Four tips to maximize email to clients or donors

One of the best tips I’ve seen for fundraising and timing of emails for small business comes from Convio, a constituent engagement company for non-profits and advocacy groups. They recommend in a recent email some key tips both non-profits and small business owners can use.

The first recommendation is to send emails out in the evening so that they arrive first thing in the morning in the “inbox”. Middle of the day the reader is likely to put off for another few days. As you probably guess many of us open our emails first thing in the morning.

Second is plan your strategy. Your content should match and a theme of information should be consistent in your communications, from emails to blogs, from website updates to social media.

Third is to understand the calendar and “hook” accordingly. For example. lots of non-profits make a final, year-end pitch as people consider their tax write-offs. But they wait till the last day of the year. That fell on Saturday for 2011; hopefully most of you pushed for the final letter (and social media and email, etc) to drop on the last Monday of the year to give people time to give. The same attention should be paid for businesses. January is resolution month, if you’re in the fitness or healing arts you should be sending info and deals out. February can be presidential or romance or Black History, if any of that resonates with your business and clients, start planning Now.

The fourth tip refers to who you send to–we call it “working your list”. In your list of donors, activists or clients you have people that consistently support your non-profit or small business. Certainly you need to interact with them–treat them as the VIPs they are=make them an offer, send thanks, but let them know they are appreciated. But don’t forget the “maybes”. It’s time to start connecting to the people who you haven’t really. Send a survey or better still call them individually and inquire what they like about the company, why they signed up on an email, what can you offer that they aren’t seeing. Connect. And keep connecting.

Hoping your New Year is prosperous and that your public relations are planned, implemented and measured.

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