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BizReport : Email Marketing : May 08, 2017


Non-profit sees substantial growth through email

Recently the non-profit DonorsChoose.org, an organization helping public schools to fund different projects, tapped Return Path to help them improve their email ROI. Once on-board, the organization found inbox placement rates improve to 100% for both Yahoo and Microsoft clients.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Tell me a little about DonorsChoose.org.

Katie Bisbee, CMO, DonorsChoose: DonorsChoose.org was founded in 2000 by a high school teacher from the Bronx to help teachers purchase materials and experiences for their students. Teachers come to DonorsChoose.org to request what they need most for their classrooms, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. More than 2.5 million people have funded 880,000 projects on the site, reaching 22 million students and making DonorsChoose.org the leading platform for supporting US public schools.

Kristina: Why is it important for DonorsChoose.org to reach the intended recipient? How has Return Path helped to accomplish this?

Katie: If our emails don't make it to inboxes, teachers may not know their education wishes are being fulfilled and donors may not know that their donation has reached the intended classroom. In turn, this could result in a loss of classroom donations. Due to the importance of these emails, we reached out to Return Path for help getting these messages to the intended recipients.
For instance, we have a Monthly Recommendation email that brings in $200,000 in donations to classrooms each month. We were hitting spam boxes and having placement issues at providers like Microsoft. If it wasn't for Return Path, we would have never known this. Thanks to their Certification dashboards and expert advice, we were able to improve deliverability, and help more teachers get the materials they need for the classroom.

Kristina: What results has DonorsChoose.org experienced by applying the right behind-the-scenes solutions to the email program?

Katie: Return Path's Certification is the most recognized and valued certified whitelist in the industry. Since partnering with Return Path in 2008, the certification has helped us ensure better inbox placement with major mailbox providers like Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, Comcast and more. By applying these behind-the-scenes solutions to our email program, we have ensured deliverability is on the right track without having to hire a dedicated team member for this task. As a result, we have improved to a 99 percent inbox placement rate at Yahoo and 100 percent at Microsoft. Plus, we are able to continue to focus on improving classrooms and helping teachers without having to worry if their emails reach the inbox.

Kristina: How has your strategy changed since DonorsChoose.org has grown?

Katie: As we have grown, so has the volume of email, which means we're at greater risk for upsetting spam filters. Combined with the ever-evolving landscape of deliverability, we knew that an expert like Return Path was necessary to make sure we reached the inbox. Since growing and becoming more successful over the years, email has remained critical to our mission. In fact, the amount of mail we send has nearly tripled over time, which means we're able to reach more and more donors and teachers.

Tags: DonorsChoose, email marketing, email marketing tips, Return Path










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