How to send batch marketing emails from Little Green Light
In this article:
- Opt-out form
- Form mapping
- Add an address and opt-out link to your email
- Caveats regarding the "Do not email" tag
It's easy to send emails to batches of recipients from your Little Green Light account, and you can use merge fields to personalize these emails so that they are highly effective. This is a wonderful way to take advantage of the data you're tracking in your LGL account. For example, you can create solicitation emails that refer back to the last gift received or a custom ask amount. But before you dive into sending emails to large groups of constituents, you need to be aware of the rules surrounding marketing email.
As our knowledge base article about the CAN-SPAM Act explains, you are required to follow certain rules when you send marketing emails (also referred to as commercial emails). Though LGL is not specifically built as an email marketing platform, it is possible to meet the CAN-SPAM requirements using LGL. This article explains how.
First, let's define the difference between transactional email and marketing email.
A transactional email is sent in response to an action taken by a person, such as a follow-up on a donation, a membership renewal notice, or a reminder to event registrants. Examples of transactional emails include acknowledgment emails to recent donors or a follow-up email to event registrants.
Conversely, a marketing email is more general and is not sent in response to a particular action (or transaction) by the recipient. For a nonprofit, examples include solicitation emails sent to a broad audience and invitations to register for your events. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lists 7 requirements for marketing emails, such as not misleading the reader. And in this FAQ, they have clarified that these marketing email requirements apply even if the recipient has explicitly joined your mailing list.
Here we will focus on these two requirements for marketing email:
- Tell recipients where you're located (provide a physical address)
- Tell recipients how to opt out
You can use LGL forms to create your unsubscribe form, and then map that to your LGL account to automatically add submissions to your Do Not Email list.
To add the opt-out form, in your LGL forms account (included free with all LGL accounts for non-payment forms) add a new form and include fields for name, email address, and an opt-out selection.
For emails you send from your LGL account, you can include a variable that passes through via the URL to the form you're linking to. This way, you can set up your form to bring through the name and email address of the person receiving your emails, making it faster for them to fill out the form and helping avoid the introduction of typos. For more on this, see the Pass values into a form via email help article.
When mapping this form to your LGL account, map the "Opt out" selection to Communication Tags, and then map the specific choice to the "Do not email" value within Communication Tags by clicking the light blue icon shown below:
Now map the specific field from your form to the "Do not email" value in Communication Tags:
Add an address and opt-out link to your email
In LGL, you can create signature files for your team members who will be sending marketing emails. In those signature files, include your physical address and a link to an opt-out form so that this information is included in each email the team member sends.
You can create and edit signature files in the Manage Senders area (in Mailings > Email).
To create the signature file, click on the Edit button for any approved sender.
Caveats regarding the "Do not email" tag
Emailing "do not email" constituents on a one-off basis
In your LGL account, any constituent tagged as "Do not email" cannot be included in any batch emails or acknowledgment emails. You can, however, email them from their individual constituent record by clicking Send Email in the top right of that page.
Emailing acknowledgments to "do not email" constituents
If you want to allow recipients to opt out of general emails but continue to send them acknowledgment emails, you would need to add a new Communication Tag that would allow you to track those constituents separately. You could name the tag "No general emails" or something similar. You will need to remember, however, to exclude any constituent with that tag from your general emails, since that exclusion will not be automatically applied as the "Do not email" tag is.
If you want to exclude a "do not mail" constituent from an acknowledgment mailing, you can do so by checking the "Exclude 'Do not mail'?" box as you're creating or editing the ack. mailing, as shown here: