Email Best Practices
These recommendations are for teams and affiliates that are familiar with our email blast platform, already have an Editor (or similar) role defined on their team, are comfortable sending emails and ready to kick up their email practices to the next level.
In this article we cover best practices for general email blasts, NOT individual emails that you might send to chase RSVPs, follow up for donations, and so forth (even if you’re sending a lot of those emails – they still don’t count as blasts!).
If your team or affiliate is just starting out, stick with a very basic goal that you know your team can actually achieve. This likely means just one email newsletter a month.
What is an email blast, anyway?
The purpose of a general email blast is to make an announcement to your entire team, keep the least engaged people on your list informed, and begin to engage those people and move them down the volunteer engagement “funnel.”
Email blasts are NOT for following up with a specific person to take a specific action, like fulfill a pledge to donate or show up to an event they have RSVP’d for.
So, an email blast is:
- Sent to a large portion or the entirety of your list
- Of general interest to anyone on your list
- NOT individual outreach
DO use email blasts for:
- Candidate announcements
- Fundraising pushes
- First-round invitations
- Monthly newsletters
But do NOT use email blasts to:
- Follow up on individual donation pledges
- Confirm RSVPs
- Deeply engage individual volunteers
If you’re looking for a specific action from a specific person, it requires specific outreach.
But the good news is… Email blasts can work well for aggregate actions, like digital fundraising!
How often should I send an email blast?
The short answer: about twice a month. However, the frequency will likely increase or decrease depending on where we are in the electoral cycle. For most teams, the summer months tend to be slower while Labor Day – Election Day have very high activity.
Emails that come directly from teams have very high engagement rates (more people tend to open them and click on links). Never assume everyone on your list has read an email blast from HQ – make some modifications and tailor it to your team, and send it again from your team account.
The Golden Rule; One Email, One Action
People are busy, and they are scanning your email blasts quickly. The best way to get the highest engagement is to have only one call to action (CTA) per email. In other words, if your goal is to raise money, provide only links to donate. If your goal is to get people to RSVP for a specific event, provide only links to RSVP.
- Use pictures with faces (selfies are great!)
- Personalize the greeting (merge tags)
- Most important info in the first 3 lines
- Keep it SHORT – minimize text
- Make your action item the only style that stands out
- Make your ask specific
- Sign it from a real person
- The bottom button always does best
Of course, you likely have a lot more information and details you want to share with your volunteers. We recommend using your team page on sisterdistrict.com for the longer details and info. Use your email blasts for one action only.
Download the PDF: Email best practices