By Audrey Phillips, a customer success manager at Classy – a social enterprise that creates world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits, modernizing the giving experience to accelerate social impact around the world.
A fundraising campaign soft launch—the release of your campaign to a limited audience prior to the general public—allows your organization to establish early momentum on your campaign. When you invite these loyal supporters to take action, you need to introduce your campaign in a way that emphasizes their unique value and motivates them to help kick off your fundraising effort. And if your supporters don’t engage with your call to action the first time around, a well-structured follow-up is crucial.
We’ve created two email templates to guide the way your nonprofit reaches out to your inner circle of supporters during your next soft launch. Learn how to introduce and motivate your biggest advocates to get involved, and how to follow up with the donors that didn’t engage with your appeal the first time around.
Email #1: Introduce the Campaign
When you kick off your soft launch, your first email appeal to your loyal group of supporters should set the tone for the campaign, get them excited, and include a compelling call to action.
To get started crafting the perfect email appeal, prioritize these must-have elements:
- Set your email apart with a unique subject line. Make sure it’s timely, personalized, and has a sense of urgency. You could also try posing a question, like “True or false: $50 can save a life.”
- Make it personal. Mention the donor’s past involvement with your organization and the impact their previous gifts have made. If possible, use tangible examples to show how their personal contributions have supported your mission.
- Use language that creates a sense of exclusivity. Remind your donors that they bring a unique value to your organization.
- Explain your motivation. Make it clear what need your campaign is addressing and why it matters to your donors.
- Provide all of the details. Clarify the campaign type, start and end dates, specific goals, and any other pertinent information your donors might want before getting involved.
- Clarify your call to action. Keep it simple with one clear CTA to avoid overwhelming your donors.
- Offer unique incentives or perks. Emphasize that these incentives are only offered to your most avid supporters.
- Provide multiple ways to give. Make it as easy as possible for donors to finalize their gifts by offering options like ACH, credit cards, and digital wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay.
- Provide a point of contact to answer any questions. Let your donors know that there is always someone available to help them navigate the campaign.
- Include all necessary tools to fundraise, if applicable. Include fundraising FAQs, toolkits, and campaign examples to guide your supporters. Offering to help each donor customize their personal fundraising page is another nice touch.
Email #2: Follow Up With Unengaged Donors
Even if you’ve crafted the world’s best appeal, it’s possible some donors won’t engage. A strategic, personalized follow-up email can be the motivation a donor needs to take that next step.
Keep these elements in mind when drafting your next follow-up email:
- Include their name in the subject line. Prove to your donor that they weren’t part of a mass email chain and that you truly value their involvement.
- Be specific in your storytelling. Share how this campaign will impact a particular beneficiary. If possible, include data to show the full extent of the problem you’re addressing.
- Provide campaign updates. Donors want to participate in a winning effort, so share the success you’ve had so far.
- Ask for feedback. Encourage your donor to suggest how you can improve your campaign to show that you care about their involvement and value their input.
- Re-emphasize the unique incentives or perks. Remind each donor that these perks are only offered to this select group.
- Provide multiple ways to give. Even more importantly now, meet your donors where they’re at to ensure a frustrating checkout process doesn’t discourage them from finalizing their gift.
- Set them up for success. If your supporters are being asked to fundraise, do the hard work for them by highlighting the resources, guides, templates, and examples you’ve created to make the process easier.
- Make sure your subject line is personalized, timely, and intriguing to the donor
- Use language that makes each donor feel special
- Tell the story of your campaign and how each gift can get you closer to your goal
- Be clear on your call to action and emphasize how easy easy it is to get involved
- Provide resources, contact information, or toolkits to ensure your donors and fundraisers feel supported
To learn more about elevating your email communication strategy, check out our other templates:
- 9 Email Templates to Engage Donors Year-Round
- 10 Giving Tuesday Email Templates
- 16 Email Templates for Giving Tuesday Through Year-End
- 8 Email Templates to Upgrade Your Recurring Donors
- 13 Donor Retention Email Templates
- 16 Email Templates to Retain Crisis Donors