The most consistent thing about the email and digital trend reports Taryn Rosenkranz’s firm New Blue Interactive prepares for clients each month: What’s working is always changing.
Some months, more graphic-heavy emails work best; other months, it’s short and punchy copy that performs far better.
“It means it’s evolving and people are finding diverse content really interesting,” Rosenkranz said in an interview with C&E. “What I’m consistently seeing, though, is that the topics you’re addressing are the most important part. So it seems like what we’re talking about is more important than how we’re laying it out.”
Tactically, Rosenkranz emphasized, it’s about honesty and transparency: “I’ve always believed from the very beginning in an honest and transparent transaction between the user and you as the as the email practitioner,” she said. “I think that’s the most important thing you can do.”
Building urgency? Pushing deadlines? All important in email fundraising programs and not things to shy away from, said Rosenkranz, provided the underlying message isn’t designed to deceive. Even matching programs can work if they’re presented openly and honestly.
“There is not just legal way to do it, but there is an honest and transparent way to do it,” she said. “And those tactics don’t have to be dishonest. Those tactics get a bad name when people use them in a dishonest manner. And I think that’s a really big and important distinction, because I think you can do anything the right way.”
When it comes to metrics, Rosenkranz has advised clients not to get bogged down with the actual numbers. Instead, she said, it’s much more important to look at trends: “I can still see a trend in an open rate.”
“Engagement is the most important metric,” said Rosenkranz. “How are they interacting with you? Are they clicking? Are they signing or are they completing transactions? Those are the things I want to look at.”