Ep 211 | 5 Email Automations To Help you Raise More Money
Email automation can save you time and increase your revenue…how cool is that! There are so many different ways you can use automations at all stages of the donor journey. Here are five automations you can implement to help you grow your list, nurture your audience and keep them coming back for more.
What you'll learn:
→ what is an automation?
→ creating a welcome sequence.
→ what to send after someone purchases from you.
→ lead magnets that help you grow your list.
→ building energy buzz with pre/post event emails.
→ creating a process for follow up after one on one conversations
Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:
[3:17] Email automations are emails that go in the background. They help you develop a deeper connection with your audience and are specific for the actions that your audience is taking. To set this up you'll need an email service provide. Some of my favorites are in the resources below.
[6:06] Automation #1 – Welcome Sequence. This is the emails people get right after they have donated. It allows them to dive deeper into your organization and feel a part of your community.
[8:13] Automation #2 – After a Purchase. This is in relation to a purchase like tickets or pet adoption etc. This isn't related to a donation. Think about how you can add value to them for the product they've purchased and build more trust and repeat purchases.
[9:53] Automation #3 – A Lead Magnet. A lead magnet gives someone a resource or solution to a pain point in exchange for their email address. This can be a checklist, pdf, audio clip, etc. The important thing is that it gets you in front of your ideal audience.
[11:53] Automation #4 – Pre/Post Event Emails. These are emails that your event attendees get prior to the event. This helps to create buzz and and energy for the event as well as provide important information they need to have fun! Then, after the event, having a serious of emails that shares results and how they can dive deeper with you moving forward.
[15:41] Automation #5 – Follow up from one on one conversations. This might be the trickiest but this allows you to follow up with people you've had one on on conversations with that fit in a smiliar bucket. What you send them will vary based off the type of conversation. It can help you stay top of mind while still adding value.
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[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, Hey, and welcome to the month of April and all things email marketing, I am thrilled to be here talking to you today about how you can save some time with your email marketing, stay engaged with your audience, and keep them coming back for more. I talk a lot about this podcast about how we should treat our donors as our best customers, regardless of if they've spent $5 with us, or $500,000. With us, retention is a big thing. And keeping those donors around and nurturing them at whatever level they're at is something that can really help with the sustainability, longevity, and security of your organization. And email is a great way to be able to do that at scale, while still being personalized, still sharing impact and still engaging with your, with your community, with your donors, with your volunteers your board in a meaningful way. And so we're going to kick off this month by talking about how we can save time and effort with email automations. How can you set things up in your organization to where they're running behind the scenes, and you don't have to do anything, but reply to the comments that people are sending you phone calls, and continue to build those one on one relationships with those donors. Sounds great, right?
So I'm going to give you five automations today that you can use in your organization to help streamline some of these processes that you might be doing manually, or rewriting the same email over and over and over again, let's save you some time save you some effort, so you can focus on building better relationships. Sound good?
Before we get into this episode, it is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy sessions. These are 30 minute one on one calls with me where you can bring any question you have to the table, need me to review your email copy, we can do that want me to help you set up your automation in your favorite email tool, we can do that to need help understanding or knowing which email automation is going to be best suited or the lowest hanging fruit so you can get results quick, perfect would love to help you with that. You can go to https://thefirstclick.net/officehours, book your time. So we can work on a one on one strategy with you. If you have other questions that don't relate to email marketing. That's totally fine, too. I'm here for you, I got you. Digital Marketing therapy sessions are a great way to move past that stuck point and get in to action. So again, https://thefirstclick.net/officehours can't wait to work with you. Let's get into the episode.
[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.
[Sami Bedel-Mulhern] So before we get into the five different automations that I am loving right now, I want to talk a little bit about what an automation is and what you might need to have in place to be able to do it. Now an automation is something that happens automatically. So it's something that usually kicks off with a trigger. So whether it's you manually adding that they make a purchase, they join a list, they download something from you whatever it might be, and then it triggers a set of emails that are going to happen once that action has been taken. So in order to be able to create these automations, you need to have an email service provider, I'll link up my favorites. But I'm loving ConvertKit I love Active Campaign. But you might also have this option within your CRM. So always start with the tools that you already have. See if they have this capability. Some CRMs will allow you to send emails, but they won't allow for automations. Some email, software's will allow for you to send emails in their free platform, but you have to have a paid platform in order to send automations. So just pay attention to all of those things. But really, it's just about being able to get communication out quickly. And to be able to communicate the right message to somebody who has taken an action in your organization. The goal is to get them to dive deeper with you to become more emotionally invested to feel like they're part of your community and to want to engage with you even more. And there's tons of different automations that you can create just depending on your business model. What types of products programs, services you provide, how you show up for your community. So I'm just giving you five that are kind of the must haves that I love, and then the sky's the limit get creative really figure out how you can do it. The other thing that I want to mention is that a lot of times depending on the platform, you can also include offline actions within your automation. So what that might look like is, you know, an email gets sent, and then they wait two days, and then the task gets set that you need to call that person. So you can put it all in one automation, because it's going to remind you, hey, here's your call list for today. So you don't have to think about it, it's going to automatically tell you what it is that you need to be doing. Maybe it's a handwritten card, maybe it's an in person visit, maybe you need to swing by their brick and mortar store, whatever it might be. Just really think about what the whole purpose of the automation is, what are all the actions email online, offline that need to happen, and see if you can integrate it all into one nice little flow, so that it's easy for you to know, when somebody is ready for that next step. Okay, you're with me so far, let's jump in to some of my favorite automation.
So the first one is a welcome sequence. And I will link up in the show notes, some podcasts episodes we've gone through that really gives super specific information on how to create that welcome sequence. But what it is, is a series of emails that somebody gets typically right when they donate, so they give money through the website, it's automatically going to trigger the sequence. So they don't just get that tax receipt letter that has no personality and doesn't drive impact. Instead, they're going to get a series of five to seven emails over the course of a couple of weeks, that's going to really share the impact that you have. And the impact that that donor is giving or is helping you create in your community, it's going to share impact stories, it's going to share information about your your organization and your team, it's going to set expectation for how you're going to be communicating with them moving forward. And it's going to invite them to make sure that your emails are whitelisted, so that they show up in the inbox and not in the spam or promotions folder. Right? That's big time important here. You can also do things like invite them to share on social media, follow your social media platforms. But the beauty of this welcome sequence is that that first email is going to have the highest open rates of anything that you send them. So by giving them that initial good feel, and that initial gratification of we're here we see you, we are so appreciate appreciative of you is going to be much more likely that they're going to continue to open your emails as you get them. The critical thing to remember here is we're not asking for more money. We're not asking for donations we're not asking for in kind or anything else from them, we're just sharing more about our organization so that they can feel more comfortable with how we operate, how we treat people, and how we're using the funds to make the impact that we are saying we're making. So that is number one. And again, I'll link up in the show notes, some of the episodes on email, welcome sequences, so you can dive deep into that and get those strategies to set that up.
The second one is after a purchase. So this is very similar to your welcome sequence. But this might be if somebody is buying tickets to it. Maybe you're a theater. So if they're buying tickets to a show, if they're registering their kids for after school programs, if they've just adopted a dog, if there's a financial transaction that is not fundraising related, but is just in line with the services and the programs you provide. Having an automation that gives them information is a great way again, to make them grow and build their affinity for your organization. So what this might look like is detailed information about what the where they can get their tickets, what the tickets include, it might be tips on how to take care of this pet, once you brought them home, it might be resources where they can go to find more information. Maybe it's an art exhibit, and you're sending them Downloadables and things about the artists that are there. So before they visit, they can come prepared and feel excited about what they're going to see. Think about what the purpose is, what it is that they're purchasing, and what are some quick resources you can give them over the course of the next couple of days to really make them feel comfortable, excited and engaged. There's nothing worse than scrambling around and being like, oh, shoot, I know I bought this thing. But how do I find it? Where do I get it? How do I work with this? We don't want to make people work for it. We want to provide excellent customer service. And we want to make sure that they have everything they need at their fingertips and they're not having to ask us for support.
Number three is a lead magnet and what a lead magnet is is a freebie a downloadable a checklist template of some video something that's going to give people support and help them with a quick win or solve a pain point. This is we want to think about not a transaction, people are not giving us money to get this, this is something that's free in order to get more people on our email list. And we're gonna talk more about this later in this month when I give you my strategies for list growth. But here, what we want to think about is, again, the follow up sequence. So I'm just going to give you an example from my own business. So I have a freebie, that's nine ways that you can raise more money online. So you put in your email address, you get that downloadable immediately from your email service provider. But then a couple days later, a couple days later, a couple days later, you're also getting some additional emails from me that are saying things like, how can we support you? What is the strategy that you're going to be taking advantage of? Have you looked at this guide yet? What are you waiting for, hey, if you're struggling with this part, or you don't know how to step forward with this part, here's some other resources. So allowing them to really engage with you further. And what that does is build you as a trust trusted authority in the community in the niche that you serve. So you might send them to other blog posts that are on your website, other ways for them to engage with you more, because remember, they maybe haven't ever purchased from you or donated to you. And they might just be wanting to test you out and see if you really know what you're talking about. So these downloadables give them a quick win, they give them a success, they get them excited. And then the follow up emails allow them to really engage with you in a more meaningful way. And hopefully continue to open your emails, eventually become a donor and carry on with your organization. So that's number three.
