Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell

How to Get More Email Engagement (Based On Data) with Abby Jarvis

August 09, 2023 Julia Campbell Episode 101
How to Get More Email Engagement (Based On Data) with Abby Jarvis
Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell
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Nonprofit Nation with Julia Campbell
How to Get More Email Engagement (Based On Data) with Abby Jarvis
Aug 09, 2023 Episode 101
Julia Campbell

Having an effective email program is an important part of building an engaged community.  48% of donors prefer to receive updates and appeals via email.

But accurate data about nonprofit email performance has historically been hard to come by—especially for small to midsize nonprofits—and that makes it hard to gauge your own campaigns’ performance.

That all changes with a new sector report, The Nonprofit Email Report: Data-Backed Insights for Better Engagement.

My guest on this episode is Abby Jarvis, Senior Content Marketing Manager for Neon One. To get the extensive data for this report, they evaluated 37,472 email campaigns sent by their clients and identified key email benchmarks broken down by organization size. They include data for small and large nonprofits as well as the average of all emails sent. In the report, you will find data on average list sizes, open rates, and click-through rates for all three of our size cohorts, along with data-backed insights your team can actually use.

In this episode, Abby and I discuss: 

  • Tips for improving your email campaigns’ performance
  • Words and phrases that boost engagement
  • An analysis of the most engaging email of 2022
  • Practical strategies for creating compelling emails
  • Expert advice from industry thought leaders
  • Nonprofit-specific email performance benchmarks

Download the full report today to learn powerful insights that you can use to optimize your email strategy.

About Abby

Abby Jarvis is a writer and speaker at Neon One. Her 10 years in the nonprofit technology industry have been dedicated to understanding how and why donors support their favorite causes, studying donor trends and behavior, and sharing practical tactics nonprofits can use to build successful fundraising programs.

Connect with Abby

About Julia Campbell, the host of the Nonprofit Nation podcast:

Named as a top thought leader by Forbes and BizTech Magazine, Julia Campbell (she/hers) is an author, coach, and speaker on a mission to make the digital world a better place.

She wrote her book, Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits, as a roadmap for social change agents who want to build movements using engaging digital storytelling techniques. Her second book, How to Build and Mobilize a Social Media Community for Your Nonprofit, was published in 2020 as a call-to-arms for mission-driven organizations to use the power of social media to build movements.  

Take my free masterclass: 3 Must-Have Elements of Social Media Content that Converts

Show Notes Transcript

Having an effective email program is an important part of building an engaged community.  48% of donors prefer to receive updates and appeals via email.

But accurate data about nonprofit email performance has historically been hard to come by—especially for small to midsize nonprofits—and that makes it hard to gauge your own campaigns’ performance.

That all changes with a new sector report, The Nonprofit Email Report: Data-Backed Insights for Better Engagement.

My guest on this episode is Abby Jarvis, Senior Content Marketing Manager for Neon One. To get the extensive data for this report, they evaluated 37,472 email campaigns sent by their clients and identified key email benchmarks broken down by organization size. They include data for small and large nonprofits as well as the average of all emails sent. In the report, you will find data on average list sizes, open rates, and click-through rates for all three of our size cohorts, along with data-backed insights your team can actually use.

In this episode, Abby and I discuss: 

  • Tips for improving your email campaigns’ performance
  • Words and phrases that boost engagement
  • An analysis of the most engaging email of 2022
  • Practical strategies for creating compelling emails
  • Expert advice from industry thought leaders
  • Nonprofit-specific email performance benchmarks

Download the full report today to learn powerful insights that you can use to optimize your email strategy.

About Abby

Abby Jarvis is a writer and speaker at Neon One. Her 10 years in the nonprofit technology industry have been dedicated to understanding how and why donors support their favorite causes, studying donor trends and behavior, and sharing practical tactics nonprofits can use to build successful fundraising programs.

Connect with Abby

About Julia Campbell, the host of the Nonprofit Nation podcast:

Named as a top thought leader by Forbes and BizTech Magazine, Julia Campbell (she/hers) is an author, coach, and speaker on a mission to make the digital world a better place.

She wrote her book, Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits, as a roadmap for social change agents who want to build movements using engaging digital storytelling techniques. Her second book, How to Build and Mobilize a Social Media Community for Your Nonprofit, was published in 2020 as a call-to-arms for mission-driven organizations to use the power of social media to build movements.  

