At a nonprofit organization, you know one of the best ways to keep in contact with your benefactors is through email marketing. Benefactors are more interested in emails from nonprofits than they are from brands, evidenced by a study that found the average open rate for nonprofit email marketing is 25.96%, compared to the average email open rate of around 24%.

Not only do the majority of your subscribers want to hear from you, but email marketing is proven to have an ROI of 4400% (or $44 for every $1 spent).

Email marketing is worth the investment, especially for nonprofits. However, it’s also important to remember that email marketing is more than sending out a monthly newsletter to every subscriber on your list. This strategy is bound to fail, no matter how good your cause is.

To effectively capture the attention of your donors, it’s vital to use an email provider that makes it easy to send beautiful emails that prospective donors, partners, and volunteers can’t ignore. Here are some things to look for when selecting the perfect email provider for your nonprofit.

1. Look for an email provider with beautiful templates

Non-profit organizations typically don’t have the same type of budgets as large companies. As such, they might not have the same marketing resources. Thankfully, when you select an awesome email provider, you don’t have to have an in-house design team.

Instead of relying on a high-quality graphic designer to make custom, mobile-optimized, responsive, and beautiful emails, a good email provider will offer you templates you can customize on your own. Creating a beautiful email is a matter of pointing, clicking, dragging, and dropping.

An email provider will not only allow you to create emails that look good with an email provider, but you can also rest assured images will be the right size. Plus, it will be easy to view emails across all devices, and the load times will be short.

2. Check on resources & 24/7 support

Email marketing takes years to perfect. But that shouldn’t scare you from getting started, especially when you select the right email service provider.

A solid email service provider will offer resources to help your nonprofit organization nail email marketing. Here are some things to look for when it comes to resources from your email service provider.


When shopping for an email service provider, don’t press “purchase” until you’ve taken a look at their blog. A good email provider will post regular blog updates with all the latest and greatest in email marketing. Their blog will give you insights into email best practices, new tools to improve your email marketing game, and tips from experts to keep you current. If the email provider you are looking into doesn’t have an updated blog, say goodbye.

Online Resources

Not only should an email provider have an awesome blog that keeps you up with the latest email trends, but they should also offer updated resources on how to use their product. This can include online guides, ebooks, galleries with examples from other successful customers, and short tutorials on how to use a specific tool. A great email provider will give you training on how to get the most out of their service.

24/7 Support

Let’s say you’ve read through the blog and scoured the online resources, but you still can’t figure out how to use a certain feature. Maybe you just feel like getting an answer asap without having to browse through the online resources. What do you do? You contact your email service provider’s 24/7 support team. A great email provider will offer help in the form of chat, phone, or email around the clock. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting stumped.

3. Research deliverability metrics

Many novice email marketers don’t understand the importance of certain metrics. For example, you may not know that if you have low deliverability rates, you can come across as spam and may get in trouble with your email provider.

As such, it’s important to find an email provider that helps you monitor your deliverability rates. Let’s talk about what exactly that means.

High deliverability means you have a high percentage of emails that are actually reaching inboxes. In other words, your emails are going to the right people, real email addresses, and aren’t bouncing back.

Here are some good indicators of an email service provider that will help you keep delivery rates high.

Double Opt-In Features

It’s better to have a smaller email list of subscribers that are interested in your nonprofit organization than a huge list of people who don’t know or care about your organization or, even worse, a list that is full of email addresses that aren’t even real.

A good email provider will offer a double opt-in feature. This means when someone subscribes to your list, you send them a confirmation email, and they have to click on it. When they click on the link, it verifies the email address is real and that the subscriber wants to hear from you.

Email marketers that are interested in reaching a target audience of interested subscribers should always use a double opt-in feature.

Deliverability Metrics Monitoring

Another way to make sure your email delivery rates are high is to keep an eye on your metrics. Monitoring things like bounce rate, unsubscribers, and more will help you understand how valid your lists are. Additionally, it will help you weed out bad email addresses and keep your lists clean.

4. Make sure list segmentation features are robust

Before we delve too deep into this benefit, let’s talk about what it even is. List segmentation is the ability to create different email lists for different types of customer profiles.

For example, as a nonprofit organization, you probably have a very different message for your donors than you do for your volunteers. It wouldn’t make much sense for you to lump your messages to your donors and your volunteers into one big message, and hope both audiences read the whole message. It also wouldn’t make sense to try and hand-pick the right email subscribers for the right messages.

This is where list segmentation comes in handy.

When a subscriber signs up, you can automatically assign them to either your “donor” list or “volunteer” list. Then, you can create specific content for those lists and ensure your messages stay relevant to the right audiences.

You can also segment your lists by interest or location. For example, let’s say your organization has volunteers for youth and volunteers for adults. With segmentation, you can make sure these different types of volunteers get the right messages. Additionally, you may need to send different messages based on donors or volunteers in different locations. Again, segmentation will help you with this.

A good email service provider will help you easily segment your lists, so you can send relevant and targeted emails.

Wrap Up

Running a nonprofit organization isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work from a motivated group of people. Thankfully, with the help of the right email service provider, email marketing at your nonprofit organization can be easy. When you’re out shopping for the right email provider for your nonprofit organization, make sure to let the tips above guide your decision.