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This Biz Has A Better Email Thank You Than Most Nonprofits

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How to Use Social Media to Improve Donor Loyalty

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It’s not often that an email receipt can put a smile on your face, but it is possible. One such tech company, Buffer, strives to do just that – every time.

For those of you not familiar, Buffer is a web-app that allows users to schedule social media posts in advance. For example, if you’re reading a blog post and think you might want to share it later, you can “add it to your Buffer” and it will tweet it at a future time that you schedule. (Everyone – including nonprofits – should use it for content curation). It’s particularly handy when you know what time and date your posts get the most engagement.

Recently, my friend Rory Green pointed out how excellent their email receipts are (Buffer has a free version, but you can pay to upgrade for more features).


Even if you also send out a thank you letter by mail following an online donation, the email receipt that is sent by your payment processor, database or online giving app represents an excellent opportunity to delight your donor that most nonprofits simply overlook.

Your online donation receipts should be as good as Buffer’s. Let’s breakdown the anatomy of the receipt to identify what makes it so good:

Hey Rory,

We wanted to let you know that you are the reason we can get up every morning and work on Buffer, which we love. Without you, we wouldn’t be here and so it is thanks to you that all of this exists.

The receipt starts off with a perfect, customer-centric thank you.

Here is a picture from our last work-retreat in New York, where we all gathered from around the world:

We simply wanted to say a heartfelt thanks for being onboard. We’ll never forget that you’re supporting us in this way, and we will also do our best to provide great value for you day in and day out.

The team picture humanizes the brand, and adds trust. If this was a first-time purchase/donation, confidence would be built that this is a real organization. Bonus: another “thank you!”

Ok, we’ll get back to building great things for you now! If you have any questions or suggestions at all, just hit reply to this email and say hello, we love hearing from you!

– Joel and the Buffer Team

P.S. We’re always around and love hearing from you. Please get in touch if you want to ask something or even just to say hello 🙂

A request for feedback and a personal signature from one real human (not from the brand or the logo). Then, another feedback request!

From the team at Buffer
Have a question or want to say hello? Tweet us, or hit reply!
Don’t want any more emails from Buffer? Unsubscribe from all Buffer emails.
Want to tweak the emails you receive? Manage your email preferences.

Even the footer is well-thought out. They ask for feedback a third time and provide a link to a social media account (another opt-in opportunity).

What’s great about their opt-out option is they give you the ability to manage email preferences. Rather than completely opt-ing out, recipients can change how often they receive emails. This will cut down on opt-outs – nice!

It’s no surprise that Buffer is such a fast-growing company and popular app. They treat their customers like royalty, even for a measly $5 purchase.

So don’t sleep on your email receipts. They don’t have to look like something you get from the pharmacy!

Have you seen any awesome email receipts for businesses or nonprofits? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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  • Cassandra

    Thank you! That was a great example.
  • Steven Shattuck

    We love you, Buffer! You can find me at the mailing address found in this website's footer (they don't let me out that much).
  • Mary

    Steven (and Rory!), Thank you so much for this incredibly kind post. :) This felt like a big bear hug while reading through. We're really lucky to have such kind and thoughtful people like you two by our side. Really appreciate this post! Do you think you'd be up for emailing your mailing address to [email protected]? I'll ask Rory for hers too! Thanks! Mary, team member at Buffer
  • Melanie

    I love this idea. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
  • Sandy Rees

    Love it! You're right - it's personable and spot on. I just started using Buffer myself, and now I'm feeling extra glad about that. I hope lots of nonprofits read this and take it to heart. I'm tired of sucky thank-you letters.
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