Take my free masterclass: 3 Must-Have Elements of Social Media Content that Converts

Hey, real quick. I've developed a brand new free resource just for you. It's called the nonprofit social media Content Planner. This brand new planner will help you plan, develop, and manage a year's worth of useful and usable written or other forms of content that your audience will love. You can just text the word planner to 3377 or go to nonprofitcontentententententplanner.com. Grab your free copy today. All right, on to the episode. Hello and welcome to Nonprofit Nation. I'm your host, Julia Campbell, and I'm going to sit down with nonprofit industry experts, fundraisers, marketers, and everyone in between to get real and discuss what it takes to build that movement that you've been dreaming of. I created the Nonprofit Nation podcast to share practical wisdom and strategies to help you confidently find your voice, definitively grow your audience, and effectively build your movement. If you're a nonprofit newbie or an experienced professional who's looking to get more visibility, reach more people, and create even more impact, then you're in the right place. Let's get started. Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Nonprofit nation. I'm your host, Julia Campbell. I'm really excited to be here with you today. I have one of my favorite people here from the sector and also one of my favorite topics. The question we're answering today how can we create a vibrant and effective email communications program, and what are some of the benchmarks that we can use and what is some of the data that is out there that we can leverage and explore so we can improve what we are already doing and build our own email campaigns? So my guest today is Abby Jarvis, senior Content Marketing Manager for Neon One, and her ten years in the nonprofit technology industry have been dedicated to understanding how and why donors support their favorite causes, studying donor trends and behavior, and sharing practical tactics nonprofits can use to build successful fundraising programs. So, Abby, welcome to the podcast. Thank you. I'm so excited about everything that we're going to talk about today. Yay. It's been a long time coming. So tell me a bit about you. I know a little bit about your story, but for my listeners, how'd you get into nonprofit work and then tell me about what you're doing with Neon One. So getting into the nonprofit tech industry was entirely accidental. I actually thought I wanted to be a grants writer and spent a summer working with a local nonprofit doing some grants for them and discovered that I do not have the patience for that. So I started working instead with a company called Qgiv in 2013. And initially I just was doing their social media posts. I did some sales support, but what I ended up really getting into is I ended up getting their blog up and running, and then I got into doing webinars, and then that's how we met. That is how we met. And I was totally starstruck when I met you. And then I discovered that I really love doing research. So I was there for a while. I moved to neon one a little over a year ago, and I have continued doing a lot of writing, doing a lot of research, and I am really excited not only about this research, but some of the stuff we have planned for the future. I'm so excited. So abby and I work together on a lot of projects at neon one, generosity exchange and the nonprofit social media marketing summit. All details to come. I'll put all the links in the show notes, but today I want to dive into the recent report that neon one just released. It's called the nonprofit email report data backed insights for better engagement, and it summarizes key email performance metrics from nearly 1500 nonprofit organizations of all sizes and missions. And you evaluated 37,472 email campaigns, over 150,000,000 individual emails that were sent during 2022, and you broke down some important benchmarks by list size. So I guess the question should just kind of start us out is why email? Why now? Why this report? So we know that email is one of the most important communications channels in the sector. So almost half of donors have indicated that it's their preferred communication channel for updates and for appeals. And then a study done by the nonprofit tech for good folks showed that donors cited email as the most compelling communications type when asking them to donate. So it beat out social media. It beat out direct mail. I don't know how I feel about that, because I know direct mail is still really powerful and important. I would need to learn more about that. But the importance of email just can't be overstated. And it's also a really valuable tool for nonprofits because it's relatively low cost compared to some of the other types out there. But despite that, there weren't really any benchmarks around nonprofit email performance that were appropriate for a lot of the folks who are sending emails now. So there was, of course, a ton of research around email for for profits, and there was some information out there about email for nonprofits, but it really focused on the large nonprofits, the nonprofits that are household names. So