Email is a high-performing marketing channel, delivering the highest ROI of $36 for every $1 invested. It is also cost-effective and less time-consuming to drive conversions and nurture prospects with emails.
Most nonprofit organizations and charities have limited budgets and workforce, making it challenging to figure out where to allocate resources. You can easily achieve a wide array of marketing goals with email campaigns.
Well-crafted and regular emails give nonprofits authority and credibility while helping engage donors. Besides that, it keeps the audience informed about the organization and its cause and helps promote events. Through fundraising email campaigns, one can even encourage donors to act and secure help when needed.
These nonprofit email marketing statistics further substantiate the importance of email marketing for nonprofits:
- As of 2023, there are 37 billion email users, with 99% checking their email daily, making email marketing worth an investment.
- 26% of donors are inspired to donate when email marketing channel is utilized
- Email marketing supports 31% of online donations made by Generation X
- A study conducted shows that baby boomers are the largest contributors, and 74% of baby boomers prefer email communication from brands
Here’s a detailed look at nonprofit email marketing statistics to modify your strategy and maximize your revenue.
What Should Be the Ideal Email List Size For Nonprofits?
With over 7.9 billion email accounts worldwide and 48% of donors preferring email when receiving updates and appeals, email lists become significant. An email list is a collection of donor addresses a nonprofit has collected from people who have signed up to receive emails.
By acquiring this list, nonprofits share messages and information with those interested in their cause and who will support them with fundraising. As a result, these organizations waste less time chasing prospects who are uninterested in what they do and more on those who share their passion. Thus, it results in better marketing budget optimization and better ROI from email campaigns.
The size of your email list is essential as it indicates your overall ideal audience, including potential donors. If your email list has fewer than 1000 subscribers, conversions will suffer. The average nonprofit email list comprises 1,128,271 contacts. This includes both small and large-scale organizations.
While there are multiple ways for nonprofits to build an email list, some of the notable ways include:
- Create an opt-in pop-up form for the website that allows visitors to share their details
- Don’t make the form too long by asking for detailed information from recipients
- Add opt-in checkboxes for volunteer, donation or membership forms
- Collect email addresses at events and community gatherings
- Promote newsletters with social media channels
- Leverage contact data solutions provided by 3rd parties such as Blue Mail Media, offering access to various professionals, industries, and cities.
Key Email Engagement Metrics That Nonprofits Should Prioritize
Monitoring email marketing metrics will help nonprofits determine their campaigns’ performance and tweak them accordingly to enhance outcomes. 83% of marketers look at email engagement metrics, such as click rates, open rates, and more, to determine the success of their email content.
According to Mailchimp benchmark reports, the average open email rate for nonprofits is 25.17%. Monitoring the open rates enables nonprofit organizations to see the subject line performance, content appeal and whether subscribers are interested in receiving messages.
Here are some tips to improve email open rates:
- Include catchy and personalized subject lines
- Add attractive and helpful emails with images
- Email sent on Mondays have the highest open rate of 22% compared to weekends
Email click rate or click-through rate measures how many recipients clicked on the hyperlink, CTA, or image within a particular email. Tracking this metric helps to determine whether a recipient has taken the initiative to learn more about your cause or organization and decided to donate. Campaign Monitor Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2022 found that nonprofits have an average click-through rate of 2.7%.
Some ways to improve this engagement metric include:
- Make emails mobile-friendly, as most website traffic comes from mobile-opened emails.
- Make content relevant and personalized to the recipient
- To ensure recipients don’t miss on CTA, use buttons with hyperlinks
- Incorporate social proof and include images while keeping the design minimal
Bounce rate is the percentage of email subscribers that have not received your message. Most ISPs have limits for bounces, and anything beyond that can lead to the suspension of accounts.
Soft bounces occur because of temporary issues with a valid recipient, and emails are often delivered when the issue is resolved. A good soft bounce rate for nonprofits is 0.49%.
Contrarily, hard bounces occur when emails are undelivered because of permanent errors, such as invalid or incorrect addresses. Most ISPs pay attention to hard bounces to determine the sender’s reputation. For nonprofits, an acceptable hard bounce rate is 0.40%.
Some ways organizations can improve bounce rates are:
- Getting recipients to double opt-in
- Cleaning the list regularly
- Ensure the emails are not spammy
- Don’t make use of free sender domains
- Remove invalid or incorrect email addresses
Spam rates determine the number of recipients that have reported the email as spam out of the total number of emails shared. The generally acceptable spam rate is anything less than 0.1%, or 1 complaint for every 1,000 messages sent. Anything above that is considered a red flag, and to avoid that, adhere to the given best practices:
- Only send emails to contacts who have explicitly opted to receive messages for 12 months
- Include an unsubscribe link in the email, as it ensures you only have relevant contacts
- Send welcome or onboarding messages after contacts sign up
- Share relevant and personalized messages highlighting the cause
An email unsubscribe rate informs of the number of recipients who have opted out of the email marketing campaigns. For nonprofits, 0.19% is considered an acceptable unsubscribe rate.
If it’s relatively higher than that, consider the given measures:
- Try to make the email content more informative and personalized
- Segment the email list to launch effective email campaigns
- Consider the frequency of email campaigns and avoid sending messages every other day
The Bottom Line
Email marketing for nonprofits is one of the most successful marketing channels. Insights from the above nonprofit email marketing statistics reinforce its importance and inform about the key engagement metrics you need to monitor.
While planning an effective campaign based on audience segmentation is important, tracking email engagement metrics to get the most out of your campaigns is necessary, too. While open rates inform about the effectiveness of the subject line, click-through rates give a better idea about email copy and CTAs. Keeping an eye on bounce, unsubscribe, and spam rates helps to maintain a good reputation and enhance overall deliverability and ROI as well.
When defining an email marketing campaign, prioritize metrics and KPIs that align with your goals to optimize performance and improve results.