Why Email Works: An Interview

Change.org’s Lead Client Manager in Europe, Nicolas Danet, will be presenting on the power of email as part of the Fundraising Online conference this coming Wednesday, May 13. Check out a video introducing his session below, and then a brief interview he did with the conference organizers. 

1. What fascinates you about digital fundraising in combination with email?

Email is like the person in your team that isn’t necessarily popular but that everybody can rely on. Email may not be fancy when everybody is talking about digital crowdfunding or any other buzz topic but it is proven to work. It always strikes me that when you read any marketing publication from the for profit sector email always come first. If you’re a company, email is one essential part of your marketing strategy. Why isn’t it the same for the non-profit sector? I believe we’re dreaming too much of trying to replicate another Ice Bucket Challenge when often we could start building a solid digital strategy… based on emails!

2. What is special about the Fundraising Online in 2015?

Last year was my first IFC, and I was really impressed by the quality of the conference. One thing that was frustrating, though, was to not be able to attend more sessions. Fundraising Online is tackling that issue, extending the IFC with the power of teleconferences :)

3. What can our German colleagues (fundraisers) learn from ROI boosting and donor engagement with email?

First, I’ve got to say Germany is the one country in Europe where email fundraising is taken very seriously. Many German fundraisers already know the “power of email” but there is always more to learn. I’ll be sharing an impressive case study,  from a German organisation and also best practices that we’ve identified at Change.org

4. What are the first steps that our German fundraisers could take to implement these within their fundraising practice?

Too often when it comes to digital people are trying to build the perfect 3-years strategy, a gloriously detailed plan that reveals itself obsolete before the document is even finished. The first thing I would recommend is not to focus on the strategy, but instead to start experimenting right away. Fundraisers usually are good at testing, they know data. The digital era just opens even more opportunities to experiment at a low cost and to evolve an excellent programme rather than trying to nail one down before you have begun.

5. Digital works best… when you do what works best

This might seem obvious but not other channel is as measurable as digital and so when fundraisers are choosing where to invest their decisions should always be evidence based.

Email works and this is why I choose it time and again as my preferred fundraising method but I make this decision based on results that clearly show performance.  There is always something new and exciting in the digital arena and this is what keeps the arena fresh for all of us.  I am always on the look out for the next big thing and when I find it I’ll encourage everyone to shift their priorities.  It just hasn’t happened yet!


Learn more about email and fundraising best practices: