Every time you email your supporter, you’re doing much more than delivering a message. You’re cultivating a relationship.
If your organization relies on—or hopes to rely on—a digital audience to sustain its work, then the health of that relationship is everything. For most digital-facing organizations, email is the best tool out there for establishing personal connection and trust.
How you communicate by email will shape how your online supporters feel about your organization. It will influence their enthusiasm to participate in that relationship: to read, share, take action, and donate. From this perspective, every email can be thought of in two ways.
How successfully does the email achieve its immediate goal? What was its open or click rate? How many actions or donations did it attract? This usually supports a single organizational goal and is measured by individual email analytics.
How does the email serve to build trust, rapport, and long-term commitment? This impacts every supporter-facing department—from fundraising to activism—and is measured by email list health and long-term engagement.
Serving both of these objectives at the same time is key to a robust email strategy. Fortunately, in most cases, what’s good for the email is good for the relationship.
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