Nonprofit Digital Communications

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For those doing digital strategy work, including written or multimedia content for nonprofit websites, social media, and e-newsletters. This group is for those digital communications folks who create written or multimedia content for websites, social media, and e-newsletters for nonprofits. Members will discuss topics such as social media trends, digital analytics, developing content, storytelling, planning and resources, content strategy, and more.

Highly Personalized Donor Emails

  • 1.  Highly Personalized Donor Emails

    Posted May 14, 2019 10:28
    Hi All,

    My organization is trying to figure out a more sustainable way of managing email updates to our largest donors.

    Right now, we send them a version of our organizational updates along with a personal message from our CEO specific to our relationship with them.

    To accomplish this, I create an email template in Salesforce that matches the update we're sending to our larger list. Our CEO's executive assistant then uses that template and what is, essentially, a mail merge from a Salesforce report to generate a series of emails within our CEO's Gmail account for our largest donors (the mail merge also contains a pre-approved personalized note that is inserted at the top of the message  for each contact). She will then copy and past additional email addresses into the "to" and "cc" fields when appropriate, and save the emails as drafts. Our CEO does a final review of the messages (and sometimes makes last-minute tweaks) and hits send.

    As we've been lucky enough to have the list of the larger donors grow, the manual work has become more tedious (and more prone to human error), and we're exploring if there are technological solutions that can help.

    I can set up a bulk email message in our MailChimp account that includes a personalized message at the top for specific contacts. The challenge is that we want the emails to look and feel like they're still personal messages coming directly from our CEO, and some of our major donors have specified that they want multiple people cc'ed on these messages (There are sets of spouses that want to make sure both individuals are included, and foundations that have a handful of contacts to include on the cc line).

    I can make sure the right messages go to all the right people, but I have yet to find a solution that would let us group email addresses together on a single email - letting recipients see that all the right people were also included.

    Has anyone ever tried to do something similar? Bonus points if the solution also allows you to track the performance of the email (opens, clicks, etc.)

    I feel like there are a lot of solutions that support sending out personalized emails based off of a single template, but without the ability to include specific cc's on a single email unless the emails are being built one at a time. Our CEO is OK with letting go of the final send but does not want to lose the donors' experience of feeling like they're receiving a personal note from him.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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    Sara Terpeny
    Digital Communications Manager
    Upstream USA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Highly Personalized Donor Emails

    Posted May 14, 2019 13:49
    Hi Sara,

    Yet Another Mail Merge should be able handle what you're looking for - it supports personalization and different CC addresses for different recipients. It's tracking isn't great, but would provide you with opens, clicks, etc.

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    Adam London
    Project Donor Love
    https://projectdonorlove.com
    San Francisco, CA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline