Top 5 Ways to Cripple Your Email Communications with Donors

Brian Barela

1. Share the exact same information you shared somewhere else (direct mail piece and facebook update come to mind).

2. Do not include a way to interact with you further online (for example, clickable links to a blog post, flickr photo, facebook photo album, or YouTube video).

3. Include an attachment that they must download in order to read the “real” content. Attachments are a burden; links leverage the power of the web (of which links are at its core).

4. Use the same title in every email. Do you like reading the same thing over and over? Neither do your donors. Make sure to spend at least two minutes brainstorming a creative title that would make you want to open the email. Remember many people scan the title and first few lines of text and then decide if they want to open and read the rest.

5. Make it really long. This is where links come in again. Try one email of 2-4 sentences followed by an invitation to click on 1-2 links to read more. This not only makes your email more digestible but allows you to leverage the power of links to direct people to other online places that communicate the story of your life and ministry.

By Brian Barela | Posted: Nov 08, 2011
Category: Email/Communications, Fundraising | Tags: | Permalink | Post a comment | Trackback URL.


  1. November 11, 2011, 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Brian, thanks for the post! I do have a question though.

    Why would you not have further online communication links in the email? And how do these differ from links in point five?

  2. November 11, 2011, 3:03 pm | Permalink

    hey jack,
    maybe i’m misunderstanding your first question but for #2 i meant that it is helpful to include further online communication links and that many people do not do that.

    is that what you were wondering? the title of the post is negative, and #2 is negative, so i meant that it’s a positive thing to do #2.

    • November 13, 2011, 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Haha, I got part way through the post and switched my thinking as I read. Thanks for clarifying.


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