Reinvigorate Your Fundraising Efforts with Constant Contact and DonorPerfect
DonorPerfect Community Conference 2023 session with speaker Matthew Montoya at Constant Contact
Reinvigorate Your Fundraising Efforts with Constant Contact and DonorPerfect TranscriptPrint Transcript
I’d like to introduce Matthew Montoya. Many of you know him. He is very regular here at our DonorPerfect conference and He is the senior marketing and enablement manager for constant contact. Matthew been Toya has helped over 14,000 nonprofits understand how digital Read More
I’d like to introduce Matthew Montoya. Many of you know him. He is very regular here at our DonorPerfect conference and He is the senior marketing and enablement manager for constant contact. Matthew been Toya has helped over 14,000 nonprofits understand how digital marketing can affect growth and the bottom line. In his 22 years of marketing, he’s worked on nearly every kind of marketing vehicle around from print, broadcast, social web, and of course, email marketing. preceding his time in constant contact, Matthew also worked at a 501 C three wearing multiple hats, including marketing to help a nonprofit grow exponentially year over year. So with all of that expertise, I am super excited to turn this over to Matthew to share with you what’s new, a constant contact.
Well, thanks, Darrell. Hey, everybody. So those of you that have seen me present at a DonorPerfect conference, either virtual live you know, I am extremely passionate about nonprofits. And you should be a know that if you’ve seen me before, my passion comes from two places. One, as Darrell said, I lived your life, I know what it’s like. I’ve never had as challenging a job as I had in those three and a half years at that nonprofit, multiple hats, and we didn’t even begin to describe it. I mean, we were a staff of two’s Executive Director and me. And so I’m passionate because I know you have to have passion to do what you do. Really, that’s all that sustained us with our passion for our for our mission. The other piece is that I’ve met so many of you at DonorPerfect and across the country at other events. And you know, there’s just nothing more thrilling than than teaching nonprofits. It’s a real, it’s a real honor to do that with you today. I hope you encourage you to connect to me that is my LinkedIn profile. But I’ve got a lot to cover today. Now we are going to take questions throughout the presentation. And then Darryl is going to read them out to me towards the end, we got a little q&a built in. But keep your questions and comments coming. But what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk all about refreshing today, we’re going to start off by refreshing your assumptions. Now maybe not your assumptions. But I’m going to share with you some some comments and some assumptions that I’ve heard from nonprofits throughout the country in my time, my 12 years of constant contact. I also know that these are some assumptions that I brought in from the nonprofit when I started to get into Constant Contact started using contact context or working in constant contact, I actually had some assumptions that had been going on for years. And I want to touch on that for a second because this we talked about assumptions. My experience in nonprofits it’s it’s one of two things, either, if it’s a long term staff, you just kind of been doing the things that you do and and processes that you have built in. It’s just the way they’ve always been done. But what I’ve noticed in nonprofits more often is that as staff changes, one outgoing staff member teaches the incoming staff member and this legacy of assumptions just gets baked in. I mean, there’s also in the note no sleight against any board members on the call today. But there’s also kind of some assumptions brought in from boards. And what I encourage you to do in this first piece is we talked about refreshing your assumptions is if you’re going into email marketing, with with some of these assumptions, you may want to rethink them. So these are the common ones that I often hear, we always use the same subject line, that’s what our audience is used to, or we we send from the executive director only meaning that when they send an email, it looks like it came from the executive director, that’s something I hear pretty often. Another would be we our email has to be long. This is the way we communicate, it has to be long, we have to put all this stuff in this email. Another assumption would be well, we don’t want them clicking away from the email, we want them reading the email. That’s a dangerous assumption. We have a great open rate, we’re really proud of our open rate, look at our open rate. We’re beating everybody, our open rates really great. And then lastly, are the next two, over sending email equals unsubscribes. We don’t want to send too many emails because we’re going to alienate people. And they’re going to unsubscribe. Now, there’s some truth to that. But we’ll get into that in depth. And then we primarily send email to promote for events, appeals, etc. We don’t really send too often we only send when there’s an appeal campaign or there’s an event coming up. So let’s, let’s hit refresh on those assumptions. All right, so I’m gonna break all these down. Now as I share some of these best practices with you around assumptions, now that they’re best practices, and I certainly want you to test my assumptions as well. But let’s start off with we reuse the same subject line week after week, month after month. That’s what our audience is used to. That’s what was done in the past. That’s what we’re doing in the future. Well, let’s break that one down. So you see an example of two different email subject lines, one for February and one for March. And you can see that they’re the exact same subject line. This is really common in the nonprofit space. Well, the challenge here is that we’re not actually giving people Reason to open the email and they can quickly get tuned out, meaning that people just don’t notice it anymore. So we’re going to talk in depth about this a little bit further down in the presentation. But the real key ingredient, the secret sauce, in email marketing, or at least the number one secret sauce ingredient is going to be relevancy content must be relevant, and relevancy, the first place that relevancy shows up is in the inbox is in the subject line. And so if we’re not making it relevant to the audience, then we have an inherent danger because they may not open the email. Now, there’s a couple of other pieces within this subject line example. Firstly, we can see that the name of the organization is found in the from name, why are we wasting people’s time by putting it in the subject line as well, nonprofits do this quite a bit. Awesome. The month, you know what people are fairly smart, they know what month it is why, in my opinion, we’re wasting a lot of very valuable space by by using this subject line model. And then there’s another little poison here. It’s the word newsletter. The word newsletter is perfectly fine internally to call your your digital email marketing, that’s fine. If internally you call it newsletter, it’s fine. If you call it on your website, it’s fine. If you call it newsletter in the body of the email you want to watch out for calling your email marketing. When you send it out the subject line, you want to avoid using the word newsletter because it denotes a very lengthy process, it means that people are going to have to sit back with a cup of coffee and read this thing slowly. And that’s really not what we want to do in this world right now. And so if this is what you do, you may want to test your assumptions. Next one is fairly common in the nonprofit world. When we send an email, we send it from the executive director or we send it from some leadership position or the board chair, something like that. There’s, this one’s actually pretty tricky to talk to you about. Because there is strategy and having an email come from a person. The problem is if the the person that the email is coming from is going to leave the organization, at some point, well, then they take brand equity, the number one reason people open an email is because of who sent them the email, I’d be willing to bet when you’re looking through your inbox, you’re not going subject line to subject line to subject line, you’re going who sent this to me who sent this to me who sent this to me. Now there are advantages and building a relationship from your executive director or whomever and having that email come from that person. But you have to be careful because if that person leaves, the reason they’re opening, the email
