As we approach the 4th Quarter, tis the season for intense fundraising, including online appeals. We can hear the e-fundraisers sharpening their mouses.

So we compiled some resources to help you optimize your email fundraising effectiveness.

To see what you're competing against, read this piece on the strenuous email promotional efforts that commercial marketers will be making, especially in the second half of the quarter — yes, your donors are consumers too! Average weekly retailer email messages will jump nearly 50% starting mid-November over weeks in the prior four month period.

From Nick Allen of Donordigital, writing in Mal Warwick's lastest newsletter, here are nine tips for effective emails. Nick, who's one of the best at this, offers excellent advice, whether your emails are fundraising in purpose or not. His #1: Is there a compelling reason for sending the email in the first place?!

In the same vein, this time from BrightWaveMarketing, here is another checklist of 10 Email Marketing Best Practices. Their #1: Test subject lines.

If you want a whole book on the subject, try Bill Nussey's (of SilverPOP) The Quiet Revolution in Email Marketing. Or for something more focused, like breaking through the glut of spam, try their white paper, Unlocking the Secret World of White Listing.

Finally, if you're a webcast fan and reading this in time, sign-up for Target Marketing's September 12 online seminar, “Cutting Through the Clutter: Increasing email deliverability and response.”

May the best email win.

Tom

P.S. At the end of the day, an email is copy, so don't forget to apply the excellent copywriting advice of direct marketing maven, Denny Hatch, recently posted in The Agitator.

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