Email marketing and charity have more in common than you think.

As email marketers ourselves, we’ve received replies comparing us to useless IT solutions, Viagra and a scam related to an African chief asking for money. In fact, the more elaborate the replies, the more we marvel at the sheer amount of effort that went into the email. You can, after all, click the unsubscribe button. So what does email marketing have to do with charity?

Clearly, some of our email marketing has hit a personal nerve. 

Good. We like that. We believe the more personal your emails are, the more likely you are to connect with the prospects you need to. Of course, you’re not going to please people 100% of the time. Charity is similar.

Some people love donating to good causes. Others don’t like people standing outside supermarkets with coin buckets – feeling judged. Or watching guilt-tripping charity adverts that show malnourished children while most of us sit and eat dinner. But, like email marketing, it’s designed to hit a personal note.

Because, the more personal you are in your marketing, the more you connect with your audiences. But if we’re hitting a nerve, what are we doing wrong in email marketing and charity?  Well, we can’t speak on behalf of charity marketing, but we do know what email marketers can do.

It’s time to put the people first.

We need to move away from sending out emails to the right person and just hoping it is the right time and right content for them. Personalising emails with a first name in the subject line and at the beginning isn’t enough. Sending relevant content at the relevant time is paramount to the success of email marketing.

Please sir, can we have a little more?

Marketing automation was a start in the right direction, but we need to do more to achieve the right results. We need to create personalise buyer journeys for every possible scenario. Emails should be sent based on website and sales interactions, not based on weekly or monthly content themes.

It’s achievable. We know this because we built triggered marketing workflows for all of our website journeys. It automates 300 emails for us but is all based on our audiences’ actions. At the end of the day, marketing – whether email or charity – should be a positive, personal one to one interaction with every individual our marketing reaches.


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