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April 10, 2018

4 Essential Metrics to Get Your Email Fundraising Up to Speed

To manage your email fundraising effectively, you have to measure it. And that means glancing at the gauges on the dashboard as you go down the marketing road.

Here are four essential metrics good fundraisers know to watch:

  1. Open rate.
    This measures the strength of your email subject line. Did it generate curiosity, convey a strong offer, or otherwise compel people to click? For an e-appeal, open rate should be 10–17%. For an e-newsletter, it should be about 12–25%.
  2. Click-through rate.
    When your messaging and graphics work together to encourage people to click on a button, image, or text link, you’ll see it in a good click-through rate. Aim for about 1% for an e-appeal, and 2–7% for an e-newsletter.
  3. Response rate (also called “conversion”).
    A good response rate means your message moved donors to give a gift, and that your donation page and giving mechanism is working right. Your rates should be around 0.1–0.25%.
  4. Unsubscribe rate.
    A high unsubscribe rate could mean too many emails, too few emails, bland subject lines, muddied messaging, or lack of an offer. The average unsubscribe rate is about 0.04–0.5%. Anything above 1% could land you on the unsubscribe blacklist.

Naturally, it’s helpful to monitor these metrics for each email campaign, and also judge the results against benchmarks. But the real value of monitoring comes from tracking results over time. Those longer-term trends tell you which themes and offers are working. You can use that information to coax more performance out of your email campaigns, so that they can contribute more to the overall success of your multichannel fundraising.

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