small and mid sized nonprofits were relying on data and benchmarks and best practices that didn't reflect their reality, and we wanted to change that. And that's how the email report kind of got its start. That's what I love. I know that so many of the reports out there, or the benchmarking data, first of all, relies on the business industry for profits, or like you just said, the larger, huge national organizations, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I love that you wanted to create something that's relevant to the small and mid sized nonprofits, which are most of my listeners. So I know that they appreciate that. So I've read the report, and I found some things incredibly surprising, but I want to know what were some of the most surprising findings for you? Because I know we have a lot of myths and misconceptions around how email works and what we think works and what we think doesn't work, but what surprised you? So the most surprising finding to me was the data that we saw when we started looking for the best day of the week to send emails. So I'm in the for profit sector. I have been told forever and ever that you're supposed to send emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and that if you send an email campaign on Friday afternoon, it's going to flop and you're not going to get any engagement. So when we looked at engagement levels for emails sent during different days of the week, so just for clarifications like engagement here means open rates and click through rates, we discovered that emails sent on Fridays had the best overall engagement. So a combination of those two data points and I actually asked Tim Saranio, who did most of the heavy lifting on the data analytics side of things, I asked him to check it again. Tim, no, this is not, this can't be, this can't be. So that really caught me by surprise. And there were some other little things I was kind of surprised at how few organizations were using emojis in their subject lines when we looked, we wanted to see if emojis impacted engagement, and only 3% of all of the campaigns that went out contained emojis. So that was kind of surprising to me. And then one other one that I really liked, that was kind of shocking to me was we'd found that including lots and lots of links to the same form, but in a single email, improved click through rates immensely. The sweet spot seems to be including a link to a donation form six times in an email. And I know it feels kind of redundant when you're writing an email to just link to the same thing over and over and over again, but it had a really positive impact, so there were lots of little surprises. I'm curious what surprised you, but the Friday thing was my favorite. I think what surprised me is that smaller nonprofits had more engagement and higher open rates. Yeah, I loved that. Now that I think about it, it's not as surprising because if you're a larger organization, you have thousands and thousands of people on your email list. Maybe people that came to you years ago that haven't really been engaged, but if you're smaller also, you're trying to keep your costs down. I know a lot of my clients, they use MailChimp or ConvertKit or something where you pay by subscriber. So they're constantly as we should be, culling their email list, scrubbing out people that are bouncing or cold subscribers and keeping the ones that are really engaged. So I guess it shouldn't have surprised me, but the same is true on social media, actually, from what I've been seeing is that smaller organizations with more targeted followings get more engagement than larger organizations. But that was something that really surprised me. The other thing that I thought was hilarious because I saw Tim speak several times at the nonprofit technology conference and then at the AFP international fundraising conference this past year as part of the generosity roadshow is the can you tell the cannabis story? Yeah, because I love he asked, what was the word that triggered the highest open rate? And none of us could guess it, but it was cannabis. So I guess I gave it away. Yeah, that was actually really funny. So we worked with chirian Koshi. He's phenomenal. He's among many other things that he does, he's the founder of nonprofit operating system. And Chirian took all of the individual email campaigns from the data set and used some AI tools to analyze, among other things, the words and phrases that positively and negatively impact open rates. And the first time he did it, the word cannabis had such high engagement rates that it skewed the whole data set. Like it performed thousands of times better than really anything else. And these are organizations that are doing advocacy around legislation. Yeah, and it was funny because it wasn't marijuana and it wasn't like weed. It was cannabis. Cannabis. Yeah. That was one that when we were going through and cleaning up the data, we were like, we can't include this in the data set. It's throwing everything off. So that was really funny. And I loved the emojis and also the sending emails on a Friday. That's kind of blowing my mind. I know that when I do social media audits, I always find surprising data

