"In these stressful economic times, it is more important than ever to build messages that resonate with your audience," says Winston Bowden in an article at MarketingProfs. "Like retailers, nonprofits should be thinking about how they can tell their story and leverage the holiday season." Here's some of his advice for a nonprofit holiday "retail" approach to fundraising:
Offer a gift membership. You'll not only generate additional income, you'll gain valuable exposure to the likeminded friends of your members. Engage your email audience with a professionally designed message that presents a compelling gift offer. And don't worry if you don't have an existing method for processing online payments; a service like PayPal can handle everything for a small fee.
Appeal to the bargain hunter. Create an offer with a discounted membership. It doesn't have to be drastic—just enough to make people feel like they're getting a good deal. Also, highlight your tax-deductible status, and make documentation easily available.
Don't forget to tug at those heartstrings. Include these tried-and-true nonprofit elements in every email, regardless of how retail-oriented it is: Choose stories about the people you're helping that members can relate to, and include pictures. Show how the money donors are giving furthers your cause.
The Po!nt: Write that nonprofit holiday retail email today! "Don't count on email as a last-minute channel to bolster support," says Bowden. "Instead, make it a tactic with thoughtful planning and execution."
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