Communicating with your supporters is critical to your fundraising success. After all, when you build relationships with your supporters, you’re laying the foundation to turn them into long-term advocates and donors. That’s where email newsletters come into play.
When people subscribe to your email list, you can send fundraising appeals, updates about programs, stories that show how you’re fulfilling your mission, and more straight to their inboxes. Above all else, you can show your gratitude and let them know that you couldn’t do what you do without them.
Once you choose your email marketing provider and create your welcome email series, it’s time to start thinking about how to get more supporters to sign up for your email list. In this blog post, we’ll share a few ways you can do that.
- Evaluate your current strategy for collecting email subscribers
- Other ways you can attract more email subscribers
- Using Mailchimp to get new subscribers
Evaluate your current strategy for collecting email subscribers
Before you start thinking up new ways to get people to sign up for your email list, you should evaluate the ways in which you’re already doing this. Are you posting links on social media to get people to sign up? Do you have forms on your website where you can capture email addresses? Have you tested those forms to make sure they work?
In their email cultivation study, the NextAfter team wasn’t always able to find an email subscription sign-up form or donate button on many nonprofit websites. In fact, they couldn’t give to 20% of the organizations or sign up for email from 29% of the organizations in the study. With these kinds of things, it’s better to test than to assume that everything is working correctly.
Once you understand what you’re currently doing to attract email subscribers, it’s time to think about what else you can do to get more people on your email list.
Other ways you can attract more email subscribers
Make sure your email sign-up forms and buttons are highly visible
In this blog post from Mailchimp on growing your email marketing audience, they include several ways you can make sure people who visit your website or follow you on social media can easily see how to subscribe to your emails.
First, you should have visible call-to-action buttons or sign-up forms on your website. You should also promote the sign-up form or page on social media and your other communication channels regularly.
Another great way to capture email addresses from website visitors is to create a pop-up form that prompts them to enter their email address to stay in the loop on what your nonprofit is doing. According to Mailchimp, their users saw their list growth rate increase by an average of 50.8% after adding a pop-up form to their site.
Collect email addresses at donation points
If you want to collect email addresses from one group of people, it’s your donors. When designing your donation points (forms, pop-ups, pages, etc.), make sure you ask for the donor’s email address. With your email marketing software, you’ll be able to automatically send them a donation receipt, which will be good for them to have for their records. You’ll also have one more email address for your list!
Have attendees share their email addresses at in-person events
Once you’re able to safely host in-person events again, you should have a way to capture email addresses from your attendees. This can be done ahead of time if your event is ticketed–where you can attach the ticket to an email address–or at the actual event. We recommend having an iPad or some other way to digitally take down the email addresses so you can easily upload them to your email marketing software and sync that with your donor management system.
Create compelling