Mass Versus Targeted Email

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Online | No Comments

According to Daxko’s 2015 Trends & Opportunities Survey of YMCA, JCC, and other community nonprofit professionals, nearly 20% of respondents utilize targeted emails as their main form of communication to members. This is an increase over the previous year. Still, a hefty 28% of survey respondents reported that they rely on mass email as their primary mode of communication. By using mass email marketing, you may inadvertently be turning members away from your message and your cause.  Here’s why:

Today’s member (this includes most age brackets, not just millennials) expect savvy and personalized communications. According to Ian Durrell of SPSS, “Today’s customers perceive themselves as having unique needs and interests, and they demand that businesses understand and meet those needs.” By segmenting your membership database and providing personalized messages you can provide content that is truly meaningful to that individual member. For example, a young, female college student may feel alienated by a mass email that starts out with a reminder for silver sneakers or youth soccer camp. Instead, an update on the planned addition of barre class to the fitness center menu would resonate with this member.  Email communications are key to getting members engaged in your organization. More engaged members mean higher probability of donations and higher receptivity to volunteer opportunities.

Finding out what your members are interested in doesn’t require a degree in psychology or access to sophisticated market research. The very best way to keep up with member trends is with a targeted engagement plan and the right tools to put that plan into action. Simply taking a small sample of members could be enough to get started and provide added value to more sophisticated engagement programs and plans.

According to research conducted by Nonprofit Marketing Guide and Bloomerang, 64% of nonprofits are segmenting their communications and of those who are not segmenting their database, less than 2% “don’t see the value” of segmentation. Segmentation is catching on and it is widely regarded as a useful tool for engaging members and donors.

So, once you decide to make the leap, what are some great ways to segment your communications? According to or own Daxko Engage team, popular ways for YMCAs, JCCs, and community centers to segment include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family/Single membership type
  • Pledge history
  • Volunteer history
  • Facility usage or check-ins
  • New/older member status

Once you experiment with a few segments take a look at your email open an click through rates and see how they compare to your mass emails. With a little tweaking you may decide to replace your monthly mass email messaging to a more targeted approach. You’re members will appreciate it!

Looking for more tips to increase engagement with your center’s emails?  Be sure to check out this post, 5 Tips to do Email Right.

5 Tips to do Email RIGHT

By | Campaigns, Industry, Marketing | No Comments

While eMarketers are unable to control the decisions and changes within Gmail, we are in control of our email strategies. Here are some tips to make sure your emails won’t get stuck by spam filters and will stand the test of any email changes likely to come out in the near future:

  1. Review your content. Now is a great time to take a hard look at what you are sending. Make sure you have a good mix of marketing and valuable information to avoid getting transferred to the “promotions” folder by either Gmail or manually by your recipients. Or, even worse, be labeled “spam.” Creating quality content that appropriately fills a need for your members is ALWAYS a good rule to follow for eMarketers.
  2. Pay attention to stats. Keeping your pulse on your email statistics is always an important component of running successful email campaigns. During times of transition, whether internal or external, this information can tell you how changes are affecting your campaigns. At Daxko we spend time not just analyzing one campaign or month of emails at a time for our clients, but also benchmarking that information against averages. We look at email performance based on month-over-month as well as a 3 month average. Looking at average performance allows you to minimize any affect that one specific email might have had or other outside affects like holidays. With the Gmail inbox changes, I would recommend pulling out your Gmail addresses (if possible) and look at the statistics related to emails prior to and after the change. This analysis will allow you to specifically identify what affect, if any, the Gmail tabs have had.
  3. Be consistent! Be sure that your branding stays consistent on your communications. A big part of that is to ensure that your emails are always coming from the same email address.  Creating consistency with your sender address will educate your member on what to expect and what emails can be classified as coming from you. If you change the sender address and your member has designated your emails to appear in the “Primary” tab, Gmail may not know to file your emails into the appropriate tab and your recipient may miss them.
  4. Help your readers. After the Gmail changes, many large eCommerce sites sent emails to their mailing lists instructing them how to file their emails in the Primary tab. You may want to consider creating a similar email to deploy to your Gmail addresses.
  5. Create accounts. Consider creating bogus accounts with all the major email providers.  You can send test emails to these accounts and you can add them to your mailing list.  This will allow you first hand to see what emails are getting through and how appear in various sender accounts.

The email service provider changes that we are seeing are all about giving more control to the end user. The new Gmail tabs give the recipient the power to define which emails go where and how they view their inbox. In the end, content is king. If you are providing content that your recipients need and want to read then you are well positioned for future changes – whatever those changes may be.

The Details on Email Changes that Affect Nonprofits

By | Engagement, Industry, Marketing | No Comments

Recently, there have been changes within large email clients that have made eMarketers sit up and take notice.  One of those changes is within the Google mail inbox. At Daxko Engage, our goal is to send targeted, valuable email campaigns to our client’s membership. In order to do this effectively, we dedicate time to stay on top of email changes that might affect their key performance indicators (KPI’s), such as open and click through rates.

Changes to the Google inbox are new and there is conflicting data available regarding the affect Gmail inbox changes will have on email performance. We do, however, have information about these changes and how they may affect you:

  • Gmail changed their interface to have three inboxes organized by Tabs.  The default tabbed inboxes on the new Gmail are: Primary, Social and Promotions. Email is automatically sorted into the most logical of these tabs based on the sender and your interactions. Due to this automated sorting, eMarketers are understandably concerned that by classifying their emails as “promotions” Gmail users will be less likely to see and interact with their emails from our partner associations.
  • Google has not released the process it uses to classify emails into the promotional bin, so association emails could show up in the default “primary” or the secondary “Promotions” tab depending upon things like the subject line, email copy or your status as a sender.
  • These changes will not affect the majority of people accessing email on their phones.  The majority of mobile users will not see the tabs on their devices (including iPhone and iPad users).

Early reporting has not shown a significant difference between open rates prior to and after the Gmail changes.  The small differences that have been seen vary between email providers used, which may be due to different markets served by different email providers. While these and more changes are happening and not showing major effects, it will take a while to analyze and understand the full implications of the changes.

With this in mind, it is a good time to make sure you are operating your eMarketing departments with solid strategies in place. In the next post, we offer tips help you do just that with tips to create and maintain a solid eMarketing plan to see you through.