WP Remix

Archive for July, 2009


An interesting study was released recently by MailerMailer, indicating that the open-rates of marketing e-mails declined to less than 13% in late 2008.  This study was highlighed in an article on the eMarketer website today. 

While many of our organizations enjoy substantially higher open-rates and click-through rates than traditional ‘spam’ marketers, this is an interesting statistic to ponder as we think about the future of our programs.  The benefits of having better relationships with our donors and friends don’t make us immune to the same fate if we fail to continually strive to offer e-mail communications that are interesting and valuable to our donors.

As more and more orgniazations utilize e-mail as a core part of their strategy it has become easier than ever to become lost in a deluge of e-mails that arrive in our in-boxes every day.

Just what is it that we can provide via e-mail (or any other communications channel for that matter) that our donors and potential donors will find useful and informative?  Are we sending e-mail, e-newsletters and other materials simply to do so, or does each communication have value?  Sometimes I wonder if we all aren’t in such a hurry to deliver SOMETHING that the something we end up delivering ends up being categorized as spam by the intended recipient.  And if it is, what happens to our e-mail when we really do have a communication of significance?  I think I know, because the ‘D’ on my ‘DEL’ key is looking a little worn these days.

It might be a good idea to ask a few donors (and potential donors) just what they want to hear about.  What types of information could the organization deliver that would maintain their interest?  How often would they like to receive e-mail?  Do they prefer a fancy email with video, or a simple note?  It’s really all about them, not us, and if we heed their advice they might just continue to click!

See the article here:  E-Mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

Happy New Fiscal Year!

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July 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. As the prior fiscal year comes to a close there’s nothing more to do but wait for those final official numbers. When those numbers are good, it’s time to celebrate and bask in the glow of a job well done. When they aren’t (and let’s be honest, that’s the case for many this year) it’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin a new ‘best year ever’!

Normally, this would be the time to set a new baseline number – to build on – for the future. Take a look at those key metrics and determine what’s working, what isn’t, and what strategies should be tweaked going forward. By now you’d have a pretty good idea from numbers late in FY09, but the final counts provide a complete look at the year. How was retention? New donor acquisition? Upgrade percentage? Average gift? All those numbers that haunt us day and night can be calculated a million different ways to determine the health of our programs.

I’m not sure this is the best year for that.

As I speak with others in programs large and small, I worry that too many organizations are seeing abnormal numbers and making dramatic changes as a result of that data. Let’s not forget that FY09 was a strange year. Metrics may be wacky and in some situations it’s simply because donor behavior WAS affected by the economic climate. I’d hate to make drastic decisions based on a single year of data, especially this one.

Successful programs can and should always adapt, adjust and improve. But to take that same successful program and decide, based on FY09, that a complete overhaul is necessary might just make a bad situation worse. I’ve heard it’s a good idea not to throw the baby out with the bath water. This is a pretty good time to heed that advice.

Have a happy and successful new year! Let’s hope this one isn’t quite as eventful as the last.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog