5 Proven Tips for Building Your Nonprofit’s E-mail List

Social media is talked about so much that it seems as if every other form of communication is dead. However, that is not the case. In fact, e-mail is still the No. 1 way to connect with your supporters.

Earning the right to deliver content directly to the inbox of your biggest fans is critical to your long-term success. E-mail is a great tool for engaging constituents, fundraising from donors and so much more. Here are five proven tips for getting visitors to subscribe to your e-mail list.

Location, location, location
If visitors have to search around the tabs on your website, they may never find where to sign up. The fewer clicks you put between you and a potential subscriber the better. Make sure it can be easily found and clearly marked with a call to action. If you want to build your list, give it priority on your page.

Require minimal information
When a sign-up form makes an address and phone number required fields, people may be hesitant to sign up. These extra requirements may deter potential subscribers. Keep it simple, and only ask for the basics.

Include links to your social-media accounts
Build a specific area on your website to connect with your users, and be sure to include your e-mail subscription call to action there. If you have a link to your Facebook, Twitter, blog, Flickr and YouTube accounts but not your e-mail sign-up, your visitors may assume you don’t have a list to join.

Add it to your Facebook apps

Facebook has an app section at the top, right under the cover photo. Include your events, photos, maps, Twitter link, polls and of course, your e-mail list. You might even want your e-mail sign-up app to be the first one people see.

RSS as a replacement
For those who do not have the ability to let people subscribe to your e-mail list, there is another (less effective) alternative. Promote subscription via RSS so visitors can keep up with your blog activity.

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  • JDD

    Actually, mobile is the best way to engage donors. Email has only a 12-16% open rate, while text has a 98% read rate, with 85% of texts being read within the first 15 minutes. Also, people keep their mobile numbers for an average of 7 years now. The stickiness rate of email addresses is much, much lower. Plus people have an average of 4 email addressees, so you never know which ones they actually read from. Even sending a text message as a follow-up to an email or direct mail piece increases the open rate of those items 7- to 10-fold. Text is king. That’s not to say that all email efforts should stop. They should not stop, but their success is far outpaced by text communications and mobile fundraising, and text will actually boost your success with email and the like. Donors are on mobile, and so are volunteers and other advocates and supporters — NPOs need to follow or be left behind.