pexels-photo-1181681It’s a well-established fact that despite the growing popularity of social media, direct email continues to generate higher conversion rates; but, why is this statistic true? What is it about the email format that makes these appeals so irresistible?

While it’s difficult to pin down the exact characteristic that underlies their influence, the most successful email campaigns share the following list of traits. Consider using them when designing your next email campaign to increase your results.

Personalisation and Tailor-Made Content

The best emails pay attention to the details and include content that is relevant to the audience. Mention your prospect’s name in your greeting, and segment your lists based on demographics to help you create content that is more appealing to them based on these factors.

While most direct appeals should focus on one main topic, apply the newsletter format to at least some of your emails so that you can highlight three to five key stories about your nonprofit and the work that it is doing. This one step helps keep your audience up-to-date on your latest happenings and encourages greater engagement and involvement, which in turn increases your support and makes your call to action more meaningful to your audience.

Peak their Curiosity

It matters little how great the body of your email is if no one opens it to read it. The subject line is your one chance to convince your audience that your email is worth opening and reading. Avoid “click bait” titles that have little relevance to the main topic of your email. Instead, look for ways to interest your audience with a catchy, one-word sentence that generates interest and makes your audience want to open the email to learn more.

Keep the Body of Your Email Relevant to the Topic

Ideally, your subject line should have created a question in the minds of your audience. The body of your email should answer that question, and, encourage them to visit your site, or take other action to learn more. Avoid going for the “hard sell” in the body of your email, and keep promotional items to a minimum, and near your closing. You don’t want your email to be incorrectly mislabeled as spam.

Always Include a Clear Call to Action

Before you end your email with your final thoughts and signature, make sure that you include a clear call to action. Whether you want your reader to take a poll, reply with their feedback, or donate, always state very clearly how your reader can pitch in and do their part by taking a specific action.

Use Analytics to Improve Your Messaging

To ensure that you are striking the right tone with your prospects, use A/B testing of your messages and analytic tools to help you learn more about why some emails are more successful, and others fall flat. Continually refine your emails to incrementally improve your performance throughout each campaign.