disappears. And so understand that your from name is the most critical component of your email digital marketing. The subject line assists the from name. Now there’s a little bit of teaser text, a little bit of preheader text and those of you that use Constant Contact, you have the ability to edit that pre header text, and that pre header text assist the subject line, you can see the pre header underneath the subject line in that purple example. Best practice is to keep your subject line relatively short about six to 10 words is the optimal length, you want to have your pre header text about six to 11 words. The reason for that is if the subject line is too short, you’re not giving enough relevant information for people to further open the email. So they’re looking at the from name, and then they’re looking at that subject line. But if it’s too long, it gets cut off, and it’s not making a point. So you want to make sure that you find that sweet spot of about about six to 10 words. Now, what I want to share with you is a couple of proven subject line models. I know some of you are going to groan when you see this first one emojis, well, emojis are really effective. And the reason emojis are really effective is because they’re very visual. And so as people are scanning up and down the inbox, it catches their eye, they look at that from name, then they open the email, just make sure that the subject line and the preheader supports the idea of the emoji. So obviously, if I have a package here, it’s probably going to be something around appeals, right? Subject line ideas, further personalization. So personalization is really powerful. If you put somebody’s name or other pertinent information in the subject line, it increases your opens because again, it’s eye catching, especially a person’s name. And those of you that use Constant Contact should know that in the header options. When you’re creating your subject line. We have a little button here that says personalization, you can add somebody’s name to each subject line. Questions one of my favorites, right, your subject line is a question. That’s really powerful because the only way the subject line or the only way the question can be answered is if they open the email list is also powerful. It’s taking into account people are really busy. If you give people a numbered list like you see here, in the third bullet, it’s taking into consideration that they’re busy. Hey, here’s five ways, right? It’s finite. A sense of urgency, time is running out. The fear of missing out that sense of urgency is very powerful. Just make sure it’s not false urgency. A little bit of humor always works to since we all can’t win the lottery. Just make sure that if you’re going to use humor or things like pop culture references that your audience would get it. And then especially true in your space, pull on the heartstrings. Don’t overdo it. Don’t get schmaltzy but pull on the heartstrings. It’s effective way to get more opens. Now coming back to personalization, the reason personalization Seems so powerful is because you’re going to see a lift in your opens. When you do that. Remember, the more people that open the email, especially when you have that donate button in your in your email, the more you’re going to increase your bottom line, or get people to events or get more volunteers, whatever you’re trying to do. Now, when it comes to subject lines, I share these ideas. But the reality is, if you use Constant Contact, those of you that are using Constant Contact, you actually have an advantage. Artificial Intelligence, there is artificial intelligence built into the header options. So when you’re building an email, there’s a little button that says suggested subject lines and suggested preheader text. And what this API will do is it will actually read the content of your email, it’ll take into consideration best practices. And it will look at what kind of nonprofit industry you’re in. And it will suggest subject lines for you. And you can choose one of the subject lines and populate it right into the header options. So that when you send out that email, you’ll have the best subject line possible to send to your audience. Now, let’s pivot away from the inbox. And let’s talk about the length of email the construction of the email. So we’re going to talk a little bit further back and a little bit more about construction in just a bit. But this one is maybe number one with a bullet and what I see in nonprofit emails, in my 12 years, our email has to be long. It’s how we share news, I hear this all the time, it’s our newsletter, this is how we share information has to be really long, well, constant contacts been in business for 26 years, and we have a lot of data on what emails are effective. And we find and this is going to be hard for some of you that 20 lines of text about 200 words, about three or fewer images result in the highest click through rate. You know, the real reason for that is bullet number two, I’m gonna let you read it. Average email readerships, about nine seconds. Right? That’s really hard, right. But this I what I want to do is I want to kind of change some of your thinking. So I will actually pause here and just say that some of the best marketers I’ve ever met are in the nonprofit world, you have to live on your marketing. But I want to for the rest of you, I want you to really consider where people are reading emails, right, a mobile device, most likely, and mobile devices have ruined our attention span. So you want to rethink your philosophy around email marketing, it’s not the destination, that’s not the ultimate place we’re trying to get them. It’s a billboard for the destination, right? It’s going to get their attention and get them somewhere else. You want them in that email and out somewhere else as quickly as possible. That’s because they’re going to spend more time on your blog, on your website, on your donation page on your social media, wherever you’re trying to get them to go, they’re going to spend more time, they’re also making a mental commitment to you. So they’re deciding Yes, I want to learn more. So you’re taking him down another step. And as I’ll talk about in a little bit Constant Contact will track and what they clicked on, which tells you more information about them. So smartphone penetration, unsurprisingly is gigantic and smartphone readership is gigantic. And we have to take that into consideration. And these devices have also changed some of the rules. So another thing I hear all the time, another assumption I hear in the nonprofit space is, hey, how’s our open rate? Look, we have a really great open rate, we’re really proud of our open rate, I’m going to share with you the average open rate for nonprofits for last month, it does fluctuate but not too much month over month. The reality is open rates, they’re useful to gauge the success of your subject line and if you’re doing any kind of testing, but they are not the primary metric to be paying attention to and I’ve learned that it’s human nature, we tend to pay attention to the highest number possible. Well, the open rate, which is the number of people that open the email based on how many people you send the email to the open rate is going to be the higher number. But it’s not the metric to pay attention to it is full of false positives and false negatives. So let me I don’t want to get too technical. But the way that open rates are tracked, the way that we can tell you that an email has been opened. And this is true for us and for all of our competitors is that we hide a little one pixel by one pixel image that’s like a tiny little tip of a pin. In every email, when the image is displayed. That counts as an open. The problem with that is somebody just gets your email, they open it, they close it. That’s councils have opened up patting yourself on the back and they didn’t even spend a second email. Another problem would be that a preview like in Gmail outlook preview counts as an open. The trickiest thing lately though, is a couple of years ago, Apple changed the rules and they display the pixel lament the second the email gets delivered to any Apple device. So any email delivered to any Apple device and that can be a Gmail that can be outlook, it doesn’t matter. Any email that’s delivered to an Apple device with the most recent two firmware updates, that counts isn’t open. But you really never should have counted on opens even before Apple did this because they don’t prove anything. That’s why you want to be paying attention to clicks, clicks proves the email was delivered proves it was open proves it was read and specifically what was read and that goes into my next assumption. Let’s refresh this one. I hear this all the time. We don’t want them leaving the email I already explained we Do want them to leave the email because it tells you what your subscribers are interested in. It helps you gauge the success of how your email was constructed. You can take those clickers those people that click on links in your email, and you can collate them into smaller groups. Now one reason I’m really passionate about a presenting a DonorPerfect conferences and have and so honored to have the relationship I have with DonorPerfect is because of the fantastic tool DonorPerfect is and one of my favorite features is the ability to segment your list segmentation is just taking a large group of people and breaking them up into smaller lists, right? Well, you can further that segmentation in constant contact, you can learn even more about your subscribers and put them into smaller segments, smaller buckets, those frequent clickers, we got to think about that if they’re clicking regularly. While they’re telling you that’s a very high donation activity potential, right, those are very likely people that are very motivated. And ultimately, you can also use the data collected, meaning what content they’re clicking on, you can use that data to make determinations on what you’re going to do beyond email. So if you’re noticing that a particular feature or a particular story, a particular testimonial is getting clicked on in your email, well, that might tell you that maybe you want to share similar content on your blog, similar content on social this is obviously attractive. So I’m gonna share with you the click rate for nonprofits for last month 1.62%. Now, again, this fluctuates, but you can kind of see here already, the natural inclination to pay attention to the open rate versus the click rate. That’s obviously a smaller number. We don’t feel passionate about that. We don’t want to go scream that up to the board that we got a 1.62 click through rate. But we have to think of what that represents that 1.62% click through rate. Those are people that we know we reached, and those are the ones that are most likely to convert take action that we want them to take. So we need to treat those folks with tender loving care. Now, as I’m starting to talk about segmentation, breaking people up into smaller lists where we have to take a moment and think about well, why would we do that? We want to send them more relevant content Wouldn’t that might mean we need to send more emails, right. And this is the next assumption we want to tackle a lot of nonprofits and quite frankly, a lot of for profits to assume that over sending email sending too many, too many emails are going to alienate people, and it’s going to increase unsubscribes. It can. Alright, but
you have to remember, it’s all about relevancy. So the example I probably overused is there is an email that I get every day that I open nearly every day, it’s my bank statement, right? I review it every day, that’s extremely relevant to me, do I suggest you send an email every day? No. But I do want you to think through the correlation between relevancy. And how often you send, the more relevant your content, the more you’re going to get a result. Now, it’s a real challenge, especially in the nonprofit space with limited budgets, limited staff to construct three or four or five emails and have them targeted. But the more you can devote yourself to that, the higher the results are going to be, we do suggest you send at least once a month, you want to make sure that you’re staying top of mind. And this falls into my next assumption. And of course, as you come around in the event, you can increase your frequency as well. So for an example of events coming up, it’s perfectly appropriate for you to send three emails within the three week span about that event. But my next assumption, falls right underneath this one, which is well, you know, we do use email marketing, Matt, but we only really crank it up around events around appeal campaigns. Right. Now you want to be fairly regular with your email marketing. Why by that you want to be sending at least once a month to stay top of mind. But you also need to consider the kinds of content you’re sharing. Now one thing I have found in the nonprofit space is that this is one that is not as big an issue in the nonprofit space. I’m going explain it by talking about our for profit friends, for profit, friends love to appeal, right they love to but discounts and offers and specials and products. And that’s the majority of their content. The problem is, is not everybody’s ready to take action the moment they receive an email. So we have to think through okay, well how do we build a relationship with the audience over time, and when they’re ready? We ought we have the appropriate link in other material in that email. So that’s why the good old 80 20% rule applies to email marketing. 80% of your content should be around engaging your audience entertaining them educating, answering frequently asked questions, curating content from other sources, sharing, survey data sharing, success stories. That’s the kind of data that’s the kind of content that is going to keep you top of mind keep interest within opening your email 20% of the email should be appealing right? So about an appeals and so whatever it is, you’re trying to get people to do. That’s 20% of the email. The reason why you want to have this mix is Because for those that are ready to take action right now, we have to give them a way to take action right now. For those that aren’t quite ready, we want to keep them engaged with us. So that when the time’s right when the moment and their life is right, they’re able to take that action. The reason I say that you all do this better than for profits is because you’re very used to making sure that you’re not overselling, right. So you always continue to put good content, whether that’s on your website, your blog, or whatever, good content along with a nice mix of your appeal. So getting people to click on that donate button. But make sure that you’re mixing this up. And for those of you that are only doing email marketing, at a time of need, so you’re trying to get people to an event you’re trying to get people to donate, you may want to start broadening out and sending more regularly, along with making sure that you identify what contacts are taking what an action so that you can start to do more targeted marketing. And that brings us up to the next big topic. So now let’s talk about refreshing your contact lists. One thing I have seen nonprofits excel at, is collecting contacts, you’d be surprised when I talk to for profits. Many of them, I have to convince them to grow their contact list. Surprisingly, they don’t even think of their contact lists, initially. And that’s kind of a surprise, because I think all of you understand that every single contact you have in your database, and you’re doing a perfect database that represents money, right? That represents volunteers that represents attendees. So every contact is really, really important to a nonprofit, technically, it’s really, really important for a for profit to the challenge I see is how we’re collecting those email addresses. And so when you’re soliciting for email addresses, you want to think through how you’re asking for them. So if this was a live event, right, I’d ask you for a show of hands. And I’d say well, how many of you want to get another email in your inbox, none of you would raise your hand, right? One of you, it really needs to be more than just asking them for their email address. So here I have an example of a solicitation on our website, join our mailing list. Nobody wants to join your mailing list. Nobody wants to join my mailing list, instead of making it about you make it about them make it about them getting something other than just more email. So here’s another example, right? We’re offering something we’re offering some thought leadership, we’re making it something about them, okay. And when we make it something about them, if we give them something of perceived value, something that’s also furthering your cause? Well, now the relationship you have with your subscriber changes. So what we’re talking about here is lead magnets right where we’re attracting leads. And there’s a couple of different ways that a nonprofit can attract leads.
Now I know some of you already have this kind of material ready, it’s just a matter of repurposing it or repositioning it to use as a lead magnet. So something like an e book or if you do a regular webinar series, one of my very favorite, and it might be a challenge for you. But one of my very favorite, the most successful ones I’ve seen in the nonprofit space is exclusive access, making people feel like they’re part of something special. And then delivering that something special via email is actually a really effective way to get people’s contact information. And if we think about it, if they give you their contact information, they are special, right? That is somebody that has shown interest in you and your cause, we ought to treat them special. And you can, the kinds of ways you can give them exclusive access. Maybe if they sign up one of the things they get as early bird access to your conference, or early bird access to your Gala, you know that kind of thinking of like, how can we use what we already have, and just sweeten it up just a little bit to treat these contacts as, as with white glove support, because they are really special. A guide, a checklist a case study, look around and see what you have, if you don’t have something, develop something and use that when you solicit for email addresses. So you can see here an example of an intake form found on a website found on social media found on a blog. And in it, we’re suggesting that they’ll get this comprehensive guide, that’s the lead magnet. So you can make the lead magnet, your headline, you just want to keep your form really simple. You want to set expectations, you’ll hear from us X number of months, X number of times per month, you also want to make sure you include privacy policies and terms of service. Now those of us use Constant Contact, all of the intake forms that constant contact offers, already has that all baked in for you. But you want to make sure that you change it from them just receiving email and getting on your list to giving them something of value and how can you deliver that. So if they if they sign up and get the guide? Well, there’s two ways within Constant Contact, you can do that. One is when you create a form like this, you can actually have them once they complete the form, receive whatever it is you’re offering. But maybe a more clever way to do it is to leverage automation. So Constant Contact has automation built in it so that when somebody joins a list, they can receive an automated email and perhaps in that email, that’s where they get that guide that checklist or at least some verbiage about their exclusive access, you can automatically send that email and that email is going to be one of the most open to clicked on emails you ever deliver a welcome email, an email that’s delivered right after somebody signs up generally gets about an 80% open rate. So you may want to consider even making that a series you send one email, and then you send how to connect to us on social media. And then you send another email about how they can take further action with you. Another thing you want to think through when you’re soliciting for email addresses is how can I segment this audience, right? So when you’re creating an intake form, you may ask questions on the intake form that gives you some idea of what segment this audience belongs to. And we all know that every subscriber is different, every person is different. They live in different locations, they have different interests, they have different passions, they may want to engage with you in different ways, right. And so that’s what we want to do, we want to take our large contact list and break it up into smaller lists. So we can certainly start to segment there at the beginning of the relationship, but you can leverage email marketing and constant contact to segment people even further. And in fact, it’s actually really, really easy to do. So Constant Contact has a feature called click segmentation. And click segmentation. What happens when somebody clicks on a link in your email, they can automatically be segmented into a new or existing list, all you have to do is enable click segmentation and choose the list you want these contacts to be added to. So what happens is when you enable click segmentation, and you send out the email, the emails received in the inbox, and ideally, the person clicks on a link. Of course, the website, the blog, wherever it is, you’re trying to drive them opens up. But behind the scenes, that contact is added to the list automatically for you. So what it’s doing is it’s auto bucketing these people so that you can do targeted follow up in the future. Another way that you can segment further and Constant Contact is using Constant Contact segmentation tool. For those of you that use contacts, it’s found under the Contact tab at the top of the email of the top of constant contact. When you segment, when you go to the segmentation tool, you’re met with a form that looks like this. And really it’s just a matter of determining what kind of segmentation you want to do. I’m really, really passionate about this tool when it comes to using it with in conjunction with DonorPerfect data. Because a DonorPerfect syncs with constant contact every night. That means that data is flowing in and anything you’ve updated any new contacts, any behavior of things that are going on in the DonorPerfect side is being reflected on the Constant Contact side, as you send the email out through Constant Contact, and they’re taking interactions or whatever with your emails. Well, you’re taking all of the data Constant Contact has and all the data that you’ve synced up from DonorPerfect. And you can cut it up in infinite ways. So here’s how this works as one example. So we’re setting up a targeted segment. And let’s say we want to have a group of people that are very, very engaged, right, so perhaps we name it donors in Orlando. And we want to look next at people that did not click any email in the last 30 days. So actually reversing it, we want to look at people that are not engaged, we want to re engage them. And we want to look at people that are specific to a particular location. So they’re on my list of of advocates, and the city they live in is in Orlando. Now we could keep adding more criteria. So we can narrow it down to a particular job title, or we can narrow it down to a particular zip code. But what’ll end up happening is that will will receive a list of people that meet this criteria. The benefit here is that now we can reuse that list to send email out targeted email out and that this is updated every single time any new information has been brought in. And every single time you send out an email. Now I’m using a contact activity based on whether or not they opened or clicked or didn’t click or did open. But you can stack these segments any way you want. And you can have as many segments as you want. And for those of you that are somewhat advanced, next time you send an email, you’ll choose a list to send to but look right next to it, you’ll see a button that says segments you can send to segments. And remember these are living lists. These are smart lists, every single time that data is brought in from DonorPerfect every single time you’re sending out an email, this information is getting updated in your segments, it really makes it very easy. And for nonprofits with you know, small staffs, and we talked about wearing those multiple hats. This is a really awesome feature. So this is an example of a list that I’ve received once I create a segment and I can refresh this to pull in the latest data. But if I send to this list, it’s refreshed for me. And speaking of refresh, let me just spend a couple of minutes talking about design. So we talked earlier about the average person spending seven seconds with with an email. One thing I don’t do as much anymore, thanks to the COVID world is I used to present why Have nonstop. And it was great because people would come up to me and they say, Hey, will you take a look at my email? How are we doing? So I present then they’d say, Okay, what do you think? And I would often be very nice about it. But as I said, nonprofits tend to have really, really long emails. Now, one thing we need to think about is why it’s so long. Is it really trying to reach multiple audiences? Right? Are we including content that’s relevant to everybody, or nearly everybody? Are we trying to like, do a kitchen sink type of email, like some people will want this, some people want this, some people want this. Now, at the beginning of the presentation, I told you that I worked at a nonprofit. And then I actually brought some assumptions in. And one of those assumptions was that
everybody wanted to read everything. We didn’t segment nearly enough. And as we started to segment out our audiences, we saw lift in our opens in our clicks. That’s because we were alienating a lot of people they just weren’t reading it all was too much information. And this was now 12 years ago or more. smartphone penetration has obviously increased considerably, so that attention spans has gotten shorter and shorter and shorter. So remember that 90% of an email of information is processed by visual content. Emails that contain images, get a higher click through rate. So if it’s not obvious, if an image speaks 1000 words, and we want to limit the number of words that we use in an email, well, we want to make sure we employ images, three images, or less not including your logo, or the optimal amount of images, why three images are less? Well, if you put in five 710 images, you’re overwhelming people, your email is getting longer and longer. And remember that Constant Contact, those of you that use Constant Contact is mobile responsive, meaning that the email will redesign itself based on the device. So if the emails really long on a desktop, it’s going to be really long on a mobile device. Our strategy that we suggest is to keep it simple. Remember, we want to have about 200 words, we want to have about three images or less. But you also want to think about simplicity in the actual layout. So what somebody needs to understand within those precious couple of seconds, is these three things. First, they need to know what are you talking about? Right? So that’s going to be your headline, obviously, the headline here is indigenous peoples day, very clear, lots of whitespace around it, then how will it help the community? Well, we’re talking about celebrating history and culture. And there’s a little bit of text talking about what they do. Lastly, is what should people do next. And that’s going to be your call to action, your call to action in this case would be that button. Right? You see that it’s nice visually, it’s very obvious what people are supposed to do. Now, strategically, what this organization would also want to do is make sure that these two images are clickable, meaning that if somebody tries to click on either of those images, they’re going to go to the same location as if they clicked on that button. Not everybody is going to click on a button, some people are inherently naturally going to try to click on an image. So a best practice is to make sure you’re making your images clickable as well. When you put in an image, if you’re using Constant Contact, you’ll see a little link icon, you can link that image. And you can use click segmentation as well. So I’ll reiterate both images, and the button should link to the same place. But hopefully you can see how keeping it simple is making it very easy to access information quickly. Now, the dirty little secret in email marketing is that nobody actually reads email, they scan, they skim. And I’ve been talking for a while with this, maybe some of you have been reading. But most of you just kind of got the point really quickly, right? Well, that’s what you want your audience to do. You want to keep it simple, keep it to three images or less for maximum effect. Now another question that I get asked is, well, what color is the most effective? Well, that’s really hard for me to tell you. There’s a big assumption out there that bright colors, bold colors for buttons and call to actions really effective. You just need to make sure that it’s fitting your brand and fitting your mission. So warm colors are considered to be inviting fun, you want to try to use warm colors, if you’re trying to build an event or something like that warm colors are really effective. Who cooks right? You’re talking about calmness, trust. So you want to try to employ these kinds of colors, not just in things like buttons, but especially in your imagery and your image choices. So by you know if I’m doing a campaign and I’m trying to denote one of these two things, I may choose an image that correlates with that kind of temperature. Now as a couple of just examples, our friends at Shutterstock had done some analysis and found that warm colors good warm colors are going to be a gold is actually clicked on more than