Focus On E-mail
The first step in any effective e-mail marketing strategy is to build an e-mail file — the fuel for your e-mail marketing efforts. Many nonprofit groups discover that, despite their large and detailed constituent databases, they have few supporter e-mail addresses on record. Although the prospect of building a usable e-mail file can seem daunting, you easily can grow your e-mail file using several proven tactics.
Gather e-mail addresses offline
Even if you’re just starting out with an online presence, you easily can begin developing your e-mail file by integrating e-mail address collection into your existing marketing or fundraising initiatives. Every time you communicate with supporters or prospects, take advantage of the opportunity to collect their e-mail addresses.
* Gather addresses through every interaction. Planned interactions such as renewal appeals, membership drives and event invitations are perfect times to ask for e-mail addresses. Simply add a field for e-mail collection to all response forms. At events where you will interact with a large number of constituents,
consider setting out a newsletter sign-up sheet, or conduct a giveaway for attendees who drop in cards with their names and e-mail addresses.
* Promote the benefits of e-mail communication. When asking for e-mail addresses offline, emphasize to constituents the benefits of providing this information. Remind them that communicating online saves your organization money and administrative manpower, allowing more funds and human resources to go directly to fulfilling the organization’s mission.
Also, underscore the advantages of timely communication — with e-mail, the organization can respond in real time to compelling events and update constituents quickly about important news, developments, events and programs.
Gather e-mail addresses online
Your Web site is the best source for reaching new prospects and existing constituents, and collecting their e-mail addresses. Web site visitors are interested in your organization (or they would not be coming to your site) and most likely will be more willing to provide their e-mail addresses.