When Trendline initially engaged with the ADA in the first half of 2020, the organization faced a number of the same challenges that many other non-profits were experiencing due to the pandemic. The number of donors was already down over the previous year, as was the overall engagement of its email audience.
Trendline conducted an audit of the ADA’s existing email program and soon found a few fundamental issues. Deliverability rates had fallen, and Trendline determined this was likely due—at least in part—to the ADA’s use of a particular email template commonly employed by not-for-profit organizations. This template is heavy on text and internal links, and generally not ideal from a user-experience perspective.
The ADA team had limited tools for mitigating deliverability issues. Despite the team’s proactive approach to reducing the risk of bounces by maintaining list-hygiene on an ongoing basis, the manual nature of the process consumed precious resources. Its use of multiple Email Service Providers (ESPs) only compounded the problem, as an inability for the platforms to communicate natively with one another made it overly difficult to segment the ADA’s email lists. These issues resulted in reduced reputation scoring, limited inbox placement, and less-than-ideal engagement rates.
Trendline’s first order of business was to implement deliverability services and proactively monitor blacklists, spam, traps, and sender reputation.
At the same time, Trendline’s Creative Department set about modernizing and customizing the ADA’s email template system. They created drag-and-drop templates for both of the ADA’s ESPs, so the client could be self-sufficient at some point in the near future. They also implemented dark mode compatibility, along with optimizing the amount and types of content necessary to improve the UX design.