Only 12.5 Percent?

The 4/24/15 edition of The Nonprofit Times published an article (h/t Thomas Cott) that reports on a 2015 Nonprofit Email Deliverability Study that determined approximately one out of eight email messages from nonprofits are not successfully delivered to an inbox. My immediate thought was “that figure seems low.”

Adaptistration People 052I can’t count the number of times in the course of consulting projects where I’ve come across performing arts nonprofits that haven’t conducted a thorough non-responder test of email lists in years. Ironically, most groups have a sense of pride over the number of names on their lists but for most, that bubble would be quickly burst in the wake of one reasonably executed non-response test.

Fortunately, most good email marketing providers, like Mailchimp, make it as easy as possible to conduct tests and segment your non-responders into a separate list (because let’s face it, arts marketers are apparently hoarders at heart since most can’t delete an email address from a list no matter how dead it is). If you need some additional help, ArtsHacker Ceci Dadisman published an article on 2/23/2015 that examines a third party service from BriteVerify that offers nonprofit discounts and can cost as little as $0.01 per address.

In the end, there’s no good reason you shouldn’t set aside some time to identify and clear out your non-responders and start getting more out of your email marketing efforts!

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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