As your business community grows from your very first client to ten – then a hundred – then five hundred – how will you stay in touch? How will you reach out in a personal way to let them know what you’re up to – how you can help them today?
For the first couple clients, you can send them a thank-you card. When you get up to a hundred, you can probably send each a birthday card. But what about the other 364 days of the year?
Email is great – you can quickly jot down your news or your ideas, push the send button, and you’ve touched all five hundred. On the very morning of your new idea.
But wait, you don’t need to send that idea to everyone you know – it’s an idea that only makes sense to ten percent of the people you know. No problem. You just create separate email lists that distinguish between client groups – one for volunteers, one for donors – or one for in-kind contributors, one for people who donate clothing to your thrift shop, one for large cash donors, one for those who acknowledge your organization in their wills. Then you can send the same idea in four versions that are relevant to those particular readers.
It’s a little difficult for your clients to forward their birthday card to a friend who they think would benefit from your service, although it has been done. Much easier to forward an email – and you can even remind your readers to recommend you in that very email.
You’ve probably received a coupon with the birthday card you got from your insurance agent – well, maybe not from your insurance agent. Maybe you even used that coupon. On the other hand, have you ever received an email offer that said “click here” to take advantage of our offer by midnight tonite? There’s a much greater potential for a quick response via email.
Do you know who opens your bulk mail? You may if you keep track of who buys what and where they heard about it. With most email marketing programs, you can see who opened your email, when they opened it, what links, if any, they clicked on, and perhaps who they forwarded it to. That’s called “tracking.”
Last, but certainly not least these days, is the little matter of postage stamps. You don’t need one for each email. Besides, there’s no printing cost! We worked with one organization that does a terrific hardcopy newsletter that breaks even – that is, donations directly attributed to the newsletter approximately equal the cost of printing + postage. I don’t have to do the math for you to see how that works with e-newsletters!
The Computer Spirit does e-newsletters. We used to love doing hardcopy newsletters but we’re over it. e-Newsletters are more practical in every way – and more fun too!