The Secret Metric Killing Nonprofit Fundraising (And What To Do About It)

August 23, 2018  |  Gabby Weiss

When sending a fundraising email, nonprofit Digital staff are keenly aware of the metrics that they need to achieve; a high open rate means the most people are actually seeing the content of the email, and a high click rate indicates that the email's messaging was persuasive enough to move people to donate. Neither of these commonly cited metrics matter, however, if an email doesn't ever reach a supporter's inbox to begin with. That's where your email deliverability rate comes in.

What is email deliverability?

Email deliverability is a metric for the rate of success you have at getting your messages into people’s inboxes. It’s affected by a lot of factors, with spam filters generally being the primary cause. In our annual Email Deliverability Study, For the 2019 Nonprofit Email Deliverability Study, we once again analyzed deliverability data for 55 leading national nonprofit organizations against the latest industry benchmarks to determine the impact that spam and poor deliverability practices have on nonprofits’ fundraising outcomes. The nonprofits selected represent a variety of ESPs (email service providers) and email list sizes to ensure the results illustrate trends across of the nonprofit community at-large. 

The cost of poor deliverability

In 2017, the average spam rate for nonprofit fundraising emails was 24.16%, meaning that only three quarters of sent emails even reached supporters' inboxes. To illustrate the financial impact of this, we calculated the fundraising difference for a nonprofit with a list size of 100,000 using industry benchmarks for open rate, click rate, page completion rate, and average donation size.

The average nonprofit meeting this criteria lost $29,613.59 in 2017, simply because spam prevented their supporters from receiving their messages. This affected fundraising for key dates such as Giving Tuesday and End of Year, as well as long-term campaigns, highlighting the importance of taking spam rates into account at all times. For nonprofits of this size, a change in deliverability rate by just 1% makes a difference of over $1,200.

Improving your email deliverability rate

Don't despair, there are several steps that nonprofits can take to improve their email deliverability rate, including instituting an email opt-in process, using a welcome series to integrate new subscribers, and regularly testing messaging to optimize engagement. For full instructions on how to improve your organization's deliverability rate, download the full study below!

The EveryAction Deliverability Difference 

EveryAction provides clients with specialized tools, reports, and staff assistance to maintain the highest possible deliverability rates, including:

  • Daily monitoring of client deliverability, sender information, reputation data, email success rates.
  • Dedicated staff to both react quickly to troubleshoot issues and guide clients through preventative maintenance to ensure they experience the best deliverability rates possible in today's emailing environment.
  • Commitment to continuous education and trainings with authorities in the deliverability community to maintain the highest awareness of trends and best practices.
  • World-class support that monitors and maintains EveryActon email tools 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

For more information about how EveryAction's deliverability difference, click here to see it for yourself!