A valuable supporter might be a person who spreads the word about a program, but it also might be someone who makes one sizable gift per year, or someone who signs a petition on important issues. Understanding each supporter’s individual value will strengthen your relationships with them and improve results.
Churn and the reasons for it
Take a look at the portion of the file that cannot be e-mailed successfully. Are people being lost from bounceback, unsubscribe or abuse? Analyze the attrition. If most of the e-mail list attrition is due to bouncing back, there are steps that can be taken. The e-mail addresses can be run through an e-mail change-of-address program (ECOA). Stronger e-mail syntax checking can be included when e-mail addresses are acquired on the Web site. Or if the bounce-back rate is particularly high, an alternate e-mail address can be requested at the time of acquisition.
If unsubscribe and/or abuse are the largest sources of list attrition, review current e-mail practices and evaluate the frequency and content of the communications. Are you e-mailing too often? Is the content stale? Surveying unsubscribers just before they opt out can provide valuable insight.
When we look beyond one campaign or one clickthrough and focus on longer-term activity, we can begin to design e-mail strategies tailored to the individual e-mail address and, in turn, cultivate a better e-mail subscriber — and eventually a better e-mail donor. The person behind that e-mail will appreciate that fact that you know who they are. FS