Nonprofit TNA finds e-mail more efficient than direct mail

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The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association (TNA), a nonprofit health organization that serves patients with neuropathic face pain, has found that e-mail is more cost effective than direct mail to increase Web traffic. Since last year when the TNA teamed up with StreamSend to send its e-mail newsletters, titled TNA Headline News, the mailing list has doubled to 20,000, and the average open rate is at 25%. In addition, the site attracts 50,000 unique visitors a month.

As a nonprofit organization, TNA needs to make the most of its budget to keep its communications program running smoothly. Having originally used direct mail to reach members, TNA recognized the need to move to e-mail to be more cost efficient.

“We are a nonprofit, so dollars are a concern since revenue is difficult to predict,” said John Koff, director of operations at TNA. “E-mail is a way for us to reach a good portion of our constituents at a low cost. Direct mail is much more expensive.”

Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known as TN, is a nerve disorder that causes sudden shock-like facial pains, typically near the nose, lips, eyes or ears. Since it is a somewhat rare condition, and not a lot of people have heard of the illness, TNA wanted to create a community where patients, their families and doctors alike could find out information about the condition and donate to help its research.

TNA sends e-mail newsletters twice a month, as well as other promotional e-mails for new books or products a couple of times a month. In all TNA averages sending about 150,000 e-mails a month.

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