3 Tech Tips for Your Fund Appeal Email
When I started a fund appeal email yesterday, some bumps in the road surprised me. Jump in and I’ll take you past the detours so you have an effective email. These ideas work for Outlook, Gmail and MailChimp.
Our preference is to send a paper version of our fund appeal ask. After I sent it, I put a non-ask version of our fund appeal as a “prayer letter post” on our website. The blog post went out through MailChimp as an email. The greeting was personalized, but that was it.
I decided this year to be more intentional for people not receiving a paper fund appeal ask. I thought I would try a specific email ask for some people who prefer receiving emails. If you want or need to send an email version of your fund appeal, I hope this post is helpful. Follow along as I tried to do this last night.
The Design of the Fund Appeal Email
I read this Constant Contact article for the basic look I wanted: The 5 Essential Elements of a Fundraising Email. I already had the elements to plug in from our paper appeal we mailed two weeks ago. The article helped me decide on the layout for the MailChimp email.
In MailChimp, I chose to send a regular email with a basic, one-column layout. I uploaded our photo and pasted in text from our fund appeal.
I checked the preview of the mobile version next. What!? The email was not mobile-friendly. I thought all MailChimp emails would be mobile friendly.
What do I mean by mobile-friendly? Your friend should only scroll down as they read. It’s very likely they’re reading your email from their phone. You don’t want them to be scrolling left and right.
I Recommend These Tech Tips
Tip One: How to Make Sure Your Email Is Mobile-Friendly
I’m shocked that MailChimp emails aren’t always mobile-friendly. I found a YouTube video that I hope explains it well enough for you: How to Make MailChimp Email Mobile Friendly. (It looks like the image is the issue.) Watch the video and look at my photo of his HTML code below. You need to type this HTML language at the end of your MailChimp letter. Do this under the HTML tab marked <>. You should be back on track now.
I used the recommendation from CoSchedule.com for best times and days to send our email. Check out their infographic below or go to their article, What 14 Studies Say About The Best Time To Send Email, for more details.
Tip Three: Create a Bulletproof Give Button
This next tip had not occurred to me, but made sense when I read about it.
You know the value of having a large give button for people to tap with their thumb. Now, think about how emails often arrive into your inbox. If you want to see pictures, you click to download them. If your friend doesn’t do this, then your give button picture won’t display.
To prevent this, a bulletproof button doesn’t use an image. I found this helpful article from Litmus Software on several options you could use: The Ultimate Guide to Bulletproof Buttons in Email Design.
Open up the article and scroll down to option four, Padding + Border-Based Buttons. You’ll be creating a one-cell table under the HTML tab of your email text. Follow these steps:
- Copy all the HTML in the black box under section four in the Litmus Software example.
- Drag a text box into the bottom of your MailChimp email (or where you prefer to have your button).
- Open the <> tab for the text box to paste your HTML code.
- Make the following changes in the long string of code:
- Change the litmus.com URL to your give.cru.org page URL.
- Change “I am a button &rarr” to “Give to Your Name.”
- If you want to change the button to Cru colors, look for bgcolor=“#e9703e” and swap the color code for:
- Cru Deep Blue: #007398
- Cru Bright Blue: #3eb1c8
- Cru Gold: #f9b625
- Cru Orange: #dd7d1b
- Color: #ffffff is for the white lettering if you want to change that as well.
I’ve had a full schedule the last few months with four family trips and gearing up for our summer fund appeal. I hope what I learned last night was helpful to you today. If you’d like to see my final email, it’s parked here: When These Women Encounter Jesus, Everything Changes. I had a 45% open rate in less than 12 hours (even though I didn’t do the optimal day and time that I wanted).
Let me know what you’ve learned and tried. You can do this!
- Want to go a little deeper on this subject? Read MailChimp’s reference article: Mobile Friendliness.
- For people not on MailChimp, I:
- forwarded the MailChimp email or
- pasted the content into a regular email.
I also personalized the greeting and the subject line. I used Hubspot to track opens.
- The infographic is from the research reported by CoSchedule.com in What 14 Studies Say About The Best Time To Send Email.