Managing subscriptions: Key to successful charity email marketing: Part 2

What do people want to receive?

Once the frequency options are sorted (see Part 1 last week) you can look into what people want from your content.

Firstly decide on the categories that your content should fall under (news & events are usually the popular two). While events can also be mentioned as part of the news, they’re more time sensitive so merit having their own category, just bear in mind that events are relevant to less people, mainly due to geography and how specific the event’s nature is.

For instance: Jill from Manchester would definitely want to know about a charity run near where she lives but may not want to be told about a dinner & auction for £2000 a table. If she wants to opt-out of it she should not have to opt out of all emails but we’ll cover that shortly.

It is up to you to categorise your events and allow recipients to categorise themselves, so they only get the relevant content at the right time. This shouldn’t be too difficult because being a charity people will trust you more quickly than many other businesses and will be more likely to give you more details about themselves and their preferences. Just don’t forget that it always helps to keep telling people that you respect their privacy.

Using a preference centre to manage subscriptions

People who are involved in a particular event may want to follow it through all of the way to where the money actually goes so they can see that they achieved something. Some charities like to have a special campaign for people who are involved and have donated based on a specific event or cause.

Other people might lose interest once a fundraising event has taken place and want to stop getting those emails but still receive ones that talk about future events, being able to opt-out of just that campaign is a good idea.

This is where you can use your preference centre. As well as people tagging themselves with locations and event types to start receiving emails they can also manage their subscription to each event which allows them to unsubscribe to receiving one type of email without losing their subscription to other categories.  This will also help build up a profile of the recipient over time.

As many events can all contribute to one cause but you have more than one cause, you could split it: Have an ongoing cause email campaign and when people get involved in an event offer them the cause emails too.

So you send people the event emails based on their profile tags – the ones built up from the information gleaned from your preference centre, and allow them to opt-out of any event if they wish, whilst still being updated on the overall cause and with the option to change their preferences of the cause emails if they wish. Phew!

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