Thoughts on Fund Appeal Email Campaigns
I’m getting ready to send some fund appeal asks by email. I have some thoughts about fund appeals through email campaigns. I’ll also share links to my previous posts on this topic.
Last week, I was planning to send emails on #GivingTuesday. By Monday, I had changed my mind. Even before November 24th, Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails flooded my inbox. I deleted them to stem the tide. Of course, another torrent hit me on Tuesday. Again, I deleted all without reading them.
I decided I cared about our financial partners and didn’t want to pressure them or flood them. I’m sending my emails tonight (Thursday after Thanksgiving week) at 8:00 PM. (More about this later in the post.)
Who Receives a Paper Appeal or an Email Appeal
I’m sending email appeals tonight, but next year, and from now on, I will send a paper fund appeal to all we ask. We sent 127 printed fund appeals. Another 20 is easy.
Wading out of the flood of everyone else’s email was part of that decision. I wanted our friends to read our appeal. Also, it’s much easier to send a paper ask.
Why an Email Ask Is Complicated for Me
Maybe you can relate to some of this.
I post all our monthly newsletters on MikeandSus.org. This weekend, I’ll be posting a version of our fund appeal without the ask paragraphs. This prayer letter then goes out through MailChimp. Here’s where things get complicated. I’m sending email asks tonight. Half of these same people will receive the MailChimp email (without the ask) on Sunday. I wanted to be sure the first version they received from me had the ask, not the “no-ask” MailChimp email.
My other option was to tag our ministry partners so they only get the ask email. I decided against this because our website emails are recurring. I would have to stop these people from receiving monthly blog posts and then add them back in.
If I had sent the printed ask letter last week, then the MailChimp “no ask” email would be a bit of a reminder. So, I’m sending an email ask today ahead of the recurring MailChimp campaign for this exact reason. Next year, if we ask someone, I’m printing an envelope and mailing the ask. Our ministry partners will notice our envelope with the commemorative stamp more than one email in a flood of emails.
When to Send an Email Campaign
When I decided against sending these 20 emails out on Giving Tuesday, I needed a Plan B.
I looked up this infographic from CoSchedule.com for the best times and days to send our email. (See their infographic below or go to their article, What 14 Studies Say About The Best Time To Send Email.)
From the bottom of the graph, you’ll see Thursday, December 2nd, at 8 PM is the second-best time to send an ask email for me. I may even stagger the emails by time zone so they arrive at 8.
That’s my plan tonight for 20 asks.
On Tuesday at 10 AM on December 21st, I’ll send our Christmas email through our blog. Christmas greetings are a gentle reminder about responding to paper or email fund appeals.
I will decide about who receives a printed or email Christmas greeting beforehand. (We’re writing a Christmas devotional prayer letter which will post through MailChimp and go out as snail mail, too.)
Again, on a Thursday at 8 PM, I will send a reminder email on December 30th to remind people about our EOYA (end-of-year ask). It will take a little work to ensure I don’t send this email to people who already gave (see below).
More from eQuipping for eMinistry
I’ve written lots of help for you to navigate emails at the end of the year. You can do this!
- See Sending A MailChimp Reminder Email (2018) for the details of how to send a reminder email campaign.
- To help you with this, also read Inside MailChimp to learn about tags, groups, and segments.
- This post, How to Send an Email Reminder to Fund Appeal Recipients, from 2014, has some other perspectives and tips as well. You don’t need MailChimp necessarily.
- Fund Appeal Reminders talks about other options, such as reminding through texting or social media.
You might also find these eQuipping for Ministry posts from previous years helpful:
Do you use an image for your Give button in an email? This post tells you how to make sure your button displays even if the reader does not “download pictures.” You will create a one-cell table.
Are you still working on a nice photo for a Christmas insert or New Year’s greeting? Professional photographer and former staff, Pat Mingarelli, has easy tips for you to do it yourself.