I wrote earlier about how writing informally can be a great strategy to personalize a donor letter. We all use email and receive way to many mass emails. We have become experts at figuring out what is an email we need to read and what we can delete right away.
If we put in the subject of our email, “December Newsletter,” or “Seeking Volunteers for Such and Such,” people will know we are emailing a number of people and not just them. Often we will try and say way too much in one message. Volunteers and donors will not respond to an email that asks them to do 3 or 4 different thing but they might respond if you ask them to do one little thing.
So here is my secret. Create a spreadsheet and put the first name of who you will be sending the message to in one line, and their email in the other. Use Word and do an email merge. Type a short message asking a specific informal question:
We are having a breakfast for new volunteers on Friday, can you attend?
And then do an email merge with their name and stick your email signature at the bottom.