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3 Nonprofit Email Automations to Try

All nonprofits (and many companies in general) have similar pain points surrounding time constraints. One major problem is reaching out to an audience regularly, while still having time to take on every other important project.

Each team member wears several hats, and there isn’t enough time in the day to complete every task. However, you need to constantly engage your followers to stimulate support for your cause and inspire conscious action. It can feel like a stressful cycle that can overwhelm the most organized of teams.

Every minute saved in your marketing strategy is a minute you can spend further propelling your cause. How can we empower ourselves to create that connection and share content with our audience without breaking the timebank? Nonprofit email automation!  

What is email automation?

Email automation is the ability to send action or time-triggered emails to subscribers with relevant information. Once the initial setup is completed, emails will send automatically based on the time and action triggers specified. 

For example, you can automate an email to send the moment someone subscribes to a newsletter list, instead of having to wait for the next manual newsletter send. Or, you can automate emails to send if a supporter hasn’t engaged with your website for a certain amount of time to re-engage. 

An automation strategy can be set up in most email management platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact or Active Campaign and can include one or multiple emails on a single campaign.

There are tons of benefits to setting up nonprofit email automation: 

  • Take full advantage of the content you do have. If you spend time on a few quality pieces of content, email automation makes sure your important content reaches every email lead.
  • You don’t have to constantly go through a torturously slow internal approval process every month. One wave of approvals for one automation can last a long time without needing to reach back out.
  • Email automation is an investment. You can make small improvements to them over time to maximize value for every new person that enters the automation.

Newsletter automation

Newsletter automation is self-explanatory: it can take place of monthly manual newsletters sent, especially the content you regularly promote is always relevant. For example: stories, quotes and reviews are always relevant. Specific event information is not.

Automating newsletters assures everyone receives the same information, even though leads subscribe to receive email content at different times. So, no one misses out on important information even if they enter the automation later. Your content is better used, which means there is less pressure to keep pumping out new content for new content’s sake.

If you take the time to plan out high-quality evergreen newsletters with nonprofit stories, opportunities, and info, those monthly hours spent on creating a traditional newsletter can be used in more productive ways.

Birthday Fundraiser automation

We see them all the time – friends and family from our personal community reaching out on social media for birthday donations instead of birthday gifts. These supporter fundraisers are valuable because potential supporters are getting information from a trusted personal source instead company outreach. We love to see them – so how can we stimulate these fundraisers and reach out out the optimal time? A birthday fundraiser automation!

By creating and automating this single birthday fundraiser email, you ensure you are reaching out to every subscriber in a timely fashion, and maximizing the chances your supporters will remember to take action during their birthday month. 

This automation is surrounding each email lead’s birthday month. (You need to ask for them to enter their birthday month wherever they subscribe to receive email outreach.)

When their birthday month rolls around, hit them with an informational email of how they can create a special birthday fundraiser! This can include a social toolkit for easy visuals and copy or instructions for creating a Facebook or Instagram fundraiser. Any info that streamlines the setup process is helpful.

Sponsor/Volunteer Automation

You may need to reach out to your sponsors a couple of times a year. The info doesn’t change, it’s just a quick reminder that there are opportunities to volunteer or support your nonprofit. Even so, this manual email strategy can take hours to create every time you need to send something out.

If you automate your volunteer reminder emails, you can spend any extra time segmenting your audience. This will help every lead get the most relevant information.

Tips for Setting up email automation

Once they’re live, don’t just forget about them. That’s a great way to connect new leads to old information. Set a calendar notification once a month to check the status of your automation and update any relevant information.

Make sure to have a response process for the emails. Automations are not to replace human to human communication. Make sure everyone on your team knows exactly who is the point of contact for any email responses.

Include trackable links. This is a great way to compare the success and ROI of your automation compared to your manual emails. Find out if your automation are leading to more online donations than your manual outreach. If so, see how you can further leverage this email strategy!

Ready to work on your nonprofit email strategy but don’t know where to start? Reach out to our team! 

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