The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

5 Ways to Use Email to Drive Participation at Your Next Fundraiser

Running a successful fundraising event is easier said than done.

You put in weeks of planning with the ultimate goal of getting as many people as involved as possible, and you want to make sure your hard work pays off.

One of the most important tools you have to promote your next fundraising event is email marketing.

With email campaigns, you can reach your audience members directly and send targeted messages that build enthusiasm and provide the information they need to get involved.

Here are 5 ways you can use email to drive participation at your next fundraiser:

1. Save-the-date

email marketing

A successful event relies on advanced planning. Once you have a date nailed down for your event, make sure you get the word out so your guests can add it to their calendars ahead of time.

This initial email doesn’t have to include all the details — the point is to give some notice and get your audience excited early so you can build on that interest in the weeks ahead.

If the event is open to the public, you can also post about the date on your social media accounts. Encourage your social media fans to join your mailing list so they won’t miss any future details.

2. Send a formal invitation

As more of the specifics come together, you’re ready to let your contacts know all about the great things you have planned.

The more personalized you can make your invitation the better. For example, if your fundraiser is an annual event, start by following up with last year’s attendees with a “Hope to see you again this year!” themed message.

Or, if you’re sending the event to media contacts, consider sending them a press release rather than a general email invite. Think about how you can deliver the right message to the right people for best results.

Make sure all the information is clear, concise, and easy to read from a mobile device. Your invitation should also link to a landing page for more extensive details. This landing page can be hosted on your website, or you can build one through your Constant Contact account.

3. Make your emails social

Email and social media marketing work best when they’re working together. Each email you send out should include social share buttons that make it easy for your contacts to share your email and invite others.

You should also encourage your contacts to forward your email to anyone they think might be interested in attending.

4. Send last-minute reminders

Even if you feel like you’ve been building up your event for weeks, don’t underestimate the power of a last-minute reminder. Even an email 24-48 hours in advance can drive some last-minute registrants.

Make sure you’re subject line reflects the timeliness of the message by adding the event date or a countdown.

This is also a good time to remind people that there’s more than one way to support your event. You can add a line to your email like: Can’t make the event? We’ll miss you! Consider supporting our event goal by making an online donation.”

Hopefully some of your audience members that have a scheduling conflict will take you up on your offer!

5. Follow up after the event

Don’t let the momentum of a successful event end when the event is over. Sending a thank you email or a quick recap will extend the life of all your hard work.

If you didn’t quite hit your fundraising goal, this is also a good time to encourage contacts to help you out.

Try to include multimedia in this email where you can. If you took pictures during the event, link off to an album. You want your registrants to relive the good times, and motivate those who didn’t attend to make it a priority the next time around!

Incorporating these 5 tips into your email marketing strategy will ensure your fundraising event generates real results.

Add these ideas to your calendar when promoting your next fundraiser and see which emails receive the highest opens, clicks, and registrations for you.

Have any advice we didn’t cover? Let us know how email boosts event involvement for your organization by Tweeting to us: @Network4Good and @ConstantContact

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About This Blog

Amanda Khoury
Marketing Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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