Nov 2017 AFR: 2.4%
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What Is the Best Way to Market IRA Charitable Rollover Gifts by Email?

As part of Crescendo's 2016 study, Experiments in Email Marketing, Crescendo performed a series of email tests to determine the best way to market the IRA charitable rollover.  After the IRA charitable rollover became permanent, Oklahoma City Community Foundation (OCCF) asked Crescendo to create an email that marketed the IRA charitable rollover to prospective donors age 70½ or older. The goal of this test was to evaluate email click-through rates (CTR). We used two emails with the same design and content, changing only the subject lines. Crescendo designed the emails that were sent to OCCF supporters on April 6.

The test was created so that one subject line focused on the impact of giving while the other focused on tax avoidance. The subject line for Version A read “An IRA rollover gift is an easy way to have a lasting impact on your community.” This email received an exceptional 27.52% open rate and an 11.36% CTR. In Version B, the subject line read “Avoid income taxes with an IRA rollover gift.” Here the results were still strong with an open rate of 27.37% and CTR of 9.29%.

Both emails had a high open rate and a good CTR overall, showing that donors are generally interested in the IRA rollover. However,  the subject line with the tax benefit had a slightly lower open rate (27.19% vs. 27.52%), illustrating that tax incentives don’t necessarily boost a donor’s interest in relation to the other benefits of giving.

For more ideas on effective ways to reach your donors through email, please contact Crescendo 1-800-858-9154.

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About Kristen Schultz Jaarda, JD, LLM

Kristen Schultz Jaarda

Kristen Schultz Jaarda is Executive Vice President of Crescendo Interactive, Inc. She specializes in charitable tax planning and online marketing for planned gifts. She is responsible for client education and leads Crescendo's marketing services and support team. She is a nationally recognized speaker, conducts seminars nationwide and is a principal faculty member of GiftCollege.

Kristen serves as a board member for the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) and as a member of the ACGA Rates and State Regulations Committees, Editorial Advisory Board member for Planned Giving Today, Committee Member for the ABA Charitable Planning and Organization's Group, past Legislative Chair and a board member for the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles (PPP-LA), a member of the Ventura County Planned Giving Council and a committee member and volunteer for several California charities. She writes weekly for CrescendoTweet and her planned giving blog.

Previously, Kristen served as Counsel to the Assistant Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C. and was Oversight Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. Prior to that, she worked in a public affairs law practice. Kristen graduated from UCLA School of Law where she was Law Review Editor. She completed her Tax LL.M. with honors at Loyola School of Law. Kristen is a member of the California State Bar, D.C. Bar and the Maryland State Bar.


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