1. Use email opt-in forms on your website to easily & quickly build your mailing lists

Does your site have a sign-up form for your email mailing list, and if so, how prominent is it and how quick to complete?

Asking for too much information puts people off – asking for just a first name and email, or just email address results in more signups. Remember you can always gather more detailed information later on by following up with an invitation to participate in a poll or survey, but initially, you just want to build your list so don’t put any barriers in the way.

2. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again

Don’t just ask once – pop up sign up forms, that trigger for example after a period of inactivity, or that scroll with the page, or appear on an action such as when a visitor scrolls down the page, can capture people who would otherwise just forget to sign up. Of course, there has to be a balance so the visitor doesn’t feel ‘stalked’ round your website as you nag them to sign up to your email, but if in doubt, we can help you strike the right balance with our great charity Email Marketing tools (integrated right into our charity websites)

3. Send the good news stories – don’t just look for donations!

Let your visitors know of your successes – not just what you need!

Tell the story of:
1) what are you achieving as an organisation,
2) how are you spending your funding to help more people,
3) who have you really helped? Included real life case studies (anonymising the names and details of course) so that your readers feel connected to the people you connect to.
4) why you could do even more if you had the available funding and what, specifically, you plan to do when you get the funds in.

When you’ve made that connection, you can invite the reader who has hopefully been moved and encouraged by what you’re actually managing to do, to help you as an organisation to do even more ( you can then link through to your fundraising/donations pages and targets so they can participate in your mission).

4. Make sure your Charity Emails are Mobile Friendly

So quite simply if your emails are not designed to be mobile friendly (actually, to be responsive/ device agnostic and open and display correctly on any device is what you’re going for), then you are really missing out.

Here’s the stats! (October 2016)

Email is always read first on email for an average of 25,6%. 40% aged 14-18 will always read emails on mobile first, 29% for ages 19 – 34 and 8% of the group of 56 – 67. – Adestra “Consumer Adoption & Usage Study” (2016)

55% of consumers 56-67 say they will never read email on their mobile first. This is only 18% for the age group 19 – 34. – Adestra “Consumer Adoption & Usage Study” (2016)

More email is read on Mobile than on desktop email clients. Stats say 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device – Litmus “Email Analytics” (March 2016)

source:  http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics

If you’re not sure how to go about designing mobile friendly emails, talk to us and we can help you with all aspects of your charity email marketing, including your email design and charity branding for email campaigns.

5. A picture is worth a thousand words

That’s good news because you don’t want to make your emails too long, time, after all, is precious to your readers, you need to communicate and motivate as clearly and easily as possible, so why not let a beautiful image do the talking?

It can be all too tempting just to use google images to search for the perfect quick picture to pop in your email but be very wary if you do. Google indexes many images which are copyrighted and which you should only use with a licence or you could land your organisation with a large demand notice (sometimes running to thousands of euros) from the likes of the Stock photography companies like Getty, who will actively hunt down illegal use of their images and will not hesitate to take an organisation to court to recoup their fees and damages!

So – top tips:

1) Use the Advanced Search feature in Google image search to only search for Creative Commons licenced images which are free to use for non-commercial purposes



Alternatively, check out some of the beautiful free images available on sites like unsplash.com

Finally – with the previous point in mind about making your emails mobile friendly, if you keep images in your mobile version, do make sure that they are optimised (file size reduced as much as possible whilst retaining reasonable quality).  We build in image optimisation tools into CharitySites, but if you need help with this, contact us.

A great free online service to do this is Compressor.io

The image below was optimised to only 66% of previous size, with no visible loss of quality:


Other great alternatives that can be used directly within your WordPress websites are Smush and Imagify plugins, the resulting speed optimisation can make a significant difference to your users, and to your Google page rank in SERPs (search engine rank/results pages).


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