Automation is one of the best things to happen to email. With the right digital tools, organizations can build a welcome series of emails that provides their constituents with more opportunities to engage with content or take specific actions. The flip side of this automation is that amidst the everyday hustle and bustle of nonprofit life, managers can forget that these messages need periodic upkeep just like any other content you’re sending into the world. Here are four questions to ask regarding your welcome series to make sure it keeps working for you.
Is Your Content Relevant?
If your welcome series includes links to content that your organization produces, be sure you’re linking to most engaging material. When you set up your welcome series, use your website and social media data to help you choose what to feature. Find the top performing content and include that in your emails. Also, make sure that this content is not seasonal or likely to be out of date very quickly. It can be difficult to update an automation without halting the message deliveries and rescheduling, so direct people to blog posts, donation forms, or advocacy campaigns that will be relevant no matter when they’re viewed.
Are Your Links Working?
Sending an email with a broken link is a major bummer. You lose the opportunity to convert the recipients into participants, action takers, or donors, and they could walk away with a bad impression of your organization. If you edit a URL or deactivate a form on your website, always make sure that you set up redirects to live content, or that you switch the links in your welcome series to the replacement pages. You work too hard to map out the pathway of your email automation to lose someone just because a page you link to is no longer live.
Is Your Branding Consistent?
Creating a new email template can give a fresh look to your content and we’re all for making sure you’re packaging your communications in a good-looking wrapper. But don’t forget when you update your templates in your email tool that you apply those same changes to the messages being sent via your welcome series. Consistency is a big part of brand recognition. You want your look and feel to be memorable, which won’t happen if you’ve got multiple layouts, headers, or color schemes for different emails or email campaigns.
Are Your Segments Personalized?
A welcome series begins after a user has taken a first action, from entering their email to sending a letter to making a donation. It’s important to use these different actions to provide personalized content that is relevant to each person based on what they’ve already done. A welcome series is not one size fits all: What resonates with someone who made a donation might be different than with someone who signed up for an event. We recommend segmenting your list based on these initial interactions and creating multiple pathways that make sense for a variety of different groups. As you learn more about your constituents, there’s always the option to build additional pathways in your welcome series.
A welcome series is an opportunity to give constituents deeper access to your organization’s mission, priorities, and accomplishments. It’s also a way for you to use digital tools to engage different supporters in ways that sync with what you already know about them. With so much potential, it’s important not to simply set them and forget them. We suggest setting a recurring meeting on your calendar for twice a year as a reminder to ask these four questions.
If you’re learning about email automation for the first time and want to understand which tools might fit with your nonprofit, reach out to us today.