends

Email is Not Dead

By Kiersten Turos | Nov 1, 2019

Truly, it isn’t. Let’s get some statistics out of the way from the start:

  • With every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a $38 return (Nielson DMA)
  • Personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates (Yes Lifecycle Marketing)
  • Sending 3 abandoned cart emails results in 69% more purchases (Omnisend)
  • Adding video to your email can improve click rates by 300% (Martech Advisors)
  • 49% of all emails are opened on a mobile device (IBM)
  • 73% of Millennials prefer communications to come via email (Hubspot)
  • 99% of consumers check their email every day (Hubspot)

So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one. Email marketing is one of the best ways to attract and retain supporters and donors.

How do I harness the power of email marketing for my online fundraising?

Personalization. Learn about your donors and their behavior, and use this information to communicate with them in a more deliberate way. If you aren’t collecting browsing, purchasing, and preference data—start now. Your counterparts already are. Treat your email marketing as a “luxury” channel for your cause. Your customers’ email addresses should be reserved for highly relevant, VIP-style donor content. Your goal is to put the right content in front of the right audience at the right time. Inspire action through connection.

Brand Distinction. Is your brand academic or casual? Is it bold or modest? Is it conversational? Know who you are as an organization and let that personality shine through in every email communication. Consistency is key to building brand recognition, connecting with customers, and—if you do it right—creating brand ambassadors.

Voice-Based Interaction. Intelligent assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are in a process of constant improvement. Competition is fueling rapid change focused on streamlining conversations and achieving a more natural-sounding dialogue. As donors use fewer screens, email copy should be light and easy to read.

Automation Tools and Artificial Intelligence. These tools allow organizations to further automate their marketing efforts without sacrificing quality in their marketing decisions. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Know your options and learn to use them.

Email-Based, Web-Like Experience. Donors have busy lives. Be on the side of saving them time. With tools like Google AMP for email, brands can create more engaging, interactive, and actionable experiences within the email itself. Why send your donor elsewhere if you can achieve the action you desire on the first touchpoint? This technology is in its infancy, but the potential is apparent. Keep an eye out for it.

2020 is coming in hot and if one thing is sure to survive the burn—it’s email marketing. My bet is that adding personalization AI, interactive content, and VIP-style delivery to your email fundraising efforts will yield measurable growth. Collect ALL THE DATA and put quality ahead of quantity. In other words, find relatable ways to connect with potential supporters.

Stop overlooking the power of email. Make it a part of your fundraising strategy ASAP.


Stay ahead of online fundraising trends

The Author

Kiersten Turos

Kiersten simplifies tech-talk to help businesses and nonprofits leverage their design and marketing efforts for success. She is the creative engine behind k2d—illustrating what the masses cannot and translating business static into universal reference for all. Her affinity for reinventing complex tasks is the hook that makes her writing irresistible. Like a life hack specialist for design and marketing, she makes life in the Digital Era easier, more practical, and convenient.