188 Billion Emails Sent A Day

Yesterday a friend told me that we send about 188 billion emails a day. I did digging and found all kinds of numbers about the number of emails sent – so I decided it stick with 188.  I like the number and it makes my first point. For those who feel email is a thing of the past, I think we can say it’s here to stay. Email continues to be a great way to disseminate information. But, here’s the thing. We need to change the how we’re sending emails, because how we read emails has changed.

I’m very lucky to get a seat at the annual donorCentrics Events Benchmarking meeting. This is one of my favorite meetings because we spend the day looking at data, talking fundraising strategy, and bonding over challenges. Now, if I could only add football to the agenda we’d spend the day talking about my two have favorite topics: fundraising & football. BTW – it’s my goal this year to incorporate my love for the Baltimore Ravens in as many presentations as possible – so far I’m two for two – Go Me! If you’re curious how football and fundraising are similar check out this post [defunct link removed].

Back to email and the donorCentrics report.

For some time, I’ve believed we can increase overall event revenue by focusing on fundraising participants instead of trying to convert zero-dollar participants into fundraisers. This year’s donorCentrics meeting confirmed this for me. Download the paper to learn more about the donorCentrics report.

This week, I’ve been thinking like a direct marketer and wondering how can keep fundraising participants engaged and inspired to keep fundraising. Then I noticed something in my daily email activity, I scan my inbox and open notification emails first before reading other messages.

Probably the most common notification opened that results in an immediate activity is… wait for it… can you guess? Yes, that’s it: You’ve been tagged in a photo. We’ve all been tagged and immediately go to Facebook to untag or leave the tag. After facebook notifications, I find myself always opening bill notification. This behavior makes me giggle, because I know exactly when my bills are do and how much they are, but for some reason I still always open these. Maybe it’s the hope that my credit card bill has magically disappeared since last’s month statement.

Because of the instant action taken after receiving a notification, maybe we should use this type of email more often in our fundraising programs. This brings me to percentage to goal notification emails. Let’s create an email series that alerts fundraising participants about their progress to reaching their goal. I know this isn’t a new idea, but I think we should focus on this type of messaging. Just as it’s easier to keep a rolling stone moving it’s easier to keep a fundraiser fundraising.

When creating your percentage to goal notification include a fundraising tip. Below is a sample email. What do you think? Are you going start setting up percentage to goal notifications? If you’re using Friends Asking Friends, it’s super easy thanks to the Event Email Templates. Set up notifications for fundraisers when they’ve reached certain mile stones like 25%, 50%, 75% and 90% to goal.

Dear Amy,

Congratulations you’ve made it halfway! Check out your fundraising progress and login into you’re my HQ at: walkforme.org/amy. Here’s a fun fundraising tip to help you reach your goal.
Fundraising Tip: This week try something different. Challenge your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to help you raise $150 in one week. From your fundraising headquarters, update your Facebook status and send a tweet asking for their support. Have fun with your challenge. Ask friends and followers to pack a lunch or skip Starbuck for week and donate what they would have spent to your fundraising efforts.

Be sure to thank those who took the challenge publicly on Facebook and Twitter. Celebrate your success together in the “social-verse.” Please let me know if you need help with your fundraising.

Thank you for your support!