Your donors provide unwavering support and funding, enabling your nonprofit to carry out its mission and create a lasting impact. However, building a robust and engaged donor list can be challenging. Building trust and credibility to attract and retain donors takes a lot of work – from tapping into the right resources to positioning your nonprofit among competing organizations.
That’s where email marketing can make an impact.
Email marketing is one of the most tried and true ways of building trust with your nonprofit audience and engaging your donors to generate impressive ROI. And when it comes to an email marketing strategy, one of the most powerful approaches is the welcome series.
Let’s dive into how welcome series emails can give your nonprofit strategy an edge. We’ll also introduce you to Benchmark Email, an email marketing platform that is well suited to busy, resource-strapped nonprofits, to put together an automated welcome series that delights your donors.
What is an Email Series?
If you aren’t familiar, an email series uses email automation to send well-timed emails to a subscriber. These emails can be triggered by time, for instance:
- Send email 1 immediately
- Send email 2 on Day 2
- Send email 3 on Day 4
and so on.
Email automation can also allow emails or a series of emails to be triggered by an action, such as:
- Subscriber visits a specific page
- Subscriber joins a specific email list
- Subscriber clicks a specific email link
The power of email automation for nonprofit organizations is the ability to send compelling email messages to the right person at the right time. Instead of a one-size-fits-all email blast, you can compel your subscribers to take the action that aligns with their level of engagement in your organization.
The Benefits of a Welcome Email Series
Every time a new person enrolls in your nonprofit’s email marketing, they’re telling you that they want to hear from you and are open to supporting your cause in some way. They’re extending their support, so it’s important that you welcome them with the same enthusiasm.
Here are some reasons why nonprofits need to use a welcome email series to greet their new subscribers:
1. First Impression
The welcome email series serves as the initial point of contact with new subscribers, creating the first impression of the organization. It offers an opportunity to engage and connect with them on a personal level, setting the tone for the relationship. A well-crafted welcome series demonstrates the organization’s professionalism, values, and commitment to its mission, leaving a positive and lasting impact.
2. Relationship Building
Building strong relationships with supporters is vital for nonprofits. The welcome email series provides a chance to start cultivating a relationship with new subscribers right from the beginning. By sharing compelling stories, introducing the organization’s work, and expressing gratitude for their support, nonprofits can establish a sense of trust, loyalty, and affinity early on. This helps in fostering a long-term and meaningful connection with the subscriber.
3. Information Sharing
The welcome email series allows nonprofits to provide important information to new subscribers. It is an opportunity to educate them about the organization’s programs, initiatives, and impact. By sharing success stories, upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities, nonprofits can keep subscribers informed and engaged, ensuring they understand the breadth and depth of the organization’s work.
4. Call to Action
The welcome email series can include specific calls to action, encouraging new subscribers to take further steps to support the organization. Whether it’s making a donation, signing up for a newsletter, or volunteering, nonprofits can guide subscribers toward meaningful actions that align with their interests and values. This helps convert new subscribers into active participants and supporters of the organization’s cause.
5. Segmentation and Personalization
Through the welcome email series, nonprofits can gather valuable information about new subscribers, such as their interests, preferences, and communication preferences. This data can be used to segment subscribers into specific groups and tailor future communications accordingly. Personalized emails based on subscriber preferences have a higher likelihood of resonating with the individual, leading to increased engagement and support.
6. Retention and Long-Term Engagement
The welcome email series plays a significant role in retaining new subscribers and fostering long-term engagement. By providing a warm welcome, relevant information, and opportunities for involvement, nonprofits can increase the likelihood that subscribers will remain connected and active supporters over time. This ultimately contributes to the sustainability and growth of the organization.
Sending a welcome email series to new subscribers allows nonprofits to make a positive first impression, build relationships, share information, provide calls to action, gather valuable data for personalization, and promote long-term engagement. It sets the foundation for a strong supporter base and contributes to the overall success of the organization’s mission.
How to Use Benchmark Email to Create a Welcome Series for New Subscribers and Donors
Benchmark Email is an email marketing platform on a mission to simplify email marketing. Here’s an easy, step-by-step process for creating a welcome series using Benchmark Email.
1. Build a Lead Capture Form
Benchmark Email makes it simple to engage people on your website by allowing them to subscribe to an email list. You can choose from embedded forms, popup forms, or small embedded forms.
When you create your sign-up form, you will choose which list you want your subscribers to join when they use that form. This is a perfect way to segment your audience as they sign-up. You may have a sign-up form to subscribe to your newsletter. Or you might create a sign-up form for those interested in an upcoming event, or a sign-up form for those interested in a specific cause.
You can customize the form by adding fields, changing colors, and adding images or text. You can also enable double opt-in or customize the confirmation message subscribers receive after they sign up.
Make sure you preview the form to make sure it looks the way you want it to. Once you’re satisfied with the form, click the “Save & Publish” button to push it live.
2. Add Your New Form to Your Website and Share it Out
To share the form, you can embed it on your website, share the link on social media, or send it out in an email campaign.
3. Create Your Automated Welcome Series
Automation Pro is Benchmark Email’s email automation tool. With a no-code visual builder, anyone can create and send automated emails.
Benchmark Email comes pre-loaded with automation templates to take the guesswork out of engaging with your subscribers. Choose the “Welcome New Subscribers” automation to build your email welcome series – without starting from scratch.
Once the template is loaded, all you need to do is edit the details of your series.
First, you’ll tell Automation Pro how users should join the email series. It’s easy! Simply choose the list you created for your new sign-up form.
Next, you’ll need to build each welcome email in the series. Automation Pro will walk you step-by-step through building an email.
Need help crafting the perfect subject line? Click on the lightbulb icon. This will trigger Smart Content, a Benchmark Email tool that assists you with finding your highest-engaging subject line.
Next, you’ll build the body of your email. You can create an eye-popping email with the drag-and-drop editor, or choose a plain text email if you don’t want to include elements like images and buttons.
We recommend choosing the drag-and-drop editor to add email copy, images, and your nonprofit branding colors and logo. This is also a good time to personalize the email by adding the subscriber’s name or other relevant details. Make sure you use the Smart Content feature to assist you with your email body copy.
Continue to add your emails, and then you are ready to activate your email welcome series.
A well-crafted welcome email series offers nonprofits the opportunity to introduce themselves, convey their mission and impact, and demonstrate their gratitude for new subscribers’ interest. Moreover, it allows nonprofits to provide valuable information, highlight ongoing initiatives, and present various ways for subscribers to get involved and make a difference.
Benchmark Email provides nonprofits with an easy way to get their email marketing strategy off the ground. Try the simplest email builder on the block with a free Benchmark Email account.