5 Tips for Finding the Right Nonprofit Email Marketing Provider

When you go to buy a new car, a dapper car salesperson greets you at the door, offers you cookies and coffee and then explains the pros and cons of each potential vehicle. Unfortunately for us, when looking online for an email marketing provider, there are no spiffy salespeople and no tasty treats. (Which is a huge bummer, because I love cookies.)

So, where does that leave us? Off to fend for ourselves in the confusing world of nonprofit email marketing? Nope. This is where I swoop in to save the day (sort of).

Behold, all you need need to know when it comes to picking a nonprofit email marketing provider. Take a look below for all of the best tips and tricks.

How Many Emails Do You Get?

Typical email marketing providers will offer a wide range of how many emails you can send per month, but prices can also be dependent on the number of subscribers you have. And pay close attention to how their fees are structured—some charge a monthly fee based on the number of emails you send out while others charge based on the max number you think you’ll send out. Look into your specific provider’s rates and see if they’re suitable for your needs.

What’s the Reporting Like?

Can their software tell you open-rates? Click-through rates? Deliverability success? Consider all that you’d hope to know after sending out your nonprofit email marketing campaign. And keep in mind that being able to track your progress is the only way you can hope to improve your rates. So, if a company doesn’t offer any type of tracking, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Customer Support.

Is there live online support? Can you talk to a human being if need-be? If you’ve ever used email marketing before, you know that there’s plenty of room for potential bugs. Make sure they’ll have your back.

Flexibility with Design.

Some providers will let you use a custom design—but it’s often for an additional fee. Take a look at their pre-designed templates. Are they acceptable? Can you make revisions? Are there any additional costs beyond the baseline price? If you’re not happy with the template you first choose, can you switch?

Ease of Use.

Here’s the kicker. They may check out on all of the criteria above, but if it’s a platform suitable only for computer a wiz to use, you may want to look elsewhere. Consider who will be in control of your nonprofit email marketing and their computer skill level before deciding on a provider.

Bear in mind, each email marketing provider is different—even though they offer similar services. They’ll offer a different array of packages, so it pays to pay close attention.

Are there any details that we should be on the lookout for that I missed? Let me know in the comment section below.


Kathryn Pauley

Kathryn is a regular contributor to the Nonprofit Hub. Soon to be college graduate, she enjoys helping nonprofits understand better how to reach the millennial demographic—cause we are living in a millennial world, and Kathryn's a millennial girl. With experience leading the largest student-run charity event on her campus, she looks forward to bringing her unique perspective to the Hub team every day.

September 20, 2012

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