How to optimize your holiday donor emails

You're probably telling yourself, "I work for a nonprofit. I'm not a marketer!" While that's true, formulating a marketing approach is necessary for a not-for-profit wanting a steady stream of donations to keep online fundraising tools busy. You might abhor marketing jargon, but thankfully you can receive free or inexpensive help to grab donor interest. Email campaigns are an effective way to get your message out during the holiday season, but if it's not direct and to the point, it can get lost in your contributors' inbox.

With that said, here are a few tools nonprofits can use to improve their email blasts:

1. Hemingway Editor
Just as marketing speak can turn the public off, so can not-for-profit jargon. However, if you work in the charitable sector you probably don't even realize you're using words that would leave the average person scratching his or her head. The Hemingway Editor is a free app you can use that shows where you can condense your writing and if you can make it clearer. Just like the man the app is named after, it can make your donation pitches direct and full of actionable words to transform your message into an exciting one for anyone.  

2. Enable fast and easy sharing
When raising money for a good cause, you want to get your message out far and wide. So, make sharing the email and news as easy as possible for your audience by adding social media buttons onto each email blast you send, according to HubSpot. Emails that include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media buttons and simplify the sharing process get more views than those that don't.

3. Cut out the spam
Your messages could be in your clients' spam folder depending on the kind of words you use in your emails. Nonprofit Hub recommends organizations put their writing through a free online spam test that will alert you to any watch words or code that's causing your news to not get through.  

4. Craft better subject lines
Besides who sent you the email, what makes you actually click on the message? The answer is most likely the subject line. More people are apt to open an email if it has a subject line that appeals to them, HubSpot reported. It needs to be short, informative and catchy enough to pique a person's interest. Writing subject lines and openers is easier said than done. 
However, a number of online services offer free ways to test if your sentences are snappy enough. 

While the Internet might seem to shorten our attention spans, nonprofits can put a few online tools to use when crafting the perfect email blast.

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