Jill Bastian Answers Your Questions About Email and Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits

By Kari Rippetoe | Oct 23, 2012
More Articles by Kari

In our previous post, Search Mojo’s Amanda Chaney answered questions about Google Grants for Nonprofits from our October 4th webinar, “The 4 Online Marketing Tactics Nonprofits Need for Success.”  Today, webinar co-presenter Jill Bastian, Community Education & Training Manager at VerticalResponse, answers questions submitted by attendees about email and social media marketing.


Question 1: Pinterest has surpassed Twitter and LinkedIn.  How can Pinterest be beneficial for a nonprofit?

Jill: Pinterest has become very popular very quickly. And it’s not just for women. Businesses can, and do, have great success with Pinterest. Since it’s so visual any company (Nonprofits included!) can take advantage of the services or products that they offer, and anything that goes with that. As an NPO you can create boards for all kinds of things, such as events or fundraisers you are doing, pictures after your events, volunteer info or pictures of your volunteers, bios on people who work at the org, maybe even something about people your org helps. Of course, you can also pin your emails you send out,  or blogs you have, just like you would do for Facebook. And as with all social media, you can’t have it all be about you, so have a board to share funny things, or infographics related to what you do,  tips for upcoming holidays, safety tips, recipes, and more. Really, you can pin anything that has a url, so get creative with what you are sharing! And just like all social media, you need to keep up with it so that new and fresh pins are at the top where everyone can see them.  We have some blog posts on using Pinterest for businesses, and  NPOs can use them too.

Question: How do I know who is opening email, who is not, and who unsubscribed? 

Jill: Once you’ve sent out your email you’ll get reporting stats on how your recipients interacted with your email. For VerticalResponse just go to the Sent emails, or Reporting on the home page. You’ll see an overview of how things went, and if you click on the name of your email you’ll see all the great info on the actions your recipients took, plus who opened and clicked. To find that info click the link that says Download Lists and you’ll be able to see everything about your recipients, including the time and date that they took actions.

Question: What is a good open rate for an email?

Jill: This is a great question, and one we get almost daily. There is a lot that goes into getting someone to open an email: the from label, subject line, and even the day or time you send it. So before I tell you the average open rate, just know that there are plenty of things you can test to change that open number.  The average open rate for Nonprofits falls around 12-15%.  For clicks, in case you were wondering, its 2-5% for NPOs. If your open and click rates are around that number, that’s great! But if not, or if you want it higher anyway, we have a free guide with info to help change the stats for your emails – Email Reporting Basics.

Don’t forget: you can view the recorded webinar in its entirety here, plus download your copy of this handy Online Marketing Checklist for Nonprofits to help you prepare for the holiday giving season!

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