In early April, I attended the Nonprofit Technology Conference (#12NTC) hosted by NTEN in San Francisco, CA. While many of the sessions stood out, one in particular really caught my attention, Getting the Most Out of Your Email Communications (#12NTCEmailcom).
It was interesting to hear the challenges with email marketing are the same for nonprofits and businesses. One of the biggest problems most nonprofits face is a shrinking or stale donor list. Believe me, I can relate! Having a current email list is an ongoing challenge for any organization.
- Add email signups to every webpage to increase sign-ups for free! I found an example of a Sage Fundraising Online Customer that is doing it right. The Jazz Foundation has an easy to find “Email Sign-Up” on their website’s header right beside the second most important items their call to action, “Donate Now”.
- Partner with organizations that have constituents and supporters with similar interests. You can collaborate on webcasts to grow your email list. Always use tracking codes so that you can determine where the sign ups originated from later.
- Add short quizzes on your website or blog. You’ll learn something new about your community and can increase your email list at the same time.
- Email & social media appends are a great way to fill in the missing gaps. An email or social “append” is a process whereby your email service or a data service provider matches the information you do have against their database of information. They then update your records by “appending” missing information like a last name, zip code or even a social media profile. By involving a service provider, you can easily grow your list of contact information to build a better database.
- Contests are also a great way to engage your audience and increase the volume of your email list.
- Petitions allow you to find people that support your cause and would likely value the relationship with your organization. Always use email verification when setting up a petition online to make your list more creditable by cutting down on fake email addresses.
- Collect business cards anytime you or anyone else in your organization is out networking. Whether you are attending a community event, a conference or just out and about. As a best practice, you never want to add an email address to your database without the owner’s permission to do so.
By inviting supporters to opt-in to your communications, you will gain their trust and remain in compliance of government SPAM laws. Here’s a good article on SPAM rules by Joan Fritz on About.com, CAN-SPAM Act Rules for Nonprofits.
What were your favorite takeaways from this session? Let me know by commenting below.
Customer Marketing Coordinator