for my clients, whether it's you should be posting on Sunday at 08:

00

p.m. Or Tuesday at 04:

00 p.m.. I mean, it's never the times that we're told in the best practices blog posts. So I guess we really need to look at data specific to our sector. So how often should nonprofits send emails? This is like one of my number one questions that I get. I'm going to give you the most annoying answer of all time. The answer is it depends. Yeah, that's usually so, of course, if you're doing something like a monthly newsletter, you want to send that once a month. Consistency is really important when it comes to that type of thing, but other than that, there's no real correct answer. What I can tell you is that donors do want to hear from nonprofits. I think all of the data in the report kind of reinforces that. But in a study I have done in the past, we found that most gen z and millennial donors preferred to hear from the nonprofits they support on a monthly basis. Older generations, mostly baby boomers and gen x, wanted to hear from them on a quarterly basis. Now, I will say that that study is several years old and preferences change and evolve all the time. Especially, I think all of us have seen some changes in donor behavior after the pandemic. So I will say double check me on that and take it with a grain of salt. But I do have two suggestions if you're really struggling with how frequently to send emails. The first is simply to ask how frequently do people want to hear from you? And then use segmentation, if you can, to give them what they want. Now I'm going to throw in the caveat that you're never going to make everybody happy. You just can't. It's impossible. So don't stress yourself out trying to. But if the majority of your donors indicate that they want monthly updates, send them monthly updates. But if they don't, if they want to hear from you quarterly, pull back. Don't stress yourself out trying to send them monthly updates when they're really going to look at it most closely if it's quarterly. And then the frequency with which you send appeals will vary too. Just make sure you are sending periodic appeals because that's the only way you're going to make this an effective fundraising channel for yourself. But really the biggest thing is just to be flexible and don't put a schedule ahead of what you need to communicate. So if you have an urgent need arise, we see it all the time in Florida. We get hurricanes. A hurricane will go through. There's an urgent need. People will send an appeal, maybe off schedule, and that's fine, that's okay to do. So I would caution you to avoid skipping emails that your donors and supporters expect. But I do think it's more important not to send emails just because you feel like you have to. Exactly. I see all the time actually, nonprofits, I don't think they send enough or they're sending a monthly newsletter, like you said. And then if your donors only get the monthly newsletter, what if they delete it one time or it goes to spam? Then they're more likely to not have heard from you. And then maybe the next time they hear from you, it's an email appeal. So I love that there's data on how much to send, how frequently to send, and what different segments and different verticals are seeing because I think that's really helpful. That's such a huge question because I think I get, for instance, from the theater that I belong to, I'm a member of the local community theater, they're sending emails twice a week because they have shows, they have things they need to promote, they have events, things like that. But if you're an organization that maybe you're not going to want to send twice a week because you don't want to just send something for the sake. Of sending something, I think there is room to experiment. So when we look, I think off the top of my head, I think the average small nonprofit. So nonprofits with lists between 250 and 999 people were sending an average of 22 email campaigns a year, which is just under two a month. And then the larger nonprofits, I believe, were sending around 27 campaigns per year. And I don't necessarily know that, for example, all of the people on every list received all 22 to 27 campaigns, but regular communication is certainly a good thing. And if you are stressing yourself out trying to hold yourself to one a month, there's room to experiment with sending. More frequently, because then your one a month is going to be so long that no one's going to ever read it, right? I find that all the time. So let's talk about length of email. Do you find that shorter emails are more engaging? What are some tips you have around crafting the body of the email? So I can say that a lot of this is going to be more experiential or anecdotal because we didn't have the time to go through the body of all 37,000 plus email campaigns. However, I think shorter emails can certainly be more engaging, but I think there are elements that contribute to the success of a campaign more than the length. So if you look at the study, one of the things that we did, it's the last section we looked at the most engaging email sent during the year of 2022, and it wasn't a particularly short email, but it did take a couple of steps to make even a longer email more engaging. So first, the email was really easy to scan. It contained tons of information, but it was very organized, so very easy to kind of skim through. And then they made some other design choices that made it really easy to interact with it and get the information that you needed. They used a lot of bulleted lists, which was really helpful because you can just kind of skim it and get the gist of it and then read more deeply if you want to. And then I love that they used images to add some of the key information. So as you're scanning an email, your eyes will naturally be drawn to images. So if you have a note about an upcoming program, or if you have a big call to action or something, making it part of an image will make it stand out. And then, yeah, the whole thing was just very easy to skim. You could easily find important information and you could absorb it very quickly. So I'll pull from my background as a writer, too. So my favorite writing tip sounds really goofy, but it's to use exactly as many words as you need to relay. No more, no less, no more, no less. If you can tell a story and make a good appeal in 400 words, that's amazing. If you need 700 words, use 700 words. If you need to use more, use more. I will say that the longer your email gets, the more you will need to focus on readability and good storytelling to keep people interested. It's hard to get people to read a wall of text, but if you're telling a compelling story and you need to use a lot of words to do it, as long as you're being succinct, go for it. I am a huge fan of Liz Wilcox. I've actually had her on my podcast and she runs the email marketing membership and so she sends out an email about email every week. But some of her emails are literally three sentences and some are like a huge long I don't want to say diatribe but story. And she says the same thing. Sometimes I just want to get the point across really quickly and then sometimes I really do have something to say that I think is valuable. So just use as many words as you think you need. So this is a question that I get, especially with social media in terms of content. But with email I think it's valuable to understand. How much should we be fundraising with our email and how much should we just be updating our supporters? I don't know if you remember this, but I do. A long time ago I asked you about the perfect kind of content split on social media and same kind of thing. How frequently should we be asking for money on social media versus how frequently should we be posting other stuff? And you told me that social posts should be 80% value add, so entertaining, informative, or educational, and 20% should be appeals. And I think you can remember that. I do still teach that, yeah. And I think you can follow a really similar rule of thumb with emails. So send your newsletters and send your impact updates and send your thank you emails. And that is going to be if you do those things will be a pretty big portion of your email messaging and then appeals can be the rest. This is really important to me because I hear a lot of nonprofits who worry about asking their donors too much. And this concept of donor fatigue is kind of like this specter that just is in front of them every time they need to write an email. There's a lot of fear around asking people to donate, especially if you've already asked that quarter that month or whatever. Mark Pittman once told me something that really stuck with me. Donor fatigue isn't real. Donors aren't tired of making a difference and they're not tired of supporting the causes they love. They're tired of being asked all the time without understanding what their past gifts have already accomplished. So if you're sending a lot of impact updates and you're sending newsletters that spotlight your clients and how your donors are helping make a difference, your readers will be much more responsive to appeals when you do send them I love that. Big fan of Mark Pittman. Huge fan of Mark Pittman. So which metrics should we be tracking in terms of our email program or email communications? The data nerd in me wants to say you should track all of them, but that's not realistic, I don't think so. I think the big three are your open rate, your click through rate, and the amount you raise per fundraising email. So here's why I chose those three, because when you asked me that question, I really had to think about it. Your open rate is an indicator of how well you're catching your audience's attention and kind of piquing their interest. If your open rate is low, it can point you towards some strategies that you can get to start improving your engagement. So maybe you experiment with your subject lines and then preview text and see if you can write something more engaging that catches people's attention and makes them excited about reading what you have to say. If that doesn't work out, maybe you can look at the frequency that you're sending. Are you sending too frequently? Is your audience tuning you out? Are you not sending frequently enough? And so your audiences aren't used to seeing you there. They're not looking for you, they just delete your messages. Are you sending irrelevant information? Could you send more targeted information and boost those open rates by segmenting your list a little differently? Your open rate is an indicator of how well you're catching people's attention. Your click through rate is a good indicator for how engaging they find your content and how easy it is for people to engage with you. So if you look at your email report and you find that your click through rate is low, maybe you can ask yourself, do you actually give people links to click? So we said that the sweet spot for linking to your donation form is six links. If you're only using one, you may not get the click throughs that you're looking for. Are you looking at your emails? And can you easily identify a call to action? Is it easy to click on the links that you've given them? We know that a lot of people interact with email on their phones, so if you're only including text hyperlinks, those can be hard to tap on. But if you're using a button, they're way easier to tap on and they're. Also very tempting to tap on it. Yeah, it's like every did you ever watch Dexter's Lab? No. Well, Dexter's Lab is a great old Cartoon Network show, and Dexter'sister Dee Dee is kind of the airheaded big sister. She cannot resist pushing a button. It's like a thing, oh, I got. Kids and so I get it in the elevator. No one can resist pushing a button. You can't do it. So push add buttons and then the last one, the amount raised per email will give you insight into how compelling your audience finds your appeal in your content. So my personal favorite way to do this, because I don't love pulling lots of reports, is just to spin up a donation form specifically for that email campaign. So when you look at all the donations processed on that form, you can easily attribute them to that campaign. But if you look at it and you don't raise as much as you anticipated, you can evaluate things like what stories you're telling or the length and formatting of your email. If you notice that you get lots of clicks to your donation form but not a lot of donations processed, that may be a good indicator that there's something on your donation form that's tripping people up and making it hard to give. So those are the three that I would really look at. I love that, and I absolutely agree with you. Your email could be incredibly effective. But if your donation page on your website is not mobile optimized or it's not easy to use, then sending all the traffic in the world there is not going to help you. So using this data to see like, okay, tons of people are clicking, but we only got ten people that actually completed the donation. What's wrong on the other end of this? Click? I love that. So what I really like about a lot of the reports that Neon One releases is that there are a lot of ways to use the findings. So how do you recommend that we use the findings from this report to improve our own email marketing programs? I think the most important thing is to use these benchmarks as a guide or an inspiration and not as a cudgel. So don't beat yourself up if you're not hitting these benchmarks. If you're a small nonprofit and you look at the report and you discover that you've got a much lower open rate than the average for small nonprofits, I don't want you to panic. What will be most valuable to you is to use that benchmark as an aspirational goal and then track your own incremental improvement over time. That will be much more valuable if you're not hitting those numbers, but you are beating your open rate for last month's newsletter. You're doing great. So I want to throw that out there. It's really important. I think some of the research that we did with cheering Koshi will be really helpful to a lot of folks. Like I kind of mentioned, he used an AI engine to evaluate the different campaigns that went out. And one of the things he looked at was a sentiment analysis. And what that did was it looked at the emotions and feelings that were inherent in email subject lines and to some extent preview text. And we make some recommendations about how to write subject lines that inspire engagement. There's a ton in there, but the big takeaway is that engaging subject lines tend overwhelmingly to evoke positive feelings in the reader. So positive feelings like pride or joy or relief outperform emails that either don't have emotion driven subject lines or have negative subject lines. And negative emotions are like fear and anger and embarrassment and things like that. So cheering calls out in the report that nonprofits need to send more emotion driven email subject lines, particularly those with positive emotions. So if you're looking to improve your email campaigns, I would definitely start there. I love that. So in your opinion, sort of the bird's eye view, what does all of this mean? What are the two or three biggest takeaways from this report? I am not naturally an optimist, and this email report made me so happy. So when I zoomed out and I looked at everything, we found, the whole body of research there, I think, are two really powerful things to take from this. One, donors love the nonprofits they support, and they want to hear from them. The benchmarks we identified in the report, everything from bounce rates to open rates to click through rates, nonprofits consistently outperform their for profit counterparts. I think there can be a lot of fear around sending emails. I think there's a lot of pressure to send the perfect email or to send these perfectly polished messages, and it's not really necessary. You may be worried that you're sending emails too frequently, or that people won't find you interesting, or that your small team can't reach your audiences as well as the big players. But the data refute those fears, and over and over and over again, it's proving that people want to hear from you and they care what you have to say. The other thing, and I've kind of alluded to it, is that small nonprofits are just killing the game. I know I talk to small nonprofits all the time, and there's so much pressure to grow your email campaign and reach more people and expand your audience. And that's not bad. That's not a bad goal by any means. But small nonprofits outperform the larger nonprofits in some really significant ways. One of my favorite findings that I should have talked about earlier, but when we looked at the average amount raised for these different fundraising campaigns, we found that large nonprofits raise more per campaign than their smaller counterparts. That's not really surprising. If you've got volume 5000 people on. Your list, you're going to raise more than the people that have 400. But what was more surprising is that nonprofits contacts donated way more per person than the larger organizations. So the average large nonprofit raised eighty eight cents per contact on an average for their campaigns. The average small nonprofit raised $6.15 per contact. And that's amazing. So if you're a small nonprofit, of course you want to grow your list, but don't let that aspiration distract you from the fact that you're talking to a really engaged group of people who are excited about your work. And they want to make a difference. I thought that was really valuable. Where should small nonprofits start first? Honestly, my answer is just to send emails. They don't have to be perfect. They don't need to go through and I see this regularly they don't need to go through four rounds of edits and have your board approve every sentence. They don't need professionally done graphics. You can spin them up in Canva or just add a picture yourself your supporters gave to you. They care about you. They care about the people that you serve. They want to help you. They want to help your community. And, yeah, fancy systems and really slick graphics and elaborate segmentation processes and really intense personalization tools are cool, but don't wait until you have those things to start talking to the people who love you and what you do. Don't wait until everything is perfect, because it never will be done is better than perfect. Absolutely. I really like that. And I don't know, I mean, by the time when this is recorded, my email client ConvertKit that I love and adore, and they're wonderful, but I created a sequence of emails, and they were meant for a specific segment and somehow got sent to my whole email list. And it wasn't bad. It was just confusing for people. But I said, well, we're all human. We all make mistakes. Nothing is perfect and okay, everything. It's not like brain surgery and no one died, so that's fine. But I think people do get so hung up on having that perfect. Like you said, the shiny tools, the segmentation, the graphics, the emojis, this, that I think just getting started and talking to people like their people, that's really what people want at the end of the day. Absolutely. So something I ask my guests one of my favorite questions what do you wish you knew when you were starting out, Abby? It actually relates to the story that you just told. So I want to tell people that the people who are receiving your emails are not judging you harshly. They're rooting for you. They really are. If you make a mistake, honestly, they're rooting for you. They don't want you to fail. Definitely. I remember the first time I sent an email to a large group of people. I was terrified. I was emailing a list of about 26,000 people, and I was so anxious about having made a mistake somewhere in the process that I was queasy, my hands were shaking. It was not cute. And more than ten years later, I've been doing this for more than a decade. I still get so anxious when I send an email to a large list. And if that describes you too, let me tell you this. The majority of people do not care if you make a mistake. I once invited 30,000 people to a webinar, and it was a communications webinar, which makes this even more embarrassing. I messed up the personalization token in the draft. And when I loaded it up, I glanced over everything, it looked fine. And then I realized that I messed up that salutation. All 30,000 people who received that email got an email addressed to Dear Percentage mark first underscore name percentage mark. It was mortifying. I got a handful of jokes. It didn't negatively impact our registration numbers. We even got to joke about it in the webinar, like the importance of testing your emails. I wish someone had told me that mistakes happen and that people won't hate you if they do. And some people might like you more for it because it is reassuring to know that the person sending this email is a human. Yes. I just got an email that said it's good to know that other humans exist in the world. Yeah. We do. I can tell you so many stories about times that I have sent the email to the wrong list or invited someone to a webinar at the wrong time and I've had to send a correction and an apology. And people are so sweet. We're all afraid of messing up. And sometimes it's reassuring to know that you're not the only one that messes up sometimes. Yeah, I've even had mistakes made from really big email lists, corporate lists, or some big, huge influencers that I follow. And honestly, if it's a tech fail or if it's just a little glitch, people are completely going to forgive you. So I love that. Let's just all give ourselves some grace, just stop being so hard on ourselves. And perfectionism is just the enemy of getting anything done. So we're never going to get anything done if we think we need to be perfect. So thanks for that story. So we're at time, but I want to know where can people find more about you, Abby, more about Neon One and this report. And I will put all of the links in the show notes and it will be like at the top where people can click on the link. So if you are interested in our research and then some of the other educational materials we publish, because we do publish pretty frequently, I do hope you come check us out at Neonone. You don't have to neonone.com, you don't have to be a client to benefit from the work that we do or the articles we write. And then I am on LinkedIn too. I am trying to get better about posting, but I do check it frequently. I would love to talk to you. So I guess if you're on LinkedIn, come hang out with me. Yes. That's awesome. No, I'm trying to get more on to LinkedIn as well, but it's Neonone.com. All the links will be in the show notes. Definitely check out and download the email marketing report. It's the first one that I've seen of its kind, really dedicated to email and especially to how small and mid sized nonprofits are using email. So I think it's really interesting, and I just can't wait to see what the next research report is. Well, I can give you a little teaser by the time this is live, depending on exactly when it goes live. I'm actively working on an addition to the email report that will focus exclusively on year end and giving Tuesday fundraising, so I'm working on that. That's actually what I need to do after I have this conversation with you. That's the next item on my list for the day, so that should be coming pretty soon. Yes. Oh, I'm so excited. I love the data. I love the benchmarks, and it helps people because then they can go to their higher ups and their board and their staff, and it just gives us all a better context for how we're doing our work. But I do like what you said. Use them as a guideline and not a cudgel. Don't beat yourself up with it. Just use it as a stepping off point or kind of a jumping off point. But, Abby, thanks so much for being here. I'm thrilled to have you, and I can't wait to read the next resource report. Thank you. Thanks for talking with me this morning. Well, hey there. I wanted to say thank you for tuning into my show and for listening all the way to the end. If you really enjoyed today's conversation, make sure to subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, and you'll get new episodes downloaded as soon as they come out. I would love if you left me a rating or review because this tells other people that my podcast is worth listening to, and then me and my guests can reach even more earbuds and create even more impact. So that's pretty much it. I'll be back soon with a brand new episode, but until then, you can find me on Instagram at Julia Campbell 77. Keep changing the world, you nonprofit unicorn. Sam.