Support Your Cause When You Send Your E-Mail; replyforall Makes It Easy

Most of us would love to be able to give more money to the causes and charities we care about. But finding extra cash to donate can be tough in these challenging economic times. Enmi Kendall, pictured left, launched to make it not just easier but free for us all to leverage our e-mail into donations that support the issues we care about. 

I recently had a chance to interview Enmi about replyforall. Her insights will inspire you!


In a nutshell, how does it work, and why should I bother?

replyforall is a free cause email signature that is automatically inserted into your outgoing email messages. You choose your cause and personalize the information to appear in the signature.  replyforall shares the advertising revenue with its nonprofit partners, allowing you to donate without cash.  You can raise awareness and drive donations to the causes of your choice, as well as monitor your impact all by doing what you do everyday – email.


Enmi, why did you start replyforall?

Prior to launching, I was with The New York Times digital strategy team. As an early adopter myself, I saw how popular social media platforms like Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn were.  But while people were spending hours generating content by posting photos and comments, they never reaped the rewards of their hard work.  Each person was publishing content—but where was the ‘thank you’ back to that person?
At the same time, I saw that the most established, easily accessible form of social media is none other than email! It’s not just the tech-savvy, early adopters like me who email. Everyone does it!  It’s universal and not intimidating. We email the friends and family we know and love everyday—and our inbox very much reflects the most important people in our lives.
So I wanted to couple the two: to take the millions of social interactions living everyday in our emails already and convert them into an asset that can be used for good in the world.
Who benefits most from replyforall?

All three: the folks who use our service; non-profits representing our causes; and sponsoring brands. Users get to raise awareness and donate for free.

For nonprofits, given the downturn in the market, they’re becoming more receptive to exploring new sources of funds beyond traditional donations straight from supporters’ own checkbooks.

But an equally important goal for them is to identify and engage with their future potential donors and supporters. For example, if non-profits typically start recruiting donors who are in their early 40’s, replyforall users average younger in age: most of our users are in their 20’s and early 30’s.  With replyforall, nonprofits can identify potential supporters a full ten to twenty years earlier than they would otherwise and start having a relationship with them, similar to what our sponsor brands do.

Sponsors can reach reach their target market in a more meaningful and deeply engaging way, piggybacking on warm receptivity to personal — not marketing — emails. The fact that the users are in the driver’s seat can be comforting to both companies and brands because it’s explicit user validation each time.  However, it is a new departure from established models, so big props to our sponsor companies and nonprofit partners for joining in the mission early on!

When you think about the impact of replyforall, what excites you the most?

How the signatures provide an accessible on-ramp that's hopefully just the beginning step of a bigger path towards engagement.  We've very purposefully made the signature easy to use and friendly in tone and graphics. 

Our signatures provide a way for everyone to be able to contribute a tiny bit everyday through their everyday behavior: I think that's key to making something sustainable, that it's just part of what you're already doing.  The real kicker is in seeing how much everyone's daily "tiny bit" adds up to a lot, especially when it's over a sustained period of time. 

And over that time, I hope that using replyforall reinforces commitment to your cause by extending your knowledge and kicking off discourse.  For example, more than half of our users customize their signatures with rotating factoids related to their selected cause.  After sending hundreds of emails with a new factoid in it each time, you come to read and retain more than you’d imagine as do the friends and family receiving your emails. And that’s one more step to helping us on our way towards deepening awareness of the issues and challenges facing our world, so we step towards greater engagement.

Big Green Purse readers are particularly focused on using their consumer clout to protect the planet. How can they best take advantage of replyforall to change the marketplace?

Using the signature is a loud shout to the marketplace that brands whose values are aligned with those of the users will be rewarded.  Essentially users are rewarding these companies with very valuable real estate in their personal emails — space they would otherwise never be able to get to!  replyforall does our part by seeking to partner specifically with companies that provide quality goods and services and aim to do so sustainably. 

Our sponsors drive a very special type of value to our users: picking up the tab to raise funds for their favorite causes. That “payback” isn’t lost on our users and has both an immediate and long-lasting  awareness among them.  Our users already support these brands by using the signature.  After learning more about the brands and their goals and missions, users can further support our sponsors in their purchase decisions. 

For more information and to sign up, visit replyforall.

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