Making First Impressions
Unfortunately, your nonprofit might have literally only one or two interactions with a new donor or member before they tune out and disappear forever.
So first impressions indeed matter, whether delivered by mail, telephone or email.
In most cases, your second opportunity to make a “first impression” is when you acknowledge the donor's initial gift … your welcome letter, call or email.
Increasingly that second contact is an email.
Here, from the commercial world (Avenue A/Razorfish), is some useful advice on making as positive an impression as possible with your welcome email. The core principles apply to the nonprofit fundraising setting — personalize, reinforce benefits, include a call to action of some kind — plus some considerations unique to the online medium.
And as one commenter noted, it's also smart to establish some expectation about how future contacts might unfold — e.g., likely content, frequency. Even better, provide your donor with some options to customize the communications flow.
Worth a look.