4 tips for energizing your volunteers through email

Large nonprofits often have passionate volunteers who are eager to help out. There are a lot of different ways to engage and inspire those volunteers. With more young volunteers looking to their mobile devices for information, it may seem like social media is the key to success. However, good old email can be enough to get people going, assuming you follow some best practices. Nonprofit CRM software can help make this happen through automating many important processes.

The right email messaging will keep your volunteers engaged.The right email messaging will keep your volunteers engaged.

1. Make them feel at home with a custom welcome email

When greeting your volunteers for the first time, you’ve got to create a good impression. They joined your nonprofit because they felt they wanted to be a part of something more, and they tend to treat your organization like a family. A generic welcome email won't give the good vibes that come with being a volunteer. By making a custom individual email that takes into account who they are, what they've done and any interactions they may have had with you, you get off on the right foot in welcoming them to the organization, according to Target Marketing Magazine.

2. Having short, snappy subject lines

Volunteers, as noted before, use mobile devices and have shorter attention spans when using them. When trying to get their interest going, the subject line becomes an all-or-nothing proposition in determining whether your message is read or even opened. It's important to keep your subject line clear and concise. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 45 characters, though Vieo Design notes you could probably get away with a couple characters more. If counting characters is not your thing, consider 6-8 words as a good reference.

3. Put your name on your email address

Volunteers will want to contact you. They may have concerns about the mission, or they could be seeking feedback on a project they're working on. In some cases, they're just looking to find details on the next big event or fundraiser. They may feel awkward trying to send out a message to info@yournonprofit.org. Volunteers will feel more comfortable if you add your name to the email. They'll also understand that there's someone behind the emails rather than some bot, giving them a greater sense of connection.

4. Treat your content like your subject lines

Long stories about what's been going on at your nonprofit can be great blog material, but they do not fit in the frame of an email. This is especially the case if your volunteers see your messages as a way to find out about events. What you should do instead is keep your messages short and succinct, no more than 200 words. If you want to, you can link to your blog posts to make up for the loss.

All of these tips allow you to increase your volunteers' involvement in the organization. Nonprofit CRM software allow you to develop volunteer profiles to from which you can craft your messages.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 4:31 am and is filed under email marketing, Online Advocacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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