Original content by Annelise Ferry.
Welcome back to your agency engagement series! So far, we’ve discussed getting your agencies on board, the importance of training, and ways to recognize the successes of your partner organizations. Now we’ll offer more insight into a valuable strategy to engage those agencies who need a little encouragement. While a one-on-one visit or phone call is a great approach (and we totally recommend it!), that can take months. In the meantime, consider engaging your agencies through an email drip campaign.
What is a Drip Campaign?
A drip campaign is simply a series of emails. Traditionally, marketers use drip campaigns to turn subscribers into customers — but you can use them to reconnect with your agencies and encourage regular site usage. With a campaign of just three emails, you can prompt your agencies to connect without bombarding their inboxes (see our tips on “Email Frequency” below). To send these messages, you can use something like Mailchimp — or your tried-and-true communications partner, your Get Connected Email Blast!
The Three-Email Campaign: Messages and Goals
Each message of your campaign should have a unique goal. The first message should spark (or re-spark) an interest in your site. The second should provide a deeper look into your site’s benefits. The final message should inspire and motivate with a call to action. Below are some ideas for each stage.
Email 1: Recapture Interest
- “Relaunch”: Reintroduce agencies to your platform. You can include an attractive image of your platform’s dashboard as part of this message.
- Build excitement: Use engaging language to tell (and show) why your agencies should care about your Connect platform.
- Link to the platform: For those who are already convinced, make it easy for them by including a link straight to your site!
Email 2: Reiterate the Benefits
- Highlight a couple of features, such as opportunity scheduling and volunteer check-in. Provide links if they want to learn more. Even if they’ve already attended training, agency managers might need a reminder of what they’re missing.
- Get creative: Use screenshots from the software, testimonials from active agencies, or link to your blog. Use variety to spark curiosity all over again.
- Link to the platform. You’ve gotten your readers excited about those platform features, so make it simple for them to get started!
Email 3: Call to Action
- Encourage your agencies to take the next step, whether it’s posting new opportunities, signing up for a training, spiffing up their agency profile, or just reaching out to you for guidance.
- Make everything “clickable”: Whatever the next step, make it easy and accessible! Along with the standard link to your site, provide relevant links to training and Help Center articles.
Tip: If you’re using Mailchimp, take advantage of the available design features — for instance, create a button that says something like “Start Posting!” so that your agencies have easy access. Whether you use Mailchimp or the Email Blast, remember that you can track which agency managers are engaging with your emails.
When crafting your campaign, keep sight of the goal: for agencies to see the value of your site and start engaging again. Maybe they think Get Connected is too difficult or time-consuming, so show them that it’s easy and convenient — and that it can connect them to a new pool of enthusiastic volunteers in your community.
Other Things To Consider
Below, we’ve listed a few more insights to consider before hitting the “send” button.
- Personalization: Personalized emails get higher open and click-through rates. The Email Blast and Mailchimp both allow you to use merge tags (FirstName, LastName, etc.) to automate this personalization.
- Subject Lines: Give your email an eye-catching subject line to boost the number of people who open it. We came up with some examples of captivating subject lines to get you thinking:
Click here for more tips!
- Frequency: A good rule of thumb is to send no more than two or three emails in a month to the same person. In our experience, one of the fastest ways to annoy someone — and get an unsubscribe — is to crowd their inbox.
- Timing: It’s important to consider time of day for a drip campaign. While there isn’t a magic formula to determine the best time of day to email subscribers, most marketers tend to send their emails on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
- Unsubscribe Links: You must include an “unsubscribe link” in the email. (In fact, there are laws that prevent you from contacting a person after they’ve unsubscribed.) Services like MailChimp and Pardot require them, and the Email Blast includes one by default. You can put them at the very bottom of the page so they’re not in the way.
Stay tuned for our next blog series, “Writing and Nonprofits” — a guide for writing some of your organization’s most important materials!
- Here is a step-by-step guide to building an automated drip campaign in Mailchimp:
- In case you want to use automated emails, here’s another Mailchimp resource on marketing automation:
- Hubspot Academy has several free(!) certifications for email and content marketing.
- Read this article to understand how people interact with a nonprofit’s emails: