How Can Non-Profits Send More Engaging Email?

Retailers aren’t the only ones gearing up for the holidays — it’s a big season for non-profits too. But just how well do non-profits use email to connect with subscribers (and potential donors), engage them in a cause, and spur them into action? Return Path’s new research study, “Telling Stories: How Non-Profits Can Create More Engaging Email Marketing Programs,” focuses on answering these questions by measuring email use among 50 well known non-profit organizations.

Assessing the entire subscriber experience for 30 days, the study analyzes practices across a wide spectrum of organizations – from children, to health, to politics, animals, and museums. The study identified several areas of strength among these mailers, including 62% of organizations that sent a welcome message immediately upon subscribe (something only 40% of for-profit counterparts do), and a strong integration of social media elements.

However, there were a number of areas where non-profits fell short. Content strategy – a crucial element in connecting and engaging with new subscribers, and building support for the cause – was surprisingly one glaring opportunity for improvement. Many organizations leaned heavily on generic newsletters as their primary use of the channel, missing a huge opportunity to customize the experience with subscribers and potential advocates/donors of their organization.

Learn more about the non-profit study findings, view email samples from the organizations studied, and get recommendations for improving your organization’s strategy, just in time to optimize response for the 2009 holiday season! Download the research paper now.

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