We get asked a lot of questions about email marketing these days. Everyone wants to know first, "should I do email marketing?" The answer for most of our clients is "Yes." If you want an opportunity to "push" things to people rather than passively wait for them to visit your website, the answer is always YES. How to do that and what messages to send to people are sometimes a longer conversation.
Whatever you do, remember you main objective is to drive people back to your website, so you need to peak their interest and then redirect them back to take advantage of the features of your website (whether that is being able to take keep up on the latest through your blog or your easy-to-make-a-donation donation form or the opportunity to sign up for classes.
Sometimes cost will keep people away (though nonprofits have a few free and/or low cost options -- though often you get what you pay for in terms of interface, time spent, and service). We have a system that we have chosen to use for our clients that costs a little, but has great features with reporting, subscriber management, and template management (and you can always contact us if you are interested).
But you're really reading this because you want to know what mistakes to avoid in this world of internet marketing, and I recently read an article that sums up our position on this issue pretty well. The points are mainly this:
- Use a good service and don't spam people (it's the law)
- Know who you're sending to
- Don't overdo the images
- Be sure to provide "unsubscribe" option (it's the law)
- Do it the right way to avoid ending up in junk folders.