HOW TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST FOR YOUR NONPROFIT

Email marketing is a great way for nonprofits to increase their audience engagement and spread their mission. Direct email outreach can help you garner more regular online donations and get more people to take action for your cause. The best part is, they’re low cost and easy to create.

The success of your organization’s email outreach will depend on the growth of your email list. Increasing your subscribers takes consistent work, however, once you know how to attract them, the upkeep to do so should be relatively simple to maintain. These eight tactics can help nonprofits easily build and maintain a healthy email list.

START AT THE SOURCE: YOUR NONPROFIT’S WEBSITES

Anyone visiting your organization’s website is looking for information about what you do and who you help, so they probably want to stay in touch. Add an email sign-up sheet or contact form on your website that will collect their name and email. You can have a pop-up or a menu option at the top of Your homepage. Let your visitors know what they’ll be getting by signing up, such as news, fundraising progress reports, or event invites. Be sure to make them noticeable, easy to find, and simple enough that your visitor has no reason to decline sign up. If you choose to do a pop-up, don’t overdo it; have it on one page only and give people an easy way to close out of it if they don’t want to sign up

BLOGGING

Blogging improves your website’s SEO and helps your audience to find you in searches, but it’s also a great way to deliver new information, share success stories, and to keep your supporters checking back for updates. Once you accumulate regular readers, invite them to subscribe to your blog. Then, you can email them when new content is posted.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Your social media platforms can build relationships with your audience by starting conversations. Post consistently, answer comments and questions and comment on other associated nonprofit pages to help drive traffic back to your page. When your engagement is consistent, post a call-to-action every so often inviting your followers to sign up for your emails. Be sure to create a balance with your social media following. You don’t want to come off like a pushy salesman by only posting or engaging when you need something from them. That will seem insincere.

ONLINE ACTIVISM

There are dozens of petition sites available that can help your nonprofit get introduced to people actively looking to take part in a good cause. When visitors sign your petition, they have to give their name and email. Invite them to opt-in to future communications with you. Writing campaigns and petitions are a great way to reach people looking for you, and they allow you to do something beneficial for your mission’s progress at the same time. Most platforms make it easy to share your petition, so your followers can easily spread the word to their friends and family on your behalf.

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS AND RESOURCES

If your organization creates educational resources, like pamphlets or a quarterly magazine about your cause and community, then you can use it as another avenue to grow your email list. For example, you can offer free downloads of your magazine on your website with email capture. Most people think nothing of needing to sign up or log in to a website in order to consume its contents. Giving people something positive in return makes it even easier.

EVENTS

If you’re going to host a fundraiser, volunteer meet-and-greet, food drive, or any other type of event, you’re going to need to share the details with your participants. This is a great opportunity to ask for an email address so you can deliver the event info and confirm your headcount. You can offer incentives or prizes if people share your invite and get others to sign up with their email. The day of the event will also have opportunities to get email addresses, like with a guest book, volunteer sign-up sheets, or on donation cards.

CROSS PROMOTION

If your nonprofit organizes a holiday canned food drive, you might look for other local nonprofit groups, like the YMCA, religious congregations, or small businesses in the area that would be interested in participating with you as well. You’ll be able to share your information with their customers or supporters and gain exposure through their promotional materials and social media posts. Once you’ve got new traffic going to your social platforms and website, you can direct them to a sign-up sheet or download with event info where you’ll capture their email address.

SUPPORTER/DONOR OUTREACH

Every donor, supporter, and volunteer has friends and family that they can spread the word to. When they share your organization’s social media posts, blogs, or events to their personal network, your nonprofit gets exposure to new audiences. You can have your supporters repost your content on their social media pages and tag them with your nonprofit’s page, associated hashtags, and a link to take new visitors to your site to sign up.

These practices will allow you to provide ample opportunities for your visitors to join your organization’s email list. Email should be your nonprofit’s principal form of communication for delivering information, cultivating a following, and getting people actively involved in your cause. Building a quality email list takes time, but it will be one of the most valuable assets your nonprofit uses to spread the word, increase your support and donations, and find volunteers.

Download the free email content calendar and cheat sheet for ideas on a year-long email strategy.

Insquired creates meaningful branding solutions for nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Our creative process and strategic thinking results in high-impact design with purpose, tailored with each client’s target audience in mind. If you’re ready to upgrade your branding and visual identity, please contact us for more information. We’ll customize a solution that embodies your core values and supports your mission. 

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