E-mail marketing stretches nonprofit

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Chuck Hester
Chuck Hester

In this era of stretched budgets and lack of resources, it can be difficult for businesses to effectively stay in touch with their constituents. Those in the nonprofit arena arguably have a greater burden since they dealt with these challenges before the economic downturn.

Many nonprofits find e-mail marketing is a cost-effective, timely way to reach donors, volunteers and sister agencies.

One example is The Conservators' Center, an exotic animal rescue organization. This nonprofit uses a monthly e-mail newsletter to publicize everything from fundraising events to special facility tours. In the past year, The Conservators' Center has developed 1500 followers through the use of e-mail.

With a small staff, e-mail marketing makes sense for The Conservators' Center. Using templates available in the iContact application, its monthly newsletter gives them a professional look and feel, without costing them significant resources.

In iContact's experience, nonprofits enjoy a higher open rate than the average for-profit business due to the recipients' increased level of trust with the organization. The Conservators' Center has seen open rates between 24 and 28 percent for their e-mail marketing messages.

Combining open rates with a strong social media presence allows the Conservators' Center to differentiate from other nonprofits competing for donors and volunteers. Arthur, its Siberian Tiger, has a Twitter account and Facebook profile.

For nonprofits, the benefits of e-mail marketing are threefold: cost-efficient communication; the ability to attract and retain constituents; and the delivery of timely information in a professional manner.

The cost of entry — in both application knowledge and staff time — is relatively low, making e-mail marketing the best communication channel for nonprofits that rely on reaching their donor and volunteer base to be successful.


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