In the nonprofit sector as a whole, more online donations come from a click in an e-newsletter than from any other source. This is due in part to the fact that nonprofits are getting better at building their lists. But it’s also due to the sustained and growing use of email as an essential medium.
Email is not dead.
Global use of email is growing rapidly. The number of people using the internet worldwide is going to double in the next four years. This means more people getting online, more people signing up for social networks, and more people signing up for email accounts.
There are currently 4.4 billion email accounts worldwide and that number is expected to grow to 6.6 billion by 2019. This will bring the global adoption rate of email to 92%.
We have been eulogizing email for the last decade and let me tell you, this data shows us that email is the most important tool that you can use in online fundraising.
Given these statistics, I’m also perplexed by public media’s relatively low use of email fundraising compared with other organizations in the nonprofit sector. It’s often very difficult to find an e-newsletter subscribe option on public media websites. And the volume of e-newsletters from many stations seems to be low or non-existent, except during a member drive. This suggests an area of great opportunity.
Of course, you do need to know how to use email.
Email is changing.
55% of email opens are now happening on a mobile device and more than half of traffic to NPR.org is mobile. Your email design simply has to be mobile compatible.
The term “e-newsletter” came from a time when print newsletters were being duplicated to send via email. Email publications are not print publications. Today, it’s better to think of your e-newsletter as an email bulletin.
Send shorter emails, more frequently.
Instead of taking the 20 stories you would have put in a paper publication and sending those out once every three months, you should send fewer stories, and send them more frequently. Send three stories every two weeks, for example. Or create a weekly update of the most important news happening in your station and local community.