5 Reasons Your Email Campaigns are Failing

Posted by Ayanna Rutherford on 7.6.2022


1. The subject line is flat

Subject lines are your first impression with donors.

Creating a good subject line is a key component to a successful email campaign. Selecting words with high emotional appeal will help increase your open rate. Other techniques like, including a deadline in the subject line will convey a since of urgency.

Also, keep your subject line short so that is does not get cutoff when the person is reading from their mobile device. Constant Contact recommends keeping your subject line under 40 characters or 5 to 7 words. Not only should your subject line be short, so should the email’s content.

2. Your message is too long

Writing about your organization’s needs and accomplishments are important when it comes to fundraising. Donor wants to know how their dollars are being invested and the outcome of those contributions. We in live in a society where our attention span is much shorter than it once was due to how we receive information.

According to sleeknote, emails with 75 to 100 words have a response rate of 51%. So, it is important that you keep your message short and to the point while making an emotional appeal.

3. Your content is not inspirational

Speaking of emotional appeal, your content should inspire your donors to give. However, when you are in a difficult financial situation it can be very challenging to produce content that does sound desperate. Even if your situation is dire, it is important to demonstrate the need for donations and remind your donors of your impact.

For example, if you have lost a grant that funds your afterschool program due to budget cuts, but you know that your program is effective. It is important to send a message reminding your donors that student who participate in your program increase their reading levels by two by the end of the year.

4. It is hard for people to donate

People may read your message and become inspired to donate but if donating is challenging you will lose potential donors. Donors should be able to click on a donate button or a link that will take them directly to your merchant page.

It is also important that you make sure that your donate button is visible on your homepage because some donors may decide to visit your website to get more information about your organization. This is another opportunity for potential donors to give so it is important that your donation button has simple language here are some examples:

  • “DONATE”
  • “GIVE”

Keeping the donation process clear and convenient for donors is the perfect way to improve the giving process.      

5. You are asking enough

One phrase that is repeated in the fundraising community a lot is, “I don’t want to bother people”. This phrase is the kiss of death for fundraising and could be tanking your email campaigns. Even if you follow all of the tips above, you will lose out on dollars by not asking your supporters to contribute again. Donors should be asked to contribute 4 to 20 times per year, according to Meyer Partners.

Bottom line, is to ask and ask again and again and again…you get it!