Best Practices - Fundraising Emails
November 17, 2014 4:12 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for some current articles (blog posts are fine) that discuss the 'science' of fundraising emails. Most people are aware of the Business Week article about the science behind the Obama campaign fundraising emails -- I'm basically looking for more material that is in the same vein -- not just someone's opinion, but rather "Our organization tested A, B, and C and here are the results."
posted by anastasiav to Work & Money (7 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Read Everything Is Obvious by Duncan J. Watts. Not because he explicitly answers your question, but because he points out that response factors are so intertwined and variable (including dependent on what else is going on in the culture) that you really need to be running the infrastructure to be doing constant A/B testing and optimization all the time.
posted by straw at 4:26 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not sure if you are familiar with Marc Pitman, he is sort of local to you. My husband met him when we were living in Portland and kept in touch when he (my husband, not Marc) worked as Events Coordinator up at Bagaduce. Some of his articles might be of use to you and he is very accessible for meetings.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:39 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Know Your Own Bone often talks about emails, though more generally about social media and digital outreach. The Grantspace Blog touches on email sometimes. You may also be interested in this and this.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:10 PM on November 17, 2014

It looks like MailChimp has some interesting resources in its Research section.
posted by wsquared at 5:21 PM on November 17, 2014

Best answer: I think there's probably something/s up your alley here -- -- in this consulting firm's resources for nonprofits.
posted by strivesc at 9:49 PM on November 17, 2014

Best answer: I work for a firm that does exactly this! We do all sorts of campaign consulting for non-profits, but the division I work in specifically does digital marketing -- primarily email-driven fundraising, but also a handful of other things like Facebook ads, website optimization, etc. We are heavily data-driven, and we write about it on our blog! (That link is to the "email" tag, but you can browse the whole blog if you're interested in other stuff too.)

We do a lot of testing. However, we are usually not allowed to talk about the specific results our clients see, including test results, because competition. A lot of our info is therefore written in generalities. Occasionally, we do get permission to share case studies, which we post on the blog. Once a year, we publish the M+R Benchmarks, which is a rigorous study of email metrics across the industry, broken out by non-profit sector and email list size.

Feel free to MeMail me with specific questions; I can try to direct you to more resources.

On preview: strivesc -- I work there! And that's what I'm linking to.
posted by Ragini at 9:53 PM on November 17, 2014

Ha! I was just coming in to recommend the M+R folks. The main reason I go to NTEN every year is just to talk to them.
posted by klangklangston at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2014

« Older Insulation .. but no drywall?   |   What hard cider were we served? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.