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The first step of successful email capture is to enable website visitors to give an email address. The average nonprofit sees slightly more than 2% of website visitors registering an email address—there’s lots of room for improvement here. Place your subscription box on the home page, make it easy to find and clearly state what you’re OFFERING in return for their address. HINT: If the information you desire to share with constituents looks or sounds just like what they’ve seen on every other website, it’s time to re-craft your message.

How to Optimize Email Capture

Build a strong value proposition connecting the prospect’s desire for your information and the exclusivity of the offer. Remember, it’s a mental conversation. They are giving up their contact information; what are you going to offer in return and is it equal in value or worth way more? HINT: It doesn’t hurt to throw in an incentive — like access to a special report — to tip the scales in your favor. Is it clear what you are signing up for? Is the offer compelling, clearly communicating a unique value proposition?

Open Rate

?Once you’ve developed a desirable and exclusive offer that incentivizes the prospect to give you an email address, you’ll want to look at open rates for the email messages they receive. This number tells you how many people looked at your email. The nonprofit average is 18% for email appeals.

Optimizing for Improved Open Rates

Focus on the “To” Line, the “From” Line and the “Subject” Line. Making small changes like personalizing the “To” Line can increase response as much as 10% or more. Remember RELEVANCE, OFFER and INCENTIVE as you think of the conversation happening in your constituents’ minds.

Click-Through Rate

?Whether it’s fundraising, advocacy or registration, the goal of any email is to get a click. The click-through rate tells you how compelling your content was based on the number of unique clicks divided by the total emails delivered. The nonprofit average is 1.76% for a fundraising appeal—lots of room for improvement here! What most marketers do not understand is that most people are not looking for a reason to click—they are looking for a reason to delete. Sometimes we provide too much information in the email body that we force the recipient to make a decision before we have presented our full value proposition.

Optimizing for Improved Click-Through Rates

RELEVANCE is the key to improved click-through rates. There are two types of RELEVANCE: internal and external. Internal relevance is applied through segmentation; External relevance is applied across segments. Consider any of these options to add RELEVANCE to the conversation going on in the minds of your constituents.

Internal Relevance
Personal interests Demographics
Communication styles
Level of engagement
Donor lifecycle

External Relevance
Special events
Limited-time offers

Landing Page?

The Conversion Rate for your landing page is the total number of goal completions divided by the total unique visits. On average, 2.7% of the people that come to a nonprofit website will give a gift.

Optimizing Landing Page for More Conversions

The psychology of giving a gift online is the complete opposite of the psychology of ordering a product online. When you buy something online, the benefit comes later, when you receive it in the mail. When you give online, the benefit already came: you’ve been blessed, you’ve been inspired, and you’ve been motivated. Make it as simple as possible to give online. To optimize your landing page, focus on:

• The OFFER – The Ask is the impact promised in exchange for a gift.
• The INCENTIVE – Introduce an appealing element to motivate the gift.
• Eliminating FRICTION – Minimize anything that causes psychological resistance including numerous hoops to jump through (registering, logging in, too many clicks, landing pages that don’t look like the initial message, etc.) before arriving at the giving page.