4 Tips for a Dynamite Welcome Series

4 Tips for a Dynamite Welcome Series
Date Published
11/27/2018
Author
Kate Ryan

A welcome series is a series of emails that are automatically generated once a donor or prospect subscribes to your eNewsletter or makes a donation. The intent of the series is to enhance awareness of your brand and engage with your audience on a more personal level.

With this level of automation, you have several fantastic opportunities to engage with and get to know more about your constituents while they’re getting to know you. It’s a total win-win!

Before we get started, a note about audience segmentation: consider two different welcome series based on whether or not a donation was made. Your welcome series should start where your prospect or donor exists on the image above.

If you’re starting from scratch, use the steps below to help create and plan your welcome series. If you’re already sending one, use these steps to review, revitalize, and relaunch.

  1. Keep it simple part 1
    How many emails will you send, and how far apart will you send them? Much of this depends on how many it will take to tell your story. Start with three. You can always test once you get up and running. (More about how to decide what to test in a minute.)

    The first email in the series should be sent immediately. Acknowledge what your new friend did to get on your email list – a donation, eNewsletter signup, blog subscription, etc. – because it will keep your organization top of mind. The rest of the welcome series’ timing should ultimately depend on results. Once a week should do the trick until you’ve got enough data to support testing. (Note: It all depends on the nature of the series, the frequency of the existing email stream, and the call to action.)

  2. Create a goal for each email
    The goal of the welcome series is to introduce your organization. Individual emails should each have a simple goal to encourage participation in your mission. Ask recipients to “Like” your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter or Instagram, or participate in a quiz. (This last one is a great way to find out what donors’ and prospects’ interests are!)

    If it’s a new donor you’re speaking to, consider that ultimate goal of securing a second gift. With prospects, you’re educating them about who you are and what you do. With new donors, think about tweaking the message to let them know what you’re doing with their donation.

  3. Keep it simple part 2
    Copy needs to be short and sweet. Tell your story, but tell it in a concise way that is easily digestible. Direct them to content on your website that expands on these points.

  4. Track results
    Analyze your KPIs to determine what changes need to be made or tested. Open rates, click throughs, quiz responses, and actions taken can help you realize the welcome series’ fullest potential.

Here are a couple of calculations that can help you see if your series is firing:

  • Measure first-year retention prior to and after launching the welcome series – an increase would indicate that your welcome series is working
  • Determine the time frame between the first and second gift prior to and after turning on a welcome series – a decrease would suggest success

And, always be testing and looking for ways to improve the series!

Are you interested in learning more about developing an email welcome series for your nonprofit? Email me!

About the Author:
Kate Ryan
Account Director
Agency Services

Role at the Company

My role involves helping fundraisers find and keep loyal donors while making a positive impact in their communities. Every day, I apply whole-brain solutions to the work I do, using analytics, creativity, and a big dose of nerd to help our clients succeed.

What excites you about your work at AFG?

I love data! And having client-side experience with all three divisions of AFG allows me to rev that motor in a big way.

If you weren’t at AFG, what would you be doing?

Running an apocalypse-themed bowling alley and bar. Probably goat yoga. Managing my kids’ Youtube careers.

What are your hobbies/interests outside AFG?

Spending time with said children, acrylic fluid painting, traveling, bowling (really!), reading, and if there’s time after, a good zombie movie.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

The first time I was ever in a plane, I jumped out. That one time I skydived was pretty cool!

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

As a kid, my family went to Tablerock Lake for our summer vacation. We had a small motorboat that was just big enough for the five of us, and my brother and I learned to waterski soon enough. One morning, dad threw out the ropes and off we went. We tooled around the lake for a long time, neither of us willing to take the first fall of the day. Dad kept circling the boat, forcing us to jump the wakes – still neither of us would take the dive. Finally ran the boat entirely out of gas just outside our cove. Dad got towed back. We had to swim.

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