Posted by Chad Norman on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Whether you’re redesigning your website from the ground up, integrating multimedia, or simply refreshing your content, good design is key factor success. Our Creative Services Team is staffed with world-class interactive designers ready to take your nonprofit website design to the next level. Watch the video below to see the design process in action.
There are also a couple of personal blogs: Steve MacLaughlin’s Connections and my own Webby Things. The infamous Jim Bush is next, along with a few more brave souls we’re coaxing out of the ‘baud. Stay tuned for more, or just subscribe to Blackbaud Blogs (rss) and let us come to you.
Posted by Josh Hopkins on Thursday, February 21st, 2008
Packaging Your Organization to Communicate Impact The Way the User Wants to Experience It
I’ve had the pleasure of consulting closely with countless unique clients with diverse missions, yet all face a common challenge. They struggle to position their organizations effectively in a manner which communicates the impact of their organization to various demographic segments. The challenge, common among most non-profits, goes beyond messaging to encompass internal operational silos, departmental or programmatic territorialism, false profiling of market segments due to lack of proper evidence, and an overall challenge in defining each organization’s role in changing the world for the community they serve in an appropriate way – all the while addressing the communications preferences of disparate populations. Does this sound like too many balls to juggle in the air? I argue this is not the case.
More often than not, organizations approach challenges such as user-intuitive information architecture (navigation) on their web site and through other communications channels without taking into account how unlike individuals will navigate and interpret information. An exercise recently conducted with one client’s technology and web review board unexpectedly triggered surprised looks as board members realized for the first time that individuals tasked with the same objective in reviewing, critiquing or navigating a web site will not only interpret and perceive navigation, visuals, interactivity, and messaging differently, but will adamantly argue that their views apply to all. They’re all disagreeing, but they’re all right – their way is “the right way.” One of the first lessons I learned in my career in non-profit fund development and marketing came to me from a mentor and VP at the world’s most popular cola creator. In chairing my organization’s PR and marketing committee, he operated under the mantra, perception is reality.
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Beginning today, I’ll be posting over at the new blog — Connections. This is the next little social media experiment from Blackbaud and there will be other blogs popping up soon. I’ve reposted my entries from BlogBaud and hope to take things in some new directions. I hope you’ll give it a look…
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
Yesterday’s BlackBerry outage gave me a chance to catch up on some reading. (But let’s just keep that between me and you.) So here are some blogs and articles worth a look:
Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education has a new blog called Brainstorm that I’ve added to my reading list. While all of the content isn’t fundraising specific it is always wise to keep tabs on trends in any area, especially higher education.
Todd Cohen - Todd gives his $0.02 in a post called “Storm brewing for nonprofits” that deals with the impact of a recession on the nonprofit world. This whole topic is springing up a lot lately and opinions vary on what it all might mean. What I think everyone would agree on is that if you’re waiting until something bad happens to prepare or change strategies, then it’s probably too late to avoid some problems.
The NonProfit Times - They pick up on an article from MarketingSherpa about “10 mistakes to avoid with email newsletters.” One tip not on the list is to remember to always have some form of “call to action” in your email newsletters. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an ask, but never miss an opportunity to drive action from an interaction. It could be a poll, a survey, or something else that engages more than just your constituents’ eyes.
Tim Davies - A straightforward “One page guide to Google Alerts” that should help anyone trying to measure the reach and awareness of their online efforts. I remember the days when you’d pay big bucks for a clipping service or spending hours in LexisNexis trying to research a topic.
Garrett Keating - A great three part series about writing custom parts for Blackbaud NetCommunity. Always good to see things out there in the wild taking shape. And it shows how blogs and Wikis can peacefully coexist no matter who’s publishing the content.
Posted by Shaun Sullivan on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
Designing for Extensibility
One of the coolest parts about building software is designing for extensibility. When you are building a system that must support extensibility you apply much more rigor around what programming interfaces are exposed, being sure they are resilient from release to release, and a whole host of other technical goo that I won’t bore you with. Extensibility is something we paid strict attention to in Blackbaud NetCommunity’s (BBNC) platform architecture.
The “cool” part comes when you look out at the BBNC developer community and see how many compelling solutions our customers and 3rd parties are building using the BBNC API. I’m not going to sugar coat it, this stuff takes solid programming skills and a good grasp of Web technologies, but if you posses those skills, this is a pretty rich canvas.
