Why is a Welcome Series so important for nonprofits to engage donors?
Care2 recently released a Welcome Series Toolkit to help you navigate the important first steps in engaging potential donors for your nonprofit.
A Welcome Series is a series of emails to welcome a new email subscriber to your organization. Developing a three-part email series is a pretty solid choice, and that’s what we’ll focus on for your standard Welcome Series. A welcome email may be the single most important email you send, because it is the first impression your new potential donor will have communicating with your organization. Additionally, welcome emails are four times more likely to be opened and five times more likely to get click throughs.
The first step in developing a successful Welcome Series is to be intentional about the tone of your emails. Shift your perspective to the supporter.
Here’s an example of how to move from an organizational focus to a supporter focus pretty seamlessly:
Writing the email through the lens of your supporters switches the perspective from “we” to “you,” and puts the supporter in the “hero” role instead of the nonprofit.
So where do you begin? Here are the basics of what to include in your email series...
Email 1: The Offer
This is the most important email, as it welcomes your new subscriber. Consider giving your new supporter helpful information and resources about your organization, such as links to your best-performing blog posts, your mobile apps, or top resources for your website.
The toolkit suggests not to be afraid to include a “soft ask” call for donations in this first email. Because some people may be inspired to donate to your org right away, you may be pleasantly surprised with their contribution!
Email 2: The Engagement
The second email in your three-part welcome series will welcome your new supporter into your movement by providing them with an action to take, but not necessarily a donation. Consider including a link to a survey, having them take a quiz to learn interesting facts about your nonprofit, or inviting them to connect on social networks to meet other people who are also passionate about your cause.
Email 3: The Ask
The third and final email should invite your subscriber to donate or become a member of your organization. Stuck on how to phrase your question? Included in the toolkit are 101 ways to gently ask for a donation. If your subscriber has read through the other two emails, and has stuck around to read this one, there’s a good chance they might consider donating at this point.
Have writers block on how to phrase these emails effectively? Included in the toolkit are 55 ideas for strong leads and smooth transitions and lots of suggestions for phrases to use in petitions, pledges, and other advocacy emails.
By following the steps in the Welcome Series Toolkit, you can move an interested person up the ladder of engagement and into a regular donor for your nonprofit. We recommend sending each email in your welcome series one week apart, although once every two weeks may work better for certain orgs - you know your audience better than we do! And if you’re not sure what’s right for your nonprofit, try some A/B testing.
What makes you most nervous about starting a Welcome Series? And, if you already have one, what works really well for you?