We are working on a new generation of email marketing for our GiveSignup | RunSignup customers. We have customers currently sending over 30 million emails per month for free on our platform, and we want to make a significant step forward in what we are providing in our free platform. Our goal is to provide all of our customers a free alternative to costly email marketing platforms, with several significant advantages:
- Unlimited contacts, contacts lists, and emails
- Easy to send emails to lists based on GiveSignup Reports (e.g. all donors over $100 or all attendees from last year’s gala)
- Easy to generate dynamic emails with data directly from GiveSignup | RunSignup — not just first name, but things like last year’s donation, links to photos, QR codes for tickets to the festival, etc
- Integrated tracking to the individual supporter level — being able to see who opened an email and who bought a ticket based on that email
This new email system will be coming out in multiple phases between mid September and early 2022.
Phase 1: Internal Testing (Live Now)
We have been testing for a week now, and all is looking good for the following features:
- Contact lists – allows multiple lists with uploads of up to 25,000 at a time, with no limit on the size of a list
- Pre-built lists – current ticket holders
- Contact data – allows for custom fields to be uploaded with each contact
- Send emails – include and exclude multiple lists with no limit and automatic de-duplication
- Schedule emails – immediate or at a specific time
- Email content – simple editor, but ability to have replacement data tags like first name and donation amount filled in for each addressee
- Simple email reports
- Two classes of email to allow nonprofits and race directors to manage their type of email and unsubscribes: marketing and transaction.
Phase 2: Public Release for Tickets and Donation Websites and Forms
We will be adding a simple template and ability to send a test email, along with some other incremental improvements for reporting and some simple automatic contact lists, like past donors and fundraisers.
Phase 3: Email Templates and Editing
This will excite long time customers. We will introduce a much improved email editing tool. In addition, we will have multiple template formats and also a number of pre-built content for common emails, like Promote Event, Ticket Reminder, Post Event, Donor Thank You, etc.
Phase 4: Races Public Beta
Once we have these basics above completed, we will integrate the new email into the Race Dashboard. Customers can choose to use a combination of the new and old email systems.
In addition, we will be integrating email into the Participant Report. When you customize your report to show a certain set of columns, that data will be available as replacement tags in the email you create. For example, below is a customized report only showing the name, event, bib number, and shirt size, so you can create an email with all of that data in it for each participant.
At some future point when we have replicated all of the functionality in the race email marketing system, we will allow customers to migrate to use the new system fully. Eventually, we plan on retiring the current system and automatically moving everyone to the new system although that will likely take some time.
Phase 5: Analytics
In this phase, we will begin to track individual email opens and clicks, and actions, like a donation is made by Bob when he clicked on a link in a specific email. This will allow our customers to keep track of what is effective in total for an email, as well as identify those supporters who are engaged in email. This data will be used by a later phase in creating lists based on engagement level.
Phase 6: Automated Emails
One of our most popular current features are automated emails. Here is a partial list, with lots more ideas to come:
- Price increase
- Make a donation
- Race results to finishers
Phase 7: Drip Campaigns
We plan on creating a customer journey capability, which will allow for different emails to be sent at different times depending on actions. For example, if someone signs up for an event but does not donate, perhaps send a follow-up series of emails to educate them about the mission of the nonprofit, and then ask for a donation.
Phase 8: Custom Supporter Contact Lists
We are working on a project that will use AI to automatically match contacts, and then put in place a query processing capability to be able to build advanced custom lists based on the information in the GiveSignup | RunSignup system. For example, you could do a list of all people who have run your 5K more than twice and have donated more than $100. Or a list of all the people who signed up for your event from Facebook posts. We will be offering over 200 different parameters over time that can be used to build your marketing campaigns.
Once the email system is public, and especially on the race dashboard, there are a variety of improvements we will be making in parallel that will come out when they are available:
- Website email popup to collect contacts
- Keeping track of those emails and merging data into a single contact
- Improved customization options for the popup
- Generic Email System available separately from any type of event or donation website
- User sending (e.g., allow fundraisers and team captains to use the system to promote and communicate with their followers and teams)
- Adding email opt-in to checkout pages
We are excited about the potential of this massive project to help our customers raise more and save money.