Today, donors expect to engage with nonprofits they care about online and email marketing has become an increasingly important tool in the fundraiser’s toolkit. Email is one of the best ways to connect with the maximum number of supporters in an optimal time frame. However, your organization’s success with email marketing will depend on the health of its email list. In fact, according to a study by NextAfter, offline donors give 90% more and are 29% more likely to be retained solely by adding email communication to fundraising efforts.
Now, how can you grow your list effectively so that your nonprofit can speak to a more engaged audience? How can you ensure you are targeting the right audience – those likely to care about your cause, open your emails and donate?
Below, check out our three tips to help you engage new donors and grow a quality email list for your organization.
1 - Provide Clear Value to Your Subscribers
When it comes to influencing someone to click, sign-up, register or donate, the most important factor that influences conversion is your value proposition. To start, do some research into your current and ideal donor personas. Piece together their demographics and what interests them. This will help you better target your messaging and personalize your charity’s communications. By having a firm understanding of your donor base, you’ll be able to craft personalized email messages that convert to donations.
Using your new donor persona research, consider giving potential donors a reason to provide their email by offering something unique that would interest them, such as a subscription to a newsletter, a prize drawing once a month or sending a free resource offer in exchange for their email address.
2 - Keep it Simple
Make it simple to subscribe to your email list on your website by placing the sign-up button in a prominent place, not in the footnote at the end of the newsletter or only on the “Donate Now” page. If visitors have found your website, they have taken a step to learn about you and just need a little push to take the next step and subscribe to your email list. Jump-start your email sign-up with a clear call-to-action and a reason to sign-up.
Encourage joining your email list wherever you can. On your home page, of course, but also on landing pages across your website. A landing page is a page on your website designed to convert visitors into subscribers or leads. Many landing page best practices suggest using large header images, inline quotations and minimal copy so that visitors get to the sign-up form faster. In addition to your website, you should encourage email list sign-ups on requests for information, donation envelopes, petition sign-ups, raffle entry forms—the opportunities are endless.
3 - Reach Out via Social Media
Nonprofits should cultivate a social media presence to help build relationships with supporters, engage them in conversation and draw them into deeper engagement levels. One way to encourage email sign-ups on social media is by posting calls to action periodically on your social channels asking followers to sign-up for your email list. You don’t want to spam your social contacts with constant asks to join your list, but it is beneficial to invite them from time to time. In these posts, make sure that the offer and what they are signing up to receive is clear.
Don’t forget to ask donors to follow your social media accounts and encourage them to sign-up for more information!
Successful Fundraising for Nonprofits Means Building Your Email Subscriber List
No matter what type of nonprofit you are, when it comes to growing your online revenue, the size and quality of your email list is the most important factor that will influence your ability to raise money online. Direct email outreach is one of the best ways to drive online donations and to encourage supporters to engage in online advocacy. Not to mention, email appeals are easy to create. They cost a lot less than direct mail and they provide you with close to instantaneous feedback (and funds!).
Follow the tips above to move towards positive list growth and expanded email reach to the right subscribers. When planning an event and communicating to your subscriber base, you can use the Panorama by FrontStream platform to schedule and send in-person and virtual fundraising event reminders, thank you emails and more.
Check out our guide to donor personas to better understand your supporters and learn how to inspire them to give larger, more frequent gifts through personalized messaging.