5 tips to improve your charity’s email marketing strategy

Is it your charity’s new year’s resolution to improve its email marketing campaigns? Here are five things you can do to get ahead now and start improving the click-through rates and engagement of your emails.

Chloe Green | 14th Jan 20
charity email marketing

New digital channels like social media and virtual assistants might be stealing the headlines, but email remains king when it comes to charity marketing. Studies from Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor put email open rates for charity emails at around 20-25% compared to a universal open rate of 6%, proving that good causes still make a big impression in people’s inboxes.

However, there are always things you can do to further improve the performance of your emails and build stronger relationships with your valued supporters.

Here are five strategically-driven ways to give your charity’s email campaigns a boost in 2020.


1. Have clearly-defined goals

First and foremost, it’s important to have a solid strategy for each email campaign you send. This means setting out in as much detail as possible:

  • What you ultimately want to achieve

  • How your emails fit into the bigger picture of your other brand campaigns

  • Who your target audience is

  • How you will measure success

This guide to email marketing strategy from email marketing platform Uplers gives a good grounding in how to set out your strategy, and particularly your objectives and key results, so you’ll always know what you’re working towards and stay focused.


> See also: 6 tips to optimise your emails for mobile viewing


2. Be as targeted as possible

Mass messaging is over. Personalisation is now part and parcel of how we consume digital content, and email is no different. From online shopping recommendations to news and music, the online audience in 2020 expects to be fed only what’s most relevant to them as an individual and will ignore everything else.

Segmenting your email lists is the best way to cut through the noise, so you always send the most relevant content to the right people. Maximise your email efforts by sending out emails based on people’s interactions with you and even their location – all of which begins with collecting the right data.


3. Use automated email flows

Marketing automation software is the next step up in any email strategy because it allows you to automate the personalisation of content you want to send, eliminating repetitive tasks and sending the right message to the right person at the right time according to the actions they’ve taken.

There may be a bit of an investment in terms of time and a learning curve to get started, but once you’re in the swing of things, automation can really help you be timely, relevant and personalised in a way that manually sending emails can’t.


> See also: A guide to marketing automation platforms for charities


4. Optimise email design

Now you’ve planned the high-level stuff it’s time to start tweaking the details of your emails. There are lots of ways to optimise your email design for better engagement, as Elizabeth Carter, Charity Digital Mail manager explained recently.

A simple reason people could be closing your emails is that they don’t work properly on their phone. These days great email design also means making sure it renders well across different devices. Most email programmes allow you to preview your emails on mobile devices – take advantage of these features, since mobile is now the preferred platform for reading emails.


5. Play with punchy CTAs and subject lines

Have you strategically segmented your email lists, set up well-planned automated journeys and perfected your design and people are still not engaging with your emails?

The final ingredient is copy: give your emails clear and easy to understand Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and try out different subject lines.

It could be that your subject lines are triggering spam filters to capture your emails before they even reach inboxes – check out our recent webinar on how to avoid copy that lands you in the dreaded junk folder.