4 Tips for a Dynamite Welcome Series

4 Tips for a Dynamite Welcome Series
Date Published
11/27/2018
Author
Brett Jones

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:
Brett Jones
Vice President of Client Management, Agency Services

Role at the Company

I lead the Agency Services Client Management team. I challenge the team to continually improve our strategy, creative and service, and develop new ideas, so we can provide better solutions and outcomes to our clients.

What excites you about your work at AFG?

I love fundraising! In my career I have had the chance to work with many different organizations that are doing incredible work and really making a difference. I enjoy helping them meet and exceed their goals so they can advance their missions. 

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

I have always wanted to work with non-profits and love fundraising. It’s my way of contributing to the greater good. I can’t imagine what else I would do!

What are your hobbies/interests outside AFG?

I love reading, ice skating, and going to the beach in the summer, but most of I love spending time with my daughter.

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

Brett is my middle name. I’m actually Sara Brett. But don’t call me Sara if you want me to answer!

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

I remember the first time I rode a bike without training wheels. I was so proud of myself. I was so excited to visit my neighborhood friends by myself.

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