5 Tricks to Build Your Email List
You’d be surprised how many charities don’t use e-communication for their organizations. It’s understandable – getting started can feel daunting, and like just another piece of work to add to the ever growing pile.
But, done right, email marketing can be a valuable tool for your charity. You can use an email newsletter to report to donors, send updates on campaigns, recruit volunteers, share success stories, recruit program participants, sell event tickets, and so much more.
Email marketing is low cost. Email templates can be updated without too much technical know-how. You can drive traffic to your website or to participate in some kind of call to action. And even better, if you’re using an email marketing program like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can pre-program email blasts to deploy at a specific date and time.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: This is all great, but we don’t have a list to mail to. Fear not! Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Add a “Tell a friend” button to your e-newsletter
If you already have an email list, one simple trick to add to it is to ask your current list to refer their friends. You can add a “Send to a Friend” button to your e-newsletters pretty easily using email marketing software.
2. Add a pop-up to your website
You should have a sign-up form on every page of your website, in a very prominent place (ideally a spot that doesn’t get lost as you scroll down the page). But you can also add a pop-up to your site promoting your e-newsletter. This forces your website visitor to actively consider signing up, or dismissing the request.
3. Require email addresses to access (free) content on your website
Do you publish content on a regular basis? Maybe research papers or ebooks? Rather than just making them available for download from your site, set up a form that requires users to provide some basic contact info in order for them to access the content.
4. Add a field to your donation form to collect email addresses
There are arguments for keeping your donation forms as simple as possible, but we’d argue that asking a donor for their email address these days is just as valuable as a mailing address. Just make sure your form isn’t so cluttered that an older donor would have trouble filling it out.
5. Add an email sign up message to your employees’ signatures
We send a gazillion emails through the course of the day. Why not use that opportunity to plug your e-newsletter? Your stakeholders might appreciate the subtle reminder! You can switch up the wording in your signature every now and then, especially if you’re running campaigns.