Kayla Matthews is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub. She is a writer and blogger with a passion for self-improvement and helping others. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter to read all of her latest posts.
Charitable giving during the holidays absolutely picks up. Thirty-eight percent of people who donate to charity already say they are more likely to give during the holidays. In fact, 12 percent of all annual giving happens the last three days of the year.
Getting out a holiday email campaign to remind people about the good you do year-round is vital. Fortunately, there are some free tools you can use that make it easy to get an email campaign organized and attract the interest of donors.
MailChimp is pretty versatile as an email service provider. Not only can you create beautiful, custom HTML templates, but if you don’t have a lot of design savvy, you can also use out-of-the-box templates, including holiday-themed ones, and give them a custom look by uploading your own photos, logo and text.
Unless your list is extremely large, the service is free, although MailChimp does offer some paid services, as well.
Another thing you can do with MailChimp is create an RSS campaign. The system will pull articles from your blog and send them out on a set schedule. For example, you could send a monthly newsletter to your subscribers that pulls from your blog posts. Your blog posts, in turn, can show what your organization is accomplishing and explain why people should give.
Email Spam Test
Are you worried your emails are getting thrown into spam folders? If supporters are stating they aren’t receiving your emails, you may be blacklisted. This free service allows you to run your email through a filter to see if there are any words that might trigger a spam flag. The test looks at the subject line, html source code, content and even links within your email to determine trouble areas.
Putting together holiday emails is hard work. If you can save custom templates and even archive emails for future reference, it can save you time and effort. Winfosoft has cloud storage devices that will help keep your emails organized and easily accessible by anyone in your organization at any time.
Litmus Subject Line Tester
A subject line can make or break an email campaign. The user may not even click on the email if the subject line isn’t interesting enough. Fortunately, Litmus understands this and has created a free testing service. Input your subject line and see how it will look across several different email services.
Need some royalty-free photographs to beautify your emails? Pixabay offers a library of professional quality stock images. You don’t even have to include attribution to use these photos. You’ll also find illustrations on this site, if you are looking for something a bit less formal.
Speaking of images, Pictalicious is an interesting tool for email campaign designers. You can upload a main image and then colorize the theme of the email around that main image. Designers spend many years studying how to make the right color go with the right image.
This tool is a shortcut that will allow you to create a professional-looking email without going to school for four or five years to learn it. Of course, designers add in a lot of other elements to create excellent designs, but this is a good start.
The Hemingway App
You may think you are speaking to your audience in a conversational manner, but often the person writing the email has inside knowledge from working in the nonprofit day after day. The average person may not understand some words and concepts as well as you do. This service comes in handy because it will tell you where you aren’t being clear with a newbie. You can then adjust your language to make it more understandable for everyone.
Although sending out a successful holiday email campaign is a vital part of your fundraising efforts, you don’t want to spend hours upon hours creating the email. These tools will help you complete the task much more quickly and efficiently, so you can spend your time on other important endeavors.
What tools has your organization used to help make sending emails easier?