Frankly, the technical nature of the API has probably led us to be a bit too reticent in regards to discussing it. In the past, if a customer inquired, we’d happily respond with a link to the SDK and send them on their way. We’re working hard to get better in this area. This API layer has shipped “in the box” with BBNC since day one, and we’ve reached the point where people are blogging about it and discussing it in peer support forums etc. The API ecosystem has arrived so, expect to see continued momentum on this front from Blackbaud. I’ll include some links to some great resources for aspiring BBNC developers below. While we don’t have programming phone support around the API, there is a LOT of information out there now, and plenty of folks using it on their live Web Sites.
The BBNC Component Model
First, a little background. The NetCommunity component model is based around the concept of “parts.” Parts typically are designed around very specific scenarios (Take an online donation, self-service profile updates, targeting content based on member demographics etc.). Pages are typically composed of a number of parts which ultimately is served up as a Web Site’s content. Now, an important goal of the team was that these parts have a configuration user interface that a non-uber-Web-guru could be productive with. With each release of BBNC we refine existing parts, and roll out new ones. This has worked very well.
Enter the Developer - The BBNC API
So, given a well defined component model and set of core design idioms, the logical next step was making this architecture “pluggable.” The goal here was to provide the APIs, SDKs, samples and tools that a reasonably skilled developer could leverage to build their very own “custom” part that would surface in the system to the folks building the site as if they were intrinsic parts. Here were the high level scenarios we wanted to support in the API:
Support for adding custom parts into the system, treated as fist class parts by all designer interfaces of BBNC.
Support for fetching key data from The Raiser’s Edge via a custom Web Services based API extension mechanism.
Support for riding on BBNC’s secure transaction pipleine for cases where data obtained by a custom part needs to be downloaded securely and processed in RE.
In the end, the resulting API supports all the key scenarios outlined above, and it really is gratifying to see what enterprising developers out there have built with minimal guidance from Blackbaud! Like I said, we’re getting better in this area.
Resources for Aspiring BBNC Coders
The NetCommunity API Wiki - Comprehensive set of documentation and samples in open Wiki format. Please contribute information!
Blackbaud Labs - At Blackbaud Labs we periodically release cool samples and screen casts covering the entire Blackbaud technology portfolio. We have featured BBNC’s API a lot recently so we encourage you to have a look.
There’s more to come, so sit tight. And thanks to all the developers out there building on the platform. The next release of BBNC has a good chunk of new stuff targeted directly at improving the API based on your feedback to date.
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
Blackbaud recently released the 2007 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey and you can click here to download a copy. The SONI survey was conducted between July 17th and August 11th, 2007 and had a total of 1,140 respondents. All surveys and polls should be taken with a grain of salt, but they do provide some insight into a snapshot in time.
I have picked out a couple of interesting stats after having a chance to look through the results. Here are some findings from the “Technology/Internet Usage” section:
98.5% of respondents have a website.
92% believe a unified database is very important.
88% use their website to market their organization/educate the public.
68% use online fundraising tools.
67% believe that it is important to use email.
48% actively use online fundraising strategies (compared to 43% in 2006 and 35% in 2005).
29% see their websites as effective in achieving their Internet goals.
This is a similar trend from the 2006 SONI survey. And I think it shows that many nonprofits are still stuck in Web 0.5 or Web 1.0 mode when it comes to engaging constituents online. They believe it is an important communication channel, they are continuing to think strategically about using the Internet, but they still use it mostly for one-way communication.
The key dot to connect is that 88% of nonprofits believe the primary purpose of their website is to be a marketing device, but 71% of respondents don’t think they are meeting their Internet goals. Does that mean that they should just try harder at their online marketing efforts? No, that would be the definition of insanity.
Websites that are just brochureware or only used for marketing purposes belong in a museum. What about online advocacy, people to people fundraising, social media, volunteering, etc? That doesn’t mean that you can’t use the Web to clarify your message and inform the public, but it can’t be the end-all be-all raison d’être. Otherwise you really can’t complain when your online efforts don’t produce measurable and meaningful results.
The question then becomes: How does an organization move from a Web 1.0 presence online to a more Web 2.0 presence online? And how do you balance the marketing messages with the development programs? I’ll tackle the answer to those questions in a future blog post…
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Thursday, January 31st, 2008
Before coming to Blackbaud in 2004, I spent many moons on the interactive design/information architecture/user experience/visual communication side of the world. So while I’ve been immersed enough in the technical bits & bytes to grok about it — my interest and passion has always been with the human rods & cones side of things.
A major focus when we started building our BlackbaudInteractive group was to provide a comprehensive set of design services. This meant bringing in a lot of talented designers with experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit world. I’m proud to say that we now have one of the largest and most experienced interactive design teams serving the nonprofit industry operating from both our Charleston and London offices.
BlackbaudInteractive recently began work on its 100th complete website redesign project built on NetCommunity. What started out as a new part of our overall online design services has grown dramatically. The team does a variety of redesign strategy, information architecture, usability testing, content analysis, creative concept and styleguide design, and other services for our clients. I thought I would share some important lessons learned to help organizations about to undertake any website redesign project.
Don’t Accept Blind Designs: There is still a practice of design shops offering to do “blind design” or “speculative design” in an attempt to earn a client’s business. This usually involves a design shop taking some thrown together or recycled designs and presenting them as part of their RFP or proposal. There might be some initial “ohs” and “ahs” but these fade once discussions start about a client’s goals, objectives, brand, etc. Good creative work never happens in a vacuum. Good creative work takes careful analysis, two-way discussion, and uses a proven process that brings the best ideas to the surface.
Don’t Design by Committee: A camel is a horse that has been designed by a committee. Committees often destroy the creative process because more minds don’t necessarily mean more great ideas. Groups of people have the tendency to pile on so many extras that the original concept collapses under its own weight. Getting buy-in from various stakeholders is important, but our experience has shown that making a single individual or small group responsible for approving creative concepts is the best approach.
Don’t Fall Prey to the NASCAR Effect: The homepage of a website is one of the most important parts of any online presence. And everyone wants to have their program featured front-and-center. This explains why the main page of so many sites resemble the front quarter panel of a stockcar. Lots of graphics, icons, links, sections, callouts, and content in a small space — all fighting for eyeball attention. If everything is important, then nothing appears important. Not to mention that their are actually some heuristics around how much is too much and what is usually just right.
Don’t Move All of Your Old Stuff: If you bought a brand new house, then you probably wouldn’t you just move all your old stuff in without doing some clean-up. Otherwise you end up with a great new place that quickly starts looking just like your old digs before too long. A site redesign offers a great opportunity to go through all of your content, images, etc. and give them all a good scrub down. In addition to any new information architecture or content analysis activities there should be some content cleansing. A good rule of thumb is updating or dropping any non-historical content that hasn’t been updated in eight months. Also check the website traffic logs for least visited pages that might need to be revived or retired.
Don’t Launch without a Soft Launch: Sadly, I’ve seen it too many times. After months of redesigning a brand new site comes the big public unveiling and within minutes someone finds a typo or a broken link or something worse. This usually happens because there wasn’t a soft launch of the website to certain key insiders and a select group of external constituents. Get a fresh set of eyes on the site before launching it to the rest of the world. Even the best designers and content authors develop a certain amount of “tunnel vision” from staring at the same pages for too long. They practice the coin toss for the Super Bowl. You should practice the launch of your website.
These are just some of the key pitfalls to avoid when launching your newly designed online presence. The website you save might be your own.
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
There are a growing number of nonprofit focused blogs and I keep an ever growing list. Here are some blog entries that caught my eye this morning:
Allan Benamer - Allan’s latest entry is about Project Agape and his concerns that their Causes application on Facebook is not raising a tremendous amount of funds for nonprofits. I think it’s way too early to declare the winners and loosers because relationship building doesn’t translate into dollars over night.
Philanthromedia - Susan Herr wraps up here three-part series on Promoting Sustainable Change in Africa. Content like this is really valuable because it deals with impact. Showing the impact of a program, not just the high-level goals, is an effective way to engage constituents online.
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Friday, January 25th, 2008
Yesterday’s 2008 Digital Communications for Charities Conference here in London was pretty interesting. A very big crowd, some good presentations, and a lot of great discussions. The panel discussion about transparency got rather spirited as everyone seemed to have an opinion about what and how much to disclose to supporters. It also seemed very clear that not-for-profits in North America share some of the same challenges and questions as those in the UK and Europe.
To get a better perspective on things across the pond I reached out to one of the local experts. Howard Lake launched UK Fundraising in 1996 and it’s one of the most respected sites in the UK covering the Third Sector. We met at Blackbaud’s European Conference last October. Here are some brief questions and answers that we exchanged this week:
Q: “The New Year always brings an opportunity to try some new approaches and techniques. What new trends in online fundraising are you seeing in the UK?”
A: “I can’t say I can see any trends across the sector, but, as elsewhere, some charities are trying out the growing number of tools - Facebook etc, blogs, podcasts, user generated content/online communities, etc. But it’s still a minority interest. You’ll see some sites now offering links from content to the social networking/book-marking sites (e.g. Charities Aid Foundation, Institute of Fundraising) but it’s still very unusual to see those icons/links on charity sites. Also, RSS is being used more, but again, it’s primarily for press releases/front page news rather than across the site e.g. jobs, appeal updates etc.”
Q: “The Institute of Fundraising has been leading an effort to make radical reforms to Gift Aid. What do you think the future holds for Gift Aid?”
A: “I don’t expect HMRC or government to shift on this. They can still argue that the sector isn’t making anywhere near enough of the opportunity it presents.”
Q: “Web 2.0, social networks, and people-to-people fundraising are still getting a lot of attention, but not-for-profits are still looking for results. Do you think charities in the UK have embraced these tools enough?”
A: “No. (smiling) I think, as in past uses of new media, many charities focus, understandably on a few key elements of online fundraising - online donations, promoting events, using Google AdWords. Now you’ll have a few developing a YouTube channel, or using the new MySpace nonprofit space, but will they also be encouraging supporters to share volunteer fundraising event experience/expertise on their website? Do they know if their fundraising news alerts are being distributed in RSS? Are they using any of the free online resources to find out about grant opportunities There are very few that seem to embrace or at least test the wider range. Even now, how many UK charities have a Facebook app, or even a Facebook page? So, still lots more to try, I’d say.
I have used quotations in presentations for as long as I can remember, and I usually try and put in something relevant to the audience. For this presentation (and blog entry) I’m putting a new spin on the English poet John Donne’s famous phrase:
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were…”
- John Donne, Meditation XVII (1623)
Many nonprofits find themselves awash in an island chain of programs and data silos. Every program has its own goals and objectives that often result in a fragmented landscape. Major giving programs guard their constituent information, the annual fund staff does the same, membership keeps different records, volunteer information exists in spreadsheets, and anything online is set adrift with the Web people. To build successful relationships you can’t maroon constituents on any of these islands. No constituent is an island.
Relationships between people and organizations are multi-faceted. We interact across multiple channels that often intersect in very unpredictable ways. Nonprofits have used traditional channels such as events, direct mail, person-to-person meetings, telephone, and many more for a long time. The Internet adds an entirely new and often different set of channels. Web, email, RSS, person-to-person fundraising, social networks, and other online capabilities continue to transform how nonprofits can interact with constituents.
A key change is to stop thinking in terms of online vs. offline, but instead you should start thinking of them as simply different channels. For the most part, people no longer see the spatial differences between online and offline. The two are blurred in most interactions and the expectation by constituents is that they are properly recognized no matter the channel they choose. Imagine if you deposited a check at the bank but the online banking website had no record of it. Imagine if you purchased concert tickets online but the box office didn’t know about it when you arrived to pick them up. Now just imagine what your constituents are thinking about their interactions with you.
People only come in units of one. (Or at least that true in 99.99% of cases.) Splitting them up or having lots of duplicates can have dire consequences. (Ever seen the movie Multiplicity?) A channel driven approach allows you to personalize interaction across programs, but still keeps people in one piece. This allows organizations to make more strategic decisions because they can look at all the touch points with a constituent. And running an event, sending a mailing, or personalizing content on the website is always more successful using this approach.
You can’t think strategically or act tactically if your constituents live on islands. It will only take one or two bad interactions before they build a raft and sail off to more friendly surroundings. Don’t let that happen.
Posted by Steve MacLaughlin on Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
A very popular term thrown around in buzzword bingo games for the past 20 years or so has been CRM. The for-profit world defined it as Customer Relationship Management and companies like SAP, Siebel, and Oracle have built very large technology companies around the concept. In the nonprofit world we prefer to call it Constituent Relationship Management and Blackbaud is one of a few companies that provide solutions around the concept.
CRM grew out of the disco database marketing days where companies and organizations crunched through mounds of information in an attempt to sell more widgets or reach more people. The problem with relying on just data to make important decisions is that data ≠ information. What decision makers really wanted were systems that could track every interaction, connection, transaction, and other important events to build a more informative picture of the relationship. And thus, CRM was born.
Companies like General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, and Wal-Mart spent hundreds of millions of dollars on sophisticated CRM systems to sell more jet engines, shampoo, toilet paper, cars, dog food, and household items. Over the years CRM became a lot more sophisticated and companies like Amazon.com, Costco, JetBlue and Target took things to a whole new level.
What these innovators understood was that it was very myopic to define “customers” as just people that purchased one of their products or services. A much broader view is that customers can also be influencers, trendsetters, early adopters, referrers, and have a hand in other important roles. In a highly competitive global market, managing those relationships and retaining those relationships has never been more important. The word “customer” has been redefined.
Nonprofit organizations have also been making the transition from “donor database” systems to solutions that enable the entire constituent relationship to be managed. They understand that fulfilling their mission and satisfying the needs of stakeholders requires more than just a place to put data about dollars and events. Organizations have been gradually embracing the concept that a constituent isn’t just someone who donates to the organization.
In the past, I’ve given presentations about the three different ways individuals “give” to nonprofit organizations. People give their time, talent, or treasure. (cue the visuals)
An activist might give their time to support a cause, an accountant might give their talent and serve as a board member, and an alumnus might give their treasure through a major gift. (I think you get where I’m going here.) A traditional fundraising model might be entirely based on moving individuals from time to talent to treasure. But a more modern approach is to acknowledge that constituents may have their only interaction with an organization through a time/talent/treasure relationship.
I used to think that this broader definition was overstating the obvious. But I continue to talk to organizations that still have an old school view of things, and worse yet, nonprofits that have a progressive view but are stuck with systems that still don’t get it. The other limiting factor to success is having multiple disparate systems to track and manage different types of constituents. Activitists in one system, alumni in a another, donors in another, major donors in another, corporate contacts in another, online donors in another, volunteers in another, direct mail recipients in another, email recipients in another, and no ability to look across groups to better personalize the relationships.
Bits and bytes won’t entirely solve the need to redefine what constituents mean to nonprofits. This is a bigger philosophical shift to understanding that every individual and organization that interacts with a nonprofit is a valuable relationship that needs to be nurtured and developed over time. Technology can help carry some of the load , but it will take the leaders of nonprofit organizations to point the way.
There were some important findings in the latest index including the following:
“After the disaster-heavy, record-growth year of 2005, index revenue reverted back to typical growth rates in 2006. Revenue growth over the first three quarters of 2007, however, was below historical averages.”
“While revenue grew, donor numbers declined. This continues a decline that has been happening for several quarters; the index has not had an increase in donors since the third quarter of 2005, which brought in most of the revenue related to hurricane Katrina relief efforts. “
“In the absence of donor growth, the revenue increases that most organizations experienced this year to date have been due to increases in revenue per donor.”
“Acquisition and reactivation rates were both down and retention rates were fairly flat”
These trends aren’t very good and the index notes that “at some point increases in revenue per donor may not sustain overall net revenue growth.”
“The era of cheap direct mail and high response rates in acquisitions is over”
“What currently passes for an online fundraising model is at best a stopgap”
“This is not just about direct response. This is not just about philanthropy. EVERYTHING is going to change.”
I recommend giving Mark’s post a careful read because he hits the nail on the head. The revolving door of acquisition focused direct mail is in trouble and the same approach with email is equally doomed. The organizations that succeed will be those that build relationships and combine both online and offline channels to do it.
“As soon as commerce started online, many non-profits discovered lots of income from their websites. This was mistakenly chalked up to brilliant conversion and smart marketing. In fact, it was just technologically advanced donors using a more convenient method to send in money they would have sent in anyway.”
“The big win is in turning donors into patrons and activists and participants. The biggest donors are the ones who not only give, but do the work. The ones who make the soup or feed the hungry or hang the art.”
