Focus On E-mail
* Drive traffic to your site with each communication. Maximize Web site traffic by including your URL wherever you list phone numbers, mailing addresses or other contact information. This includes brochures, advertisements, staff e-mail signatures, voice messages, phone “hold” or introductory messages, and business cards. Tell prospects and supporters about the resources available to them on the Web site, and keep the online content current, informative and engaging so visitors will return.
* Promote the benefits of online registration. Make registration compelling for site visitors so they will provide the information you want. Create special benefits for registered members and link to a separate page explaining the perks, such as free e-mail newsletters, advance notification of upcoming events, members-only pricing for ticket sales or special premiums. Then, invite site visitors to register by using an action phrase such as, “Register to receive updates” or “Sign up for our educational newsletter.”
* Provide an online registration mechanism. Use a Web-based form that allows site visitors to register — preferably one that automatically captures their information in an online database. The registration form should be easy to complete, a fast read. Minimize the number of required fields that registrants have to complete — the more fields, the less incentive to register. Provide examples if the system requires data to be entered in a particular way (e.g., “Please enter dates in mm/dd/yyyy format”) to avoid frustrating registrants.
* Use “quick registration.” Instead of requiring site visitors to complete a lengthy registration form, consider requesting only basic information (such as name and e-mail address) in order for a supporter to sign up to receive updates, e-mail newsletters and other communications.
Once you have captured this basic information, use follow-up communications such as online surveys to gather more information about each constituent, e.g., interests and motivation for getting involved with your organization.