4 Things To Get Your Emails Read, Acted On And Forwarded


We handle online fundraising for one of our largest clients. A big part of any campaign we undertake is gaining new names and finding new ways to engage constituents.

Hot on the heels of a wildly successful petition signing initiative, I thought I’d boil down the 4 main things that combine for a successful e-campaign:


Resist the urge to add a lot of bells and whistles and too many calls to action. The simple act of signing something, saying “yes” or “no” to an issue or sharing information with friends is powerful for donors. Make them feel like it's not hard to help your organization accomplish something meaningful.


A little hyperbole goes a long way. We’ve had great luck sending out emails over the signatures of influential–and recognizable–leaders in the organization. Strike a balance between urgent and conversational. The house can’t be on fire every day and people will eventually tune you out if you’re always shouting about this week’s crisis.


People need motivation to open those emails you’re sending. One of the best ways is to truly make your email channel the place you send out exclusive, in-the-moment information. Reward donors with the chance to feel like an insider, and your email audience will keep on opening what you send…and feel good about sharing it with their friends.


Your donors don’t want to be the dreaded “person who sends those awful forwards” in the eyes of their friends. Give them something substantive, interesting and worthwhile to pass on and chances are they’ll do it. Send them junk thinly veiled to get a name added to a list or a one off donation and they probably won't.