As a non-profit organization you want to build, maintain and encourage everyone’s involvement; staff, clients, supporters and donors. One major avenue that non-profits use to engage those groups, and the individuals within them is email. Getting to that point demands strategy, standards and processes. In this article, let’s discuss how you do that today.
Email Deliverability Importance
You’ve probably seen a lot of email service providers advertise “98% deliverability” or “high deliverability” or “the best deliverability ever,” and you might be wondering what it all means. Deliverability is a way to measure the success at which an email marketer gets a campaign into subscribers’ inboxes. Senders affect their own deliverability, too—so if you create good content and maintain a clean list, your campaigns will be more likely to reach your subscribers.
Your Community Email Strategy
According to various reports, 18% of permission-based email in North America never reaches the inbox: 5% is classified as spam, and the remaining 13% simply goes missing. While 82% inbox placement is not a horrible number, marketers would agree that there is certainly room for improvement.
There’s no question that email software and the people who use it are getting better at filtering out spam. This is good since it makes it easier for engaging emails to get through — but without a strong focus on deliverability, sometimes even quality, permission-based emails can get filtered out of your subscriber’s inboxes.
You want every email your organization sends out to be welcomed by the community and, where appropriate, responded to. Like most projects, you have to have a vision for how you get there.
Your non-profit must communicate with each group and sub-group found in it. You want to keep information flowing freely in both directions for your communications such as a:
- Welcome message introducing a new staff member or new sponsor.
- Weekly or monthly newsletters.
- Events that are being planned, organized or reviewed to get maximum attention.
An email strategy underpins everything to do with successful email communication. You must ensure that:
- Each email supports and enhances your goal of building, engaging and encouraging involvement.
- Each email goes to the correct recipient.
- Each email is both expected and welcomed by the recipient.
- As many emails possible are opened and responded to.
- Where it applies, you want emails which are created by group members to be accurate and appropriate.
To the point, you have to make sure that each email goes to the right person. They must open them. They must respond to them, and even add their own content for further distribution. In this personalized way, community involvement is maximized.
Ensuring Standards of Deliverability
Community software technology enables and ensures that required standards are met, so your strategy succeeds. Using a specialist company to manage standards of delivery, means you can focus on your organization and its community. Standards you want in place include:
- The right subscription settings, to keep members’ preferences paramount.
- Opting in and opting out are simple.
- Emails are delivered correctly to authenticated addresses.
- User-generated content is checked to make sure it is both authentic and appropriate to its recipients.
- Servers and the network, itself, remain secure.
- Feedback is continuous so any complaints, permanent blocks, etc. can be handled properly and problems get addressed.
- Client monitoring, help desk access, etc. are under client control, and reports are produced so it is easy to review and respond to anything.
- Application features can be customized to suit the organization’s style, feel and look.
Standards like these mean that staff and members can focus on the community, rather than worry about security or unwanted communication. When teams are planning or running a fund-raiser, for example, they have neither the time nor the desire to keep “looking over their shoulders” to see if everything is working as it is supposed to. This brings us to the processes.
The technical details that are built into the software, and into the user interface are what enable the your community’s standards to be met. The email software must be able to continuously monitor email activity and content. This process then reports the results so everything is clear and obvious. The reports mean the community managers can either positively confirm that everything is deliverable or that they can order up improvements to fix minor problems before they become major problems.
Best Practices For Deliverability In Your Community
Trust and engagement matters in email best practices in your community.
First, your community should give your subscribers a good reason to opt in and set clear expectations about what’s to come. Then, follow through on your promises with timely, targeted, valuable emails.
Second, choose a solid email marketing service provider. Make sure the vendor you choose is sophisticated enough to provide:
- Bounce codes, feedback loops, and connection optimization.
- Has email technology which is up-to-date and compliant with today’s legal requirements.
A good provider must also cultivate good relationships with receivers by applying proactive issue resolutions, feedback loops, and whitelisting practices.
A modern email marketing service provider will ensure deliverablity. It will allow you to segment your contact lists into sub-lists so that you can target specific customers with specific messages. This is essential to keeping your audience engaged with relevant content and making sure the right person gets the right message at the right time.
Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.