- Email is still incredibly popular worldwide. There are nearly 3.9 billion email accounts in the world, and over 182 billion emails sent every day. On average people send and receive 112 emails every day. Email isn't going anywhere fast.
- And just to re-emphasise that point - 91% of people who have email accounts check their email every day (ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference survey).
- Sending email is cheap. That's why spammers use email - they can send huge numbers of email at very low or zero cost. But despite the annoyance that spam causes, people still keep using email - it hasn't put people off because it's still a useful tool. And that means it's still a very useful tool for charities and NGOs to use to motivate people to take action and donate.
- Testing. Because email is cheap, it's cheap to test too. You can test sending longer or shorter emails to your supporters, test subject lines, test images (or even test whether or not you should have an image in the email at all). A rigorous testing and optimisation process is much easier on email than other channels.
- You can optimise your emails to be read on mobile phones. With more and more emails being opened on mobiles now (with some estimates as high as 50%), you can make your emails look perfect on smartphones and tablets.
- You can tell a story with email - either in one email or over a series of emails. And studies have consistently shown that not only are stories an intrinsic part of what make us human, but that they really key in motivating people to do something, such as join a campaign or make a donation.
- You can personalise your emails really effectively. And not just by putting "Dear John" or whatever at the top either. You can segment your email list and just send emails to really specific groups of people on your list, maybe people who signed a particular petition or donated to a specific appeal so you can send them an update. Tailoring your content to specific audiences is much easier on email than other channels - and it's really effective too.
- This all sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, it doesn't have to be as much work as it sounds. Some of your emails can be automated. For example, if you want to send a reminder to all the people who haven't yet signed your petition a week after you first emailed them, depending on what system you're using you could arrange for that email to be sent automatically. And when you welcome new people to your email list, a series of emails telling them about your organisation can all be fully automated as well.
Find out why you should use email to engage your supporters!