Getting the visit. Tip #1. Look for the Hook.

How did anyone raise any money before email?

It's like traveling before Google Maps!

But, email can also be infuriating.

Have you ever spent hours pouring over just the right words, re-reading your email a thousand times, checking your grammar and punctuation only to get absolutely no response?

Have you ever gotten so few replies that you actually started to wonder if there was something wrong with your computer? (I've so done this. I've emailed a friend just to make sure my email was working. It sucks so much when you realize it IS working, people are just ignoring you!)

Have you ever just given up and started sending "form" emails? You know, where you just change the name at the beginning and send out a zillion messages hoping for just a few replies?

You are not alone!

Getting the visit is the hardest thing about fundraising.

Spam filters and massively busy people with massively full inboxes don't make our jobs any easier.

In our next few posts, we'll walk through the steps to help you stand out in a potential donor's inbox and get more visits.

Step 1: Look for the Hook. Take 10 minutes before you start typing to do some research about your potential donor. Look for a connection - a hook they've put out there for you to jump onto. This hook becomes a question you can use at the start of your email. Look for:

  • Career - This is particularly relevant in higher ed. How'd they go from an English major to founder of a tech company?
  • Philanthropy - What else do they give to? Is there a similar program at your university?
  • Awards - What are they involved in? Can you congratulate them?
  • Blogs/LinkedIn Articles - What do they say? What do they share?

Using hooks is the best way to keep your email focused on connecting with your donor. Connecting is the best way to get more visits. Try it!

Let us know how it goes in the comments below?

For the full email formula and a worksheet to give you the specific phrases to get more visits, check out Fundraisers' Monthly.

Right now, it's only $10 a month. But the price goes up on January 1st, so join now!

Get out there - raise more money - and change the world!

-Jenna