If you’re concerned about “peppering” their donors with emails, look first at the nature of your electronic communications.
If you mailed me a brochure every few days, I’d quickly stop opening your envelopes.
When you mail me a personal note, short, with something concrete to say, I’ll at least look at quite a few more.
And if you can create increasing time urgency around a particular message, you have a far better chance of my reading, recognizing the reason for urgency — and responding.
Personal letters are far, far more effective than brochures. That doesn’t change in electronic media.
The Obama campaign did a wonderful demonstration of this, and they’ve been kind enough to share.
If you were on the receiving end of Obama campaign emails, you know how often they hit your inbox. Often. Sometimes twice a day.
So why was this frequency acceptable to donors? Why did they work?
They were brief. I could make a read decision in a nanosecond.
And they were personal. Look at the subject lines that worked best: “Hey” ‘Wow.”
These are not mission-based. They don’t tell you anything about what’s inside.
They look like something a friend sent.
Even “Some scary numbers” and “Do this for Michelle” hit the reader as personal communications.
In the context of the last happydonors post: They had a real deadline, which they effectively leveraged throughout the email campaign.
Sure, I’ll bet they got a lot of “unsubscribes.” But they also took in millions.
So, before deciding on email frequency, consider: Are you sending brochures? … or are you being appropriately urgent and personal?