When a potential new donor or activist signs up for your organization’s email list, do you have a welcome series in place to properly cultivate them? A welcome series spread out over a 2-4 week period is one of the most effective and quickest ways to:
- educate people about your organization and the key issues you work on.
- inspire people to get more involved.
- tell people how they can connect with you through multiple online channels.
If you are looking to start a welcome series or freshen up your existing one, check out these four tips from Convio’s latest report.
Make an Impression
A welcome series is the start of your relationship with your potential donor so it should make a great first impression. The tone should be more personal, and from the leader of the organization, such as the Executive Founder. The first message typically highlights the state of the organization with a focus on educating the constituent. If constituents were recruited through an online advocacy campaign, be sure and lead with that campaign in the first welcome message.
Focus on Engagement
The second and third message should highlight ways to get involved with your organization (both online and offline through volunteering, social media, and advocacy actions) and show new potential donors the value of being a supporter. This is an important step, because many constituents take a second action (like donating money) immediately after subscribing to organizations lists.
Test Timing of Messages
Test the frequency of welcome messages and analyze the results to determine the best times to send your welcome series. “Some organizations find that an email welcome series of one message every two weeks for two months is effective, whereas others prefer weekly messages over a period of a month,” said Convio.
Segment Your List
Don’t send new people who just signed up to your list fundraising appeals. They have not been properly cultivated and it’s one of the fastest ways to make them feel like you are treating them like an ATM machine. Get in the habit of segmenting your lists.
By putting these tips into action, your organization will see higher open rates, as much as 25% to 30%, and an average 3% click rate. A well executed welcome series will also foster deeper engagement with your organization over the long-term.