The reasons for the decline in donor growth are varied but the trend should be a wake-up call to all nonprofits. And the online activities of nonprofits are not immune to the problem. Many organizations have seen positive initial results through email marketing efforts, but by the second go around the retention numbers plummet. Email is no more a silver bullet than direct mail if organizations don’t retain, build, and steward their relationships with constituents.
This is why strategies or tactics or technologies that separate online and offline are ultimately not successful. Doing one and not the other or doing both of them in silos is a recipe for disaster. I’ve never met a donor that labels themselves as “online” or “offline.” How can you build a true relationship if both online and offline interactions can’t be leveraged?
While the information in the latest Index of National Fundraising Performance is not encouraging, it is good to see these issues being discussed on blogs, in articles, and hopefully in meetings as well. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Answers? Let’s keep the conversation going…
The book covers a variety of important topics related to how nonprofit organizations can leverage Web 2.0 and other social networking technologies.
The contributors to People to People Fundraising bring with them a lot of experience and this is an excellent way to either start or enhance your understanding of this important trend.
My task during the writing process was to put together the introductory chapter for the book. So the challenge was to paint a broad, but still vivid and engaging, picture of what people to people fundraising means in order to setup the rest of the book. Amazon.com has the “search inside” feature setup and the chapter appears as the excerpt. Click here to take a look at some of what made it into print, including this paragraph of prose:
“A fundamental reality of fundraising is that people give to people with causes, not to organizations. Buildings and brochures may in some ways influence people, but they cannot hold a conversation. People need to feel a personal connection to the causes and initiatives they choose to donate to. The power of personal content, communication, and collaboration all combine to create a sense of community.”
So where do we go from here? Lots of places, hopefully. Over the next year I will be spending a lot of time writing and talking about applying the notion of people to people fundraising in a variety of different ways. As always, this needs to be a two-way conversation so you feedback and ideas are very important. With that in mind there will be some upcoming ways to get engaged in the dialogue. Stay tuned…
Posted by Shaun Sullivan on Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
I’m super excited to announce the launch of Blackbaud Labs. Blackbaud Labs is maintained by our product development team. We’re using it as a place to post research projects, samples, crazy ideas and more.
We want to grant you unparalleled access to the torrent of new technology that we have been releasing since the first quarter of this year. We have spent 3 years completely rebuilding our technology stack from the ground up and we’re ready for the whole world to have a look.
Posted by Jamie Holaday on Friday, July 27th, 2007
Sorry for the horrible pun. Sometimes I can’t help myself.
In Montreal, the group L’Itineraire is going to use the city’s old parking meters to help raise funds for the homeless. The project is being led by municipal politicians and they hope to have 34 fundraising meters up and running by the end of July.
I’ve never heard of such a thing before and thought it was really cool and wanted to share it with you. If you’d like to read the full article, it’s on The Chronicle Journal site.
Posted by Jamie Holaday on Friday, June 15th, 2007
At a recent conference for science editors I heard a lot of tech buzz words being thrown around—RSS, Wiki, blog, podcast. For that crowd, a lot of the concepts were new. After all, this group still focuses mostly on print journals and many of the editors remember vividly office systems sans computers.
Whatever your comfort zone, these technologies are here and as the public grows more Web savvy, they expect you to be up on the latest trends. One of my favorite parts of this new tech wave is that it’s relatively low impact on one’s budget. The Internet has in fact given Joe Public the keys to authorship through numerous free social networking and blogging sites. (They even let me on!) So, aside from the obvious commitment of time and creativity there’s no reason for you not to join the game.
So, I was cruising the Internet, catching up on some articles I thought sounded interesting and I came across a piece on DM News (a marketing periodical) about how to time emails.
I have to admit, sheepishly, that I’ve never really thought about day of week or time of day with regard to sending email. It’s become such an all consuming and amorphous medium that if you’re like me, you start checking it shortly after waking and don’t stop until right before bed–seven days a week.
But when you’re trying to get someone’s attention to act on your product, in this case, your mission, timing can be important. The article, “Timing for Success: When to Fill Consumers’ Inboxes,” gives the lowdown from marketing professionals about when they get the best responses from emails. For example, Tuesdays generally see the busiest email traffic, while Saturday sees the least.
Most of the information is anecdotal, but it offers a great starting place to think about how you can make sure readers have the time to open and respond to your message. Now get emailing!