When we first published about nonprofit mobile email marketing performance, a reader wrote in and said, “I liked this. It would have been cool to also show the 4 [funnel] areas.”
So in today’s article, we do just that.
Read on to see the scorecard, along with tips for optimizing the weakest link according to the data — email capture.
A successful email marketing program has an optimized funnel of micro-yes(s). The specifics of those micro-yes(s) will be unique to every organization, but usually include elements like email opt-in, email open, email click, purchase, post-transaction communication, etc.
Fundraising consultants Dunham+Company recently analyzed the funnels of nonprofits. Let’s see how they performed, and what we can learn from it.
Fundraising consultants Dunham+Company analyzed 46 key indicators across 151 American charities to assess the effectiveness of digital fundraising, and published what they learned in “Online Fundraising Scorecard 2.0: A National Study Analyzing Online Fundraising Habits & Donor Experience of Nonprofits.”
Over a two-month period, the research team analyzed the buyer’s (in this case, donor’s) journey — signed up for e-communications from these 151 nonprofits, monitored the inbox to study communications, made a $20 donation to each organization and analyzed the thank-you process. Then they watched to see what would happen next.
The research team used patented methodologies from MECLABS Institute (parent research organization of MarketingSherpa) for the score criteria, specifically the Email Messaging Sequence, Email Effectiveness Index and Conversion Sequence heuristics. From the study …
Background: Scoring criteria from the online fundraising scorecard study
Let’s take a look at mobile optimization. The research team analyzed four areas:
Nonprofits could score up to 100% in each of the four areas and had an aggregate score across all four areas as well. The chart below shows the average score for all nonprofits across those four critical steps in the online fundraising process for the mobile experience specifically.
Chart #1: Online fundraising scorecard for mobile across all nonprofit categories, by funnel stage
“Overall, non-profits scored better in all categories for mobile,” said Jennifer Abohosh, Chief Digital Strategist, Dunham+Company.
This was the first year mobile was scored in the report. However, desktop was scored five years ago in the first version of this report. Here is a look at nonprofit email scores for the funnel, comparing 2013 to 2018.
Chart #2: Desktop fundraising scorecard across all nonprofit categories, by funnel stage and year
“You’ll see non-profits in general are getting worse at the best practices than they were five years ago,” Abohosh said.
And to take a closer look, let’s see how nonprofits in different categories are doing, along with the change compared to the first Online Fundraising Scorecard (OFS 1.0) in 2013.
Chart #3: Online fundraising scorecard for desktop, by nonprofit category
“The only ones that improved as a whole over 2013 are the Human Services and International Affairs sectors. These had a modest improvement. But, overall, the story is that non-profits still aren’t doing the basic best practices,” Abohosh said.
Optimizing email capture
Email capture is where the nonprofits struggle most, for both desktop and mobile, and they’re getting worse at it. Here are two checklists that can help you optimize your email capture and decrease both the perceived value and the perceived (non-monetary) cost of subscribing to your email list.
Checklist #1: Maximizing the perceived value of email capture
Checklist #2: Minimizing the perceived cost of email capture
In addition, the software you use can affect your ability to optimize email capture. “Don’t underestimate the importance of email and email capture software in streamlining your new subscriber growth,” advises Jordie van Rijn, email marketing consultant at emailmonday.
When selecting email marketing software, here are features van Rijn recommends you consider to streamline the lead/subscriber capture process:
From his experience, van Rijn has seen that “a simple 10% more email capture means at least a 10% growth in first year email revenue. And at least a 10% decrease in Cost Per Lead (CPL).”
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