A personal touch makes all the difference in email fundraising

We've been over multifaceted tactics to accept donations online - social media is a rising front, old school on-the-ground fundraising should not be forgotten or underestimated. Now professional opinion and new numbers show that a personal touch is essential to make the most of your email approach.

"You have to make sure that you've got the right messaging and the right personalization in it," Patrick Kehoe, Worldwide Director of Product Marketing at HP Exstream, told eMarketer. "We all get bombarded with hundreds of emails a day, and marketers' focus needs to be to make sure that you've got the right subject lines, the right messages and the right content. Making it personalized helps reach specific individuals."

While LinkedIn and Twitter certainly offer potential and new features, email is the common denominator and preferred, proven choice, Kehoe continued. According to the 2013 eNonProfits Benchmark Study, the average nonprofit sent an average of four emails per subscriber each month in 2012 - though the same study showed a mailing list churn rate of 16 percent.

It's personal
Mass emails have a time and place, but Online Fundraising Scorecard reported that 36 percent of charities sent emails with conflicting calls to action. Moreover, 50 percent of donors surveyed by The Seven Key Drivers of Donor Commitment Idea Bank said the personalization of a thank you note was of great importance than the speed with which it arrived. Personalization is a perk that comes with email - the message and content can be tailored to a donor in a way that is hard to accomplish with LinkedIn or Twitter. Your emails should link directly to your donation forms in a simplified, straightforward call to contribute that's personalized both in the approach and response.

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