Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where's my email? Part 2

AUTHOR'S NOTE: As I was reviewing yesterday's post, I noticed a few "glaring" typos and grammatical errors. I humbly ask for you forgiveness, and I hope you will give it so you'll feel better. Oh, there's another one. 8-)


So, where does one start if the organization decides to use email as a way to raise funds?

1. Do you have email addresses to send your message to? You can start with the email addresses of your friends and family. Then let it grow from there. Growing it will be the subject of another post.

2. Edwin, I have tons of email addresses, can I use them? Sure, why not? but, ask first. In the U.S. there is a law called CAN-SPAM that states that you need to get a recipient's permission that you want to send email to them on a regular basis, they call it opting-in. Also, make sure those addresses are working. It won't hurt to ask permission, they usualy give it. Trust me!

3. Text or HTML? If you are starting from scratch and you know nothing except how to type your message, and hitting the "Send" button, start with a text message first. I'm not referring to an SMS message ok? People will give not because your email is pretty (it helps though) but because they believe in your message and a plain, old non-HTML email will focus your reader to read.

4. Should I use a free email service like Yahoo or Gmail? Yeah, go for it! Just make sure that your return email address is not something like, xsdh123sww@yahoo.com or bibingkaforsale@gmail.com. If your recipient's email client scans incoming mail for scams and spams, your email will most probably wind up in the SPAM BOX. The ideal is for you to use an email address that contains your non-profit's name like, info@mynonprofit.org. You'll look (and sound) more credible.

5. How should I write? If you were the one receiving another non-profit's email, what would you want to receive? I personally go for short individual stories. Writing letters (on and offline, meaning on paper and via email) is both a science and an art. You need to feel what you are writing. If you aren't touched by your own message then others would also have a hard time get touched. The logical flow of the letter should be clear. Make it sound like a personal correspondence, not the business letter type. And don't forget a call to action. Let your recipient know that they can do something.

I still have a follow-up on this topic so come back tomorrow!

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