Email Marketing for Salesforce: 5 Tips for Your Campaign

This is a guest post from Gerard Tonti at Salsa Labs

Email continues to be one of the most prevalent communication methods used today. According to this Campaign Monitor article, there are 3.9 billion active email users, and almost half of these users check their email as often as every few hours.

Even though email campaigns are used by most organizations, about half of marketers feel that their email campaigns are poor to average.

It’s more important than ever to make sure that your email campaigns are optimized so that they reach inboxes and grab your reader’s attention.

If your organization is using Salesforce, you already have access to a very powerful tool to help with your email campaigns. We’ve compiled tips that users like you can use to maximize your email marketing potential. We discuss each of the following actions in more detail below (and they apply whether you’re using Salesforce or any other CRM system):

  1. Choose a specific campaign goal.
  2. Segment your email recipients.
  3. Brand your campaign emails.
  4. Ensure mobile-responsiveness.
  5. Call the reader to action.

Remember that Salesforce works differently for different organizations. If you’re in charge of a nonprofit’s marketing strategy, read through Salsa’s overview of Salesforce for nonprofits. This will help you get a better idea of how to customize the software to fit your particular needs.

How do your nonprofit benchmarks compare? Find out.

However, all organizations can benefit from the tips above, nonprofit and for-profit alike. With a few simple steps, you can be sure your email campaigns are set up for success, no matter how exactly you customize Salesforce for your organization’s needs.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.

1. Choose a specific goal for your email campaign.

Too many organizations send emails only to maintain a presence in the email inbox of their supporters and customers. With no specific goal or call to action, these emails are often ignored or trashed.

Instead of strengthening your relationship with your constituents, they may get frustrated by the influx of “generic” emails. Then, when you do send important emails, they’re less likely to open and read them.

Ensure that every email you send has a specific purpose and/or call to action in order to keep your recipients engaged and interested.

Start by creating automated email series specific to actions a supporter might take. For example:

  • When a website visitor first signs up to receive emails, the next action you may want them to take is to make a donation. Create an email series, triggered by the initial signup, to drive the new visitor to that goal. The first email is a welcome, the next introduces your organization’s mission, and the third asks for a donation to address a specific need or campaign, etc.
  • A one-time donor could be encouraged to become a recurring or sustaining donor. One-time donors can be sent automated emails once a week with stories about the impact their recurring donations could make.
  • If someone has attended an event, you may set up an email series for them encouraging their support of a related advocacy campaign. This email series could be set up to continue until they’ve signed the latest petition or called their representative.

When you work to design your emails with Salesforce, you can set up specific campaigns that show the success of your marketing initiatives toward each of your goals. Using these success markers, your organization can tweak and adjust your strategy to better appeal to your recipients.

2. Segment your organization’s email recipients.

The more specifically an email is targeted at the recipient, the more likely it is to be read and acted upon. Therefore, it’s important that you segment your supporters in order to design emails targeted to their specific interests..

Start changing the way you send emails by optimizing your recipient segmentation strategies.

  • Collect as much data as you can. Use information collected via online forms, event registrations, or personal conversations to group your supporters multiple ways. If you’re using one integrated software platform, such as Salesforce and Salsa Engage, any information you collect is available to use for segmenting purposes.
  • Choose your segmentation criteria. From the data you’ve collected, decide how you want to segment your constituents. You may consider creating segments such as donor levels, event participation, or age. Some organizations focused on animal welfare even have separate email series for cat owners and dog owners! The criteria you choose all depends on your organization’s goals.
  • Allow supporters to segment themselves. With the right software, your organization can set up an online portal that allows supporters or members to change settings and data points of their own. In this way, they’re segmenting themselves into groups that are most relevant to them.

One of the great things about CRM systems like Salesforce is that they’re completely customizable. This lack of limits provides the opportunity to collect the data most important to your organization’s mission and use it for segmentation.

Learn what donors said about nonprofits by reading our survey results.

3. Brand your campaign emails to your organization.

Visually representing your brand on everything is a vital step in spreading the word about your organization. Because humans process imagery so well, your organization’s brand image is incredibly important for all communications.

Make sure every email you send looks good on both desktop and mobile devices. It won’t do your organization any good if your logo looks great on desktop, but is too large, too small and illegible, or otherwise unfit for a smaller screen.

Once you have the brand imagery set how you like it (for all screen sizes), you can go ahead and save it as a template on Salesforce.

Before you hit “send” on any emails, you also need to also make sure the content message is branded to your organization. This means you should have a consistent “voice” throughout all of your content, from your website to emails to social media posts.

This is especially important to keep in mind if you’re a nonprofit using templates (like those from Fundraising Letters) to communicate with supporters. These templates are great to start with so that you’re sure you don’t miss any vital information while writing an email. However, make sure you customize these templates to authentically reflect your organization’s brand and maintain consistent language with the rest of your website and other marketing materials.

4. Ensure your emails are mobile responsive and optimized.

More and more internet access today is done via smartphone, especially email access. Remember when we said that over half of email users check their accounts every few hours? Do you think they’re logging on to their desktop to check it that frequently? A large percentage of these users are using their smartphones to read any new messages they get.

When your organization is designing emails for your Salesforce marketing campaign, make sure the integrated marketing tools you’re using offer mobile responsiveness.

Mobile responsiveness means that the content of your emails will automatically adjust to fit the size of the user’s screen. This article also explains how you might hide content on either mobile or desktops to best create a better user experience. By taking the extra step of ensuring that your email is not only sized correctly (i.e., responsive), but optimized for mobile can make a significant difference in engagement levels. Consider the following examples:

  • Let’s say your organization is hosting a gala with a set guest list, mobile auction, and merchandise sales. You’ll want to email that guest list with information about the event. If you’re using a mobile event app, you may want to create a smart link so that people can download the app when they view the email on their phones. However, you don’t want this option to appear if they view the email on their desktops because it could cause some unnecessary confusion.
  • Or let’s say your organization is recruiting new registrations for the annual gala. You want to entice people to register by showing a picture of the crowd having a great time at last year’s event. However, the best picture available doesn’t show up well on a mobile screen. The details are too fine. In this case, you may want to hide that image on mobile to keep the message more streamlined and easy to read.

Ensuring your email content looks attractive and legible, no matter the screen it’s viewed on, is important for effective supporter engagement.

5. Call your reader to action.

One of the most important parts of your email campaign strategy is to make sure you’re calling your email recipient to action within the email. As we said before, every email you send to your supporters should have a specific goal in mind that’s clear to the recipient.

Your call to action (or CTA) should be attractive and entice readers to click on it for higher conversion rates. When you design a CTA, include the following elements:

  • Actionable wording. Words like “donate now” or “check out the sale today” do well for CTA buttons because they’re actionable and direct. These types of words also create a sense of urgency in your reader.
  • Colorful buttons. CTAs frequently come in the form of buttons. This is because buttons stand out. Make sure to use bright colors and legible typeface to make them stand out even more.
  • Proper placement. The placement of your CTA must make sense in context. Consider writing a short paragraph or blurb leading up to the CTA in order to convince your reader that they should take action.

When you design CTAs through Salesforce email marketing campaigns, you can easily track the click-through rates and success of your CTA to make sure the design’s effective.

Also, track your email open rates and other important metrics to see what percentage of those who open your email also click the CTA. Correlating your design choices with click-through rates can give you excellent insights into the finer details that drive more value and engagement.

Wrap up

As your organization customizes your Salesforce solution, make sure your email campaigns are ready to roll out. This is the most effective tool you have to reach the majority of your supporters or customers. Make it the best it can be with these five tips:

  1. Choose a specific goal for your email campaign.
  2. Segment your organization’s email recipients.
  3. Brand your campaign emails to your organization.
  4. Ensure your emails are mobile responsive and optimized.
  5. Call your reader to action.

Gerard Tonti is the Senior Creative Developer at Salsa Labs, the premier fundraising software company for growth-focused nonprofits. Gerard’s marketing focus on content creation, conversion optimization, and modern marketing technology helps him coach nonprofit development teams on digital fundraising best practices.

The post Email Marketing for Salesforce: 5 Tips for Your Campaign appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Why Nonprofit Email Segmentation is the Key to Donor Engagement

This guest post is written by Abby Jarvis from Qgiv.

Marketers know how much email has evolved, meaning they also know that sending the same, generic email to a massive list just doesn’t cut it. If people fail to see value in their inboxes, they won’t be afraid to ignore, trash, or unsubscribe.

But this phenomenon goes beyond traditional for-profit marketing. Nonprofits are also catching on when it comes to personalization, beginning to change their email tactics to promote a better donor experience.

Why? Because it’s not just consumers who want relevant content. Donors, too, are looking for highly personalized communications inside their inboxes.

Personalization could be your missing ingredient.

Subscribers of nonprofits and for-profit companies alike want relevant emails—ones that appeal to their interests and values (not to mention, a genuine connection to the organization itself). Because of this, it’s crucial that your nonprofit creates relevant material for subscribers each and every time you email them.

And if you’re unsure of the effectiveness of emails, consider this nonprofit research study from Campaign Monitor and Qgiv, which found that donors embrace communication via email. What’s more, the study found that donors actually prefer this channel over any other form of nonprofit communication.

But meeting donors where they are is only half the battle. You know donors want to communicate with your nonprofit through email, but the emails have to be high-quality, thoughtfully-cadenced, and relevant.

In other words, personalization is the missing ingredient to an email strategy that works. Not only does personalized email marketing increase click-throughs, but personalized subject lines are also 26% more likely to be opened.

So, where does personalization begin? To create dynamic content, it’s vital that you separate your subscribers based on their differences. This is an important tactic known as segmentation, which is largely available through email platforms.

But where do you start? Which subscriber segments should you be creating?

Read on to learn about popularly used segments, how you can use them to personalize your donor communications, and how you can start segmenting today.

Understanding segments and how to implement them

When it comes to email segments, the list is virtually endless. Ultimately, however, your audience should determine the segments you choose to implement, especially since each segment can accomplish different goals.

Read on to learn about your nonprofit email segmentation options, and find out which ones are right for you.


Of all the different attributes that divide people, location is perhaps one of the biggest players. Language, weather, and a dozen other aspects of location play a role in our daily lives.

Because of this, sending localized messages to your subscribers can be a highly personal way to appeal to donors. Start by creating segments that group your subscribers by various geographic locales, and keep each place in mind any time you send an email to this particular group.

Localization is an easy way to encourage subscribers to engage with your content. You may try this if you’re noticing a high unsubscribe rate: A quick bit of nonprofit email segmentation could be the difference between a generic email and a thoughtful one.

You can localize your message by sending region-specific events or updates.


Use demographics to target people of different ages and genders. This is especially helpful for nonprofits that attract donors of a certain age, or if one gender is more charitable for certain causes. (Women, for instance, often give more to causes that are female-focused.)

What if you don’t know very much about your donors? Consider sending out a survey of just a few questions, or include age and gender as non-required fields on your email signup form.

If you want to start segmenting sooner rather than later, you can likely assume your donors are made up of millennials and Gen X. In fact, Campaign Monitor and Qgiv research suggests that many donors are between the ages of 25 and 35: This demographic represents the majority of the respondents to the nonprofit survey Campaign Monitor conducted.

So, if you don’t yet have data for your nonprofit, this age group may be a good place to start.

Donor personas

Similar to the demographic-based messaging we discussed above, you can create a custom segment based on donor personas. In short, you’ll need to create personas that represent different donors on your list.

For example, if you’re targeting males 25-30 who make $60k per year, you could create and use a custom segment for them. This would allow for personalized email campaigns every time.

This approach can take various forms. Perhaps you use existing segments (e.g. demographics) to create the persona, or maybe you approach it from a goals and pain points perspective.

Whatever elements you choose to build your persona, consider implementing a donor persona checklist like Qgiv:

Source: Qgiv

Donation frequency

Collect data about how often your donors are contributing to your organization. If donors give every now and then, you may consider sending emails during times of need: perhaps when there’s a shortage of something or when your nonprofit is trying to meet a specific goal.

Luckily, you have a good chance of earning donations with this tactic: Over half of donors are likely to give after receiving a specific plea, according to the survey. However, they may also stop giving after the need is met.

For more generous donors, consider asking for larger donations, but don’t forget to tell them how their past donations have been used. And this isn’t just for financial donations, either. Take a look at email example from the American Red Cross, which thanks and updates one of their biggest in-kind donors:

Source: Twitter 

Email and website activity

Consider separating subscribers based on past email behavior. You’ll want to be sure you’re following modern regulations, of course, but this behavior-based segmentation method can make your subscribers’ experience better and more intuitive.

For instance, if you notice subscribers only open emails from you once a month, consider placing them into a segment where they only receive a monthly newsletter and the occasional donation request.

On the other hand, if you notice high engagement with every email you send, you might increase send frequency.

We discussed how email activity can be used for nonprofit email segmentation, but website activity can be just as effective. What articles are your donors reading? What stories interest them? Use this information to create specific, behavior-based segments.

Of course, these are just a few of the many different segments you can create and use, but these are simple ways to begin personalizing your donors’ experiences, easily and effectively.

How to segment your list

Segmentation can seem overwhelming at first, but many ESPs, including Campaign Monitor, make it simple. Watch the video below to start segmenting your own list today.

Wrap up

Segmentation is a simple, organized way to personalize communications for your donors. By going beyond the generic email, you show subscribers that they’re more than a donation: They’re part of your nonprofit and part of your cause.

Want to know more about donors and other nonprofits like yours? Download our nonprofit guide, based on original research from real people and organizations. Start engaging with the people who are truly are a part of your cause.

Abby Jarvis is the Nonprofit Education Manager at Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up
on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi
shows on Netflix.

The post Why Nonprofit Email Segmentation is the Key to Donor Engagement appeared first on Campaign Monitor.