Number four is really setting up your automations for pre and post event. So if somebody this, and now we're talking fundraising events, right, so if you're running a gala, or a golf tournament, really creating automations around once somebody has bought a ticket or sponsored the event all the way to once the event has happened, what's the follow up. Having that all done, while in advance of your event is a great way to save time and stress. So the pre event, emails might include something like event details, when to show up. What is the attire, here's where the silent auction is, you can shop early shop now. Bring a friend like whatever your messaging is. So as soon as they buy a ticket to your event, you are then putting them in the sequence where they get to get more information, and also remind them excite them, maybe it's a video from last year, so they can have some fun with it right? Maybe there's an email near the end that's like, Hey, we're almost sold out. So if you have friends that are on the fence and you want them to come, they you know, need to book their ticket now. Now, this pre event automation does take a little bit of manual babysitting, in that as you get closer and closer and closer to the event, some of your emails in the sequence may need to be turned off. Because obviously somebody won't have time to go through the whole sequence. So that is the only downside to pre event automations. But the beauty is now you've got this roadmap, you can just duplicate it for the next event, change some of the wording and you're good to go. And before you say, well, we can't send the same emails year after year, they're not going to remember every single element, you want to update it for the new year, maybe add some new graphics, photos, videos, whatever. But you can pretty much use the same template for your events year over year, we can refine but having that all set and ready to go is going to make your life so much easier. So make a list of all of the things that you know you need to communicate with your event attendees prior to the event, make short simple emails that they can get leading up to it and make your life a whole lot easier. Make your front desk person's life a whole lot easier. Who's answering all the phone calls, keep your inbox clean? Or because you're not getting all the emails from people saying well, what should I wear? When should I show up? Is there valet parking all of the things. So then when it comes to post event, again, some some of these things will need to be done manually, but have them all written. And what that automation can look like is, hey, the event was an amazing success. Here's what we've raised so far, you know, there's still a chance to give if you weren't able to, or we still have these items available. If you know, you want to send it to a friend that you think might be able to participate. Then you might have another email that's just a highlight reel of all of the amazing fun that everybody had at the event. Save the date for next year. You might have an email that's like hey, Now that you've attended this event, this is how you can expect to hear from us in the future. We have a weekly newsletter, yada, yada, yada, all of the things, so excuse me, usually like two to three emails post event that are all scheduled and ready to go. That, again, encourage people to continue to stay on this path with you that you can continue to nurture them, and build those relationships so that hopefully in the next year, they'll give outside of the event, or increase their giving at the event, because they've been seeing the impact and the amazing things that you've been doing all year long. They're not just getting the invite to the next event, they're not just getting asked for a gift. They're participating in your organization for the whole year.
Okay, so the last one is a little bit, maybe a little bit tricky. But I'm going to challenge you on this one to really think about how this might help support you and your team in your one on one fundraising. And that is a follow up automation to your one on one calls. Now, if you're talking to somebody, and they're not quite ready yet to give, maybe you want to think about what are some commonalities that you have in those conversations? What types of gifts? Are you asking? Is it for naming rights somewhere? Is it for support and foundations? Whatever your kind of bigger gifts are that you're having one on one conversations with, come up with some core categories, and then create a follow up email sequence. So when you're in conversation with somebody, and let's say they say, okay, yeah, I'm just, you know, our marketing budget is done for 2023. So we can't give this year, but we'd love to make sure we can give to you next year, could you get in touch with us? You know, in November, December, when we're when we're back in our budgeting season, great. So maybe you have an automation that starts then and they get an email every month, that's just giving them specific impact stories. And it might be geared the language would be geared towards a corporate sponsorship, right. So they get those emails every month, you're not having to necessarily follow up as much. And then you can still stay in touch with them and be sharing impact be sharing top of mind. So as they go into those budget meetings, they're get, they're remembering that they had this conversation with you and that they want to support you as an organization. Maybe it is an individual who's you know, just says, Well, again, maybe we're not ready to give just yet. So you can again, put them in a similar automation that speaking directly to individuals at a larger scale. So they might be getting your general newsletter. But this is language that specific to the pain points and the needs of this of a larger donor, you might be sharing different types of impact that those dollars can make, because they're making a significant individual gift, you might be sharing updates on the progress of a construction project that your generalist might not care about as much. But maybe there's a handful of donors where you can create an automated system where they're getting updates, they're getting invited to come and visit, they're getting all of these elements that are going to pertain to their particular situation. So don't forget that your offline activities can also be married with these email automations or email segments that will help you kind of continue to stay in touch and stay top of mind. That's what email marketing really, in a nutshell does. And that's what email automations help you do. Also, they help you build deeper community, deeper relationships, and they help you stay top of mind so that when somebody is ready to make a gift, they are remembering that you are the organization that they want to support. These little things along the way can really make a big impact in you nurturing and getting higher retention rates, have your donors and seeing more success and more funds raised from your email marketing.
And that is really the goal of everything we're talking about this month, and why I'm just so excited to be diving deep into email marketing. So the five automations are your welcome sequence, your post purchase, your lead magnet, your events that are the pre and the post event emails, as well as follow up for any of those one on one calls and meetings that you're having, that you can kind of love into categories. If you found this helpful, I hope that you will subscribe where you're listening to this episode or on YouTube. Just search for digital marketing therapy. We are here for you and so excited to be diving into email marketing this month. Thank you so much for listening. I hope that you will get one of these automations going if not more, and just get creative and have fun with it. If you find that you're writing the same email over and over and over again for the same situation, automate it, even if it's just one, your email service provider It can really help with merge tags and personalization. And if you link it to your CRM, it can even go deeper into gift size and conditional formatting, all of the things. We can geek out on this all day long. But just get started. Thank you so much for listening to this episode, and I cannot wait to see you in the next one. Grab shownotes and the other podcast episodes I referenced here at https://thefirstclick.net/211 See you in the next one.