silver. The most clickable food is going to be strawberries and watermelon most clickable flowers are going to be poppies and sunflowers were cool colors are going to be berry shades, pears and limestone. Most clickable, cool foods and rivers are the most clickable body of water. Now, is any of this applicable to you know, unless you’re doing something around food, or water? I don’t think so. But what I want to you to think through is the correlation between what images you You’re using what you’re trying to affect, and what you’re trying to relay in as quickly a shorter window of time as possible. Right? So I’m going to kind of go back to that idea of the the warm colors indicate energy, right? Well, if we’re trying to get people to take an action, what what image we choose and what overall color that image has. It’s relaying information to the subscriber very, very quickly. And we want to relay information to the subscriber really, really quickly. Because the moment they open that email, the clock’s ticking, we want them to take that action, again, because they’re going to spend more time on the website, they’re going to be more likely to donate, attend, volunteer, etc. And Constant Contact will tell you that they clicked on that particular link. Now, I’m about to do something we debated back and forth. We’re like, Oh, do we do this? We don’t do this. But we’re going to do it. I’m going to show you the future. Right? I can tell you in my 12 years at constant contact in teaching so many organizations, the one thing people come to me the most about is that how do I write content? writing content drives me crazy. I’m wearing multiple hats, I don’t have time to be a copywriter. This is really painful. I’m having spent a lot of time trying to write copy is this good copy is this bad copy? When we actually define copy? In case you’re not in the marketing world? What you write, like the words you put in the email, okay? Am I good at this? Am I bad at this? I don’t know, this is really hard. Well, finally, somebody has an answer artificial intelligence to the rescue. Constant Contact is putting AI into Constant Contact. What this means is that you can give the artificial intelligence, a few words, maybe a sentence or a couple of keywords, and it will produce the content based on that information. It saves you time by writing the text. And I will I will admit, and I have a couple of my co workers on this call today. I’ve been using this a lot like personally, because while I’m a pretty Abel copywriter, and I have a background in marketing, what I always find really hard is just getting started, like I just need some words to help me I usually end up crafting it beyond what the AI gives me. But even as a seasoned marketer, this helps me but if you’re not a seasoned marketer, this is a dream. So I’m going to show you because this is this is in beta, I’m going to show you how this works.
So this is the example of the artificial intelligence interface. And we have a couple of choices. First, we’re going to decide, okay, what, what is the content type, you know, is it gonna be an announcement, it’s gonna be a newsletter promotion, and then the voice the tone that we’re relaying in our marketing. And then you put in a couple of either sentences or keywords. So you know, the keywords I use in this example, I’ve got an event coming up. It’s about adoption. There’s silent auction vendors. And then you hit generate text. This is literally a screengrab from the AI I didn’t, I didn’t tease this at all, I just I just grabbed this text, it wrote entire content. For me. Now you can see, this is already lengthy text, right, we talked about keeping our text short and simple. So you may want to further edit this, we certainly encourage human beings to read this content. And you can, of course, manipulate it. So once you copy it into your email, you can see there’s a little copy button, once you copy it into your email, you have the ability to further edit it. But what I like about this is it gets the hardest part, in my opinion of the creative of the creative process off your plate, right, because it’s a lot easier to edit something and manipulate something once it’s been created, then come come up with it whole cloth, I have never been more excited about a feature content context launch. Because this solves such a common pain point. I’ve heard content creation, content creation, content creation, as being a giant pain point for years, and I just can’t believe the time has finally come to solve that problem. Now, as we start to pivot into questions, a lot of the best practices I’ve shared with you, I don’t want you to overthink. Because one assumption that I want you to refresh is that you have to do it alone. One thing I love about our relationship with DonorPerfect is that they’ve created fantastic templates for you. These templates are going to be built on there. 35 years of fundraising industry experience, these templates have some of the most common fundraising campaigns, you’d probably want to send. And you just simply drag your logo and your contact information. You update your contact information in the templates and hit sin. Why not rely on experts that have been doing this for so long? To give you a hand so you can even use a combination of some of the best practices I shared with you along with your templates, but a lot of the hard work has been done for you. And I just want to talk a little bit deeper about our great relationship with DonorPerfect I mean one thing I like to say is that constant contact and DonorPerfect or peanut butter jelly we just go better together. So a little bit about constant contact because you don’t know us very well. And I’d be willing to bet if you don’t use us, you probably know us. It’s because we’ve been in business for 26 years, we invented this space. And that’s important to know, because we have a 97% delivery rate. The delivery rate means how many of those emails that you build, gets get delivered, we have the best in class deliverability, right. Because we know what we’re doing. We’ve been doing this for so long, we have a great relationship with all the organizations out there that gets your email delivered, we have fantastic free award winning support. One thing I do love about when I do an event with DonorPerfect is how many of you really appreciate the support that you get through DonorPerfect. And that’s another example of peanut butter and jelly because one of the things people love most about Constant Contact is our customer support. So we have free customer support for you. As I said, we have this fantastic DonorPerfect templates for you. We’ve been trusted by millions of small businesses and nonprofits for 26 years, you can sync nightly with DonorPerfect and you can use filters in DonorPerfect to ensure that your story or your appeal reaches just the right audience. And then you can further that experience by leveraging some of the segmentation tools that I brought up earlier. If you’re a donor, light donor, perfect light customer, we actually have an offer for you. And you can actually get 50% off for three months of constant contact using the promo code DP, save 50. Simply scan this code with your phone, and you can get access to that information. You can also go through this long URL at the bottom if you want to get access to that. But for the other DonorPerfect customers that are not in light, well we do offer constant contact through what we call the bundles. So you can actually get constant contact included in your DonorPerfect experience. If you have any questions just call DonorPerfect. And they’ll they’ll be able to walk you through the process. And with that, I’m going to turn to Darryl with DonorPerfect for some questions.
A Matthew, thanks for covering that actually. And even a point of clarification, that 50% off is for light or any customer that does not have the bundle. So if you’re looking to add Constant Contact and you want to run that integration, you want to get some of those premier templates that we have that are fundraising templates, you can go ahead and add Constant Contact, either through the bundle, as Matthew mentioned, or through this DPSA 50 offer. So with that, we’ll jump into some of the QA questions. There are some really great ones out here. One of the first ones was do these rules, three images. 200 words apply to a weekly eblast.
Alright, so let me actually just give everybody a little bit of a little bit of wiggle room. All right. So best practices are best practices, right? They’re best practices for the multitude and may not be best practice for that particular organization and their particular audience. I will say that I would test those assumptions, it might be time to refresh those assumptions. I know that that 200 words of text three images is a huge challenge in nonprofits. Can you put four images? Could you put a little bit more text? Of course you can. But the more specific, the more tight you can make your email, the higher your results. But this also goes back to questioning. Is this content this really long content? Is this really meant for everybody? Or are there segments in this content? Could I send a shorter, simpler email to a smaller group of people, I would actually have to review their content and review their organization and talk to them about their audience and give them a complete answer. But in general, everybody, try to simplify your email, whether that’s a weekly e blast, or it’s a monthly campaign, make sure you’re thinking through where most people are going to be reading that email on that device, right? The more scrolls people have to do when they open it, the less chance you’re going to get them to take action.
Awesome, awesome. And Joelle asks, Where does Constant Contact pull stock images from?
There is actually so this is going to be a very constant contact specific answer for everybody. When you go to add an image to your constant contact email, there’s a little button up there. This is stock images, it’s in the top right hand corner. So when you’re going to add an image, you’ll see your image library show up. And there’s a little button that says stock images. When you go into that we have a relationship a partnership with Shutterstock, the industry leader for stock image stock images, and there’s millions of stock images. Now those millions of stock images are $5 each. But there’s 1000s and 1000s of free images and you just simply simply click on the image and it adds it gets added to your constant contact image gallery.
Perfect, perfect. And Gabby would like your opinion, I worked for Goodwill, many people don’t think to get money to Goodwill because they donate their clothing and household items, right? We have emails for for goods donors, what would be your tip or first step to convert goods donors to monetary donors.
I’m going to actually play this off for you to Dara will do this a little back and forth. I mean, my immediate reaction would be to play at the heartstrings a little bit you know maybe share how they’re I mean obviously can’t talk about their specific goods donation. But talk about How good’s donations in general help the public and can you help us further or, you know, the cause still has more work to be done to be resolved something like that. What do you think?
Yeah, I think you’re spot on with that. I think thanking them knowing that they’re a good stoner thanking them for that goods donation, but then also communicating. Why is the monetary needed what what sorts of things does the Monetary Fund back to sort of pulling at the heartstrings to kind of get that done?
And I mean, if we have the ability to the person that asked that question, and this is true for any of you that are in a similar scenario, if you have the ability to, I mean, obviously, you’re collecting their contact information, or hopefully you’re collecting the contact information when they donate goods to you. So ideally, you’re sending them a thank you appropriate place to add on the your, your gift can go further by would be in that. Thank you.
Yeah, good, good suggestion there. Next question. Joellen asks, Does ConstantContact have any data on the lead magnets that are the most effective for nonprofits?
I don’t have any data at the at the point of doing this presentation. I mean, my my inclination would be something around checklists and guides, you know, the data, if I get that data, I don’t know that data exists. But if I could pour into that data, my gut would be something like that. I do know that on the for profit side. Things like checklists are really effective, and actually really simple to create. I mean, obviously, you need to make sure that that kind of information correlates with your mission. But I mean, all right, I’ll go ahead let the cat out of the bag. On the for profit side, the most effective lead magnet is discounts. Obviously, I can’t really spark bring that up in this audience. But this is where that idea of an exclusive experience comes in. Because while I don’t want you to cut into your margins, creating something that gives people quicker access, earlier access of small discount to your Gala, your your event, whatever you’re trying to do. That’s a powerful lead magnet. And I would imagine that that correlates very well to the for profit side of doing discounting.
Makes sense? Makes sense. I want to put out a quick reminder there if anybody wants more information about Constant Contact, please select yes. And the poll is out there. And then we’ll jump into another question here. Should the appeal be the first thing in the email in the middle or at the end?
It depends a little bit on where your appeal, like if it’s a constant appeal, what I would include is a donation button up the top of that right next to your logo, or right underneath your logo, just have it as part stock of every single email. If it’s kind of a campaign where you’re describing the mission of the campaign of the appeal campaign, it’s gonna be depend on where in the lifespan of the campaign, you’re sending the email. So if I’m launching a appeal campaign, that’s going to be the top part of my email. That’s what I want them to know about. In fact, that may just be the whole content of my email. But that’s going to certainly be one of the first things people see if it’s, you know, a three month campaign or something like that. And I’m including it in my kind of weekly newsletter monthly newsletter, maybe let me actually backup because I’m dancing around the actual answer. whatever’s most important to you goes to the top of the email in terms of content. So whatever is going to be most important for the audience to know goes to the top of the email. Now I know all of you are going to shout, well, of course, our appeals the most important thing, we have to remember relevancy, right? We have to remember that 8020 rule is that particular content for an appeal going to be the most useful thing to the audience. So this is really a case by case basis. But given where the campaign is in time, and given how relevant that’s going to be to the audience is going to be determined where you put it in email.
Makes sense? Makes sense. Question about statistics on Constant Contact, are there any stats on email series? How often just send in a short period of time? And this is part of that automation tool? Perhaps as well?
Yeah, that’s where I was gonna lean. So I don’t have statistics at the ready right now. But, you know, generally, we find that a three email series is going to be one of the most effective. So you actually technically four. So you send a welcome email. And once they’ve they’ve gotten on your list that you’ve collected the contact information. And then the next email, I’ve actually mentioned this earlier in the presentation, the next email is going to be you know, how far out what are other ways they can connect to you. So through social media, did you know we have a blog Have you visited this page on our website, and of course, your donation button is going to be in the top of all these emails. The next one is going to be maybe a bit more about what you do and your mission, maybe case studies, things like that, encouraging them, like here’s how you can help. And then the last one may be just a little bit of a fear of missing out like, make sure you’ve done this and the other and encouraging them to take that next step with Whether that’s going to be to donate, attend or volunteer, whatever you’re trying to get them to do, but you want to watch out is going to much deeper than that in automation. Because maybe they did finally donate, maybe they did finally take action. But we have found like a four email series to be the most effective.
Got it? Got it. And I think this might have also answered Stacy’s question, which is, can you automate emails and a constant contact to go out at certain intervals? And that’s using that automation piece? And with the segmentation, you can even get some really powerful timings on that for your audiences. So hopefully, that that answers your question, Stacey, and I know we are just a little bit over here. I’m gonna, I’m going to squeeze in maybe two more questions, I know that some are gonna probably hop to another session here. But what would be the subject line of a newsletter without saying newsletter?
Whatever the newsletter is about? That’s where, you know, I love asked that question, because that just proves how often that question is asked in my life, whatever the emails about, like, you want to make sure you’re informing your audience like, what, what, what you’re sending an email about. And so, you know, I often get asked at this point, what do I use commas to just say everything, no, whatever you’re leading with whatever your lead content is, that should suggest your subject line. Remember that your subject line isn’t carrying all the weight, you have preheader text, that little bit of text that appears next to or under the subject line, that you can put more context about what you’re sharing in your email, or you could share what other kinds of information you’re going to be sharing in your email. But whatever your reason for sending the email out, whatever gets that top hero spot of content, that’s going to be what you that’s what you’re going to put in your subject line. And don’t be afraid to use the AI powered subject line generator that is in the product now. And so try that out. And I know we’re over on time. And I know you had a couple more questions that I just want to reiterate something to everybody, especially with these devices, and I know it’s kind of disappearing on my background. Think of the scroll line. So whatever content you have, before somebody has to scroll, that’s going to be what your subject lines about.
Got it? Got it. All right, last one here. Is it appropriate to use initialisms? Like I see why am I in case you missed it? Is that too informal or confusing?
It’s going to depend on the type of organization you are in the kind of relationship you have. I would I am just going to throw this one off the cuff like we have I got that from a clothing retailer, I think that’d be fine. If I got that from my bank, I’d be upset. But that said, whatever kind of subject line model you use, make sure that you’re thinking through with this play to my audience, and how does this reflect on our organization? When I say Would it play to our audience, with the majority of the audience understand that. Another thing you want to think through is if you’re going to do something like that, avoid using too many forms of punctuation. If you have more than two forms of punctuation, you’re increasing the risk of email is going to be identified as spam.
Got it? Got it? Well, Matthew, thank you so much, you as always have I think wild our audience here and thank you all for attending and listening in. This is some really good content that’s that’s hopefully going to help you all to be better fundraisers and get more engagement out of your audiences that are out there. As a reminder, this session has been recorded. We’ll make it available to you after the after our conference. handouts are at the bottom. If you want to download them. Please remember the poll. If you want some more information, and get ready for 1230 sessions, there are some really great topics that are out there. So with all of that, we will bid you adieu. And here.
Thank you, everybody. Thank you, Darrell. Thanks.
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