Email Marketing Nonprofit Strategies to Survive the Pandemic
While we may be at the backend of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and organizations still operate through digital channels due to social distancing norms. This makes smart use of email marketing essential for nonprofits, as they can not only successfully tide the pandemic over but also thrive in 2021.
Based on published data, 78% of marketing professionals experienced an increase in email engagement in 2020, with 59% citing email marketing as their biggest ROI. What’s the value of email marketing for nonprofits, and how can you use it to your advantage with the pandemic still looming worldwide?
The Reasons Why You Should Care About Email Marketing During the Pandemic
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. Nonprofit organizations which focus on different niches such as wildlife preservation, child protection, or animal rights have had a hard time during the pandemic. Their business models inherently rely on physical contact and activism, which has crawled to a halt over the past months.
However, with email marketing, nonprofits can make the transition from pre to post-COVID-19 more smoothly, given how much more time people currently spend indoors. According to research, email marketing has spiked in popularity by 27% due to the pandemic, with 68% of recipients citing higher expectations from email marketing.
Higher expectations breed the need for better audience targeting, content writing, and value proposition presentation, nonprofit organization or not. With reliable writing tools such as Supreme Dissertations, you will be able to harness email marketing more effectively. Doing so will lead to several noteworthy improvements in your business’ engagement with the public, such as:
- Ability to directly address your organization’s followers
- Higher engagement of your website and email content
- Improved public awareness and support for your cause
- Better credibility and trust in your NGO and its mission
- The higher attraction of volunteers and donors to your NGO
Using Newsletters to Provide Continuous Updates to your Follower Base
One of the most prevalent notions during the pandemic is that everyone wants to know if their friends and family are “okay”. As an NGO, you can let your followers know that everything is fine by introducing scheduled newsletters through email marketing.
Newsletters can serve as a means to update your followers on recent activities, projects, and upcoming events. They can be sent bi-weekly or monthly, depending on how active the nonprofit is at the moment. Likewise, it will reassure your B2B contacts and the public that you are indeed still around and simply standing by for COVID-19 to tide over.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international NGO dedicated to wildlife preservation. While their email newsletter campaign started before the pandemic, it is a great example of how you can tackle the strategy yourself.
WWF offers several pieces of content in their newsletters, some of which are evergreen and concern calls to action for recipients to engage with. Others relate to trending happenings in the world of wildlife preservation and WWF’s own activities, in addition to trivia, a quiz, and other fascinating tidbits. You can create an email campaign for your nonprofit in the image of WWF and create a continuous relationship with your supporters quite easily.
Calls to Action during the Pandemic Can Work Wonders for Engagement
Everyone has become more passive over the past year due to the pandemic and the inability to travel or attend social gatherings. That doesn’t mean that the world has stopped, however, and you can remind your nonprofit’s supporters of that through calls for different actions.
Depending on the type of NGO you run, your call to action can revolve around donations, monetary or item-based, or encouragements for people to act. Spurring people into action via email marketing is a great way to reanimate your followers and give them something meaningful to do while at home.
World Vision is a UK-based nonprofit dedicated to benefiting children, families, and communities in need. Their current campaign is focused on providing clean water to African communities, a campaign that they promote via email marketing.
The call to action present in their email, “Give Clean Water”, is a great example of how to encourage the recipients to pitch in themselves. While the donation revolves around monetary help to the NGO’s project, asking people to “Give” or “Help” instead of “Donate” makes a world of difference.
Invite People to Advocate for your Nonprofit’s Causes
Sometimes you don’t need to be direct about wanting to invite people to support your specific NGO. Instead, social issues such as racism, LGBT rights, or gender equality can serve as powerful tools for you to inspire people into action.
By inserting an idea into people’s minds through email marketing, you can spur them into action in their local area without engaging your NGO outright. People who identify with the issues you’ve outlined in your email will seek your nonprofit out and want to become a part of it independently. In marketing terms, this is considered a pull strategy, as it leaves the choice of whether and how to act to the recipient.
Plan International is a rights and equality NGO present in over 75 countries worldwide. Their email marketing strategy is centered on inspiring the readers to make a change locally and affect the world globally by doing so.
Each email they send out contains new blog posts to read, calls to action for readers to join the cause and social sharing buttons. Emails are minimalistic and always focus on the meaningful causes people can contribute to. This encourages recipients to go over its contents and take a moment to contribute in a small part, effectively becoming part of Plan International’s support network.
Presenting Statistical Facts with Calls to React to Global Issues
We live in an age where fake news and shady media have taken center stage, making it difficult for us to trust anything online. As a nonprofit, you can take advantage of that in your email marketing by sending statistical facts and data to your followers.
Depending on which issues your nonprofit aims to mitigate, the statistical data you send should work as a call to action for people to react. While statistics themselves may encourage some to act, you should shape your statistics into a written letter or a blog post for easier reading. Paired with links to your website and social media, you will be able to gain the trust and respect of your email recipients during the pandemic.
Greenpeace is a world-renown NGO with a heavy emphasis on environmental preservation. They use email marketing effectively by raising awareness of global issues through hard facts and statistical proof.
Presenting empiric values, percentages, and estimates to people works well in convincing them that yes, there indeed is an issue out there. As in the case of Greenpeace, each number you list as a “hard fact” should come with its source attached, be it your own or otherwise. Using renowned research centers, universities, and professionals as sources for your claims is always welcome, and it will work in your favor for email marketing.
Encourage User-Generated Content Creation through Activism
A great way for your nonprofit to make an impact and let everyone know that it is still operating during the pandemic is through UGC. User-generated content represents multimedia content created by others and in your nonprofit’s name.
Paired with social media hashtags and sharing of said content, you can reach a wide audience around the world. This can be done by presenting a simple plan of action to your email recipients that they can follow up on by joining the campaign.
Feeding America is a US-based nonprofit which operates through a network of food banks around the US. They have been particularly active during the pandemic due to the unfortunate fact that poverty and unemployment rose in the wake of social distancing.
However, they’ve managed to make the most of it through their email campaigns that focus on user-generated content on social media. They’ve encouraged people to “share a plate” with others and contribute to their fundraisers through Facebook and Twitter in doing so. This resulted in people across the US contributing in any way they could to ensure that no one is hungry due to the pandemic.
It’s important to keep in mind the fact that the pandemic won’t be around forever. Until we get there, we need to make the most of the resources and communication channels available. That goes for nonprofits as well.
Take these email marketing strategies into consideration and try to fit them into your NGO’s marketing plans. People are very likely to react positively to inspiring emails centered on concrete actions and messages of hope for a better tomorrow. Once the pandemic tides over, your followers will remember your resilience during these troubled times, and your nonprofit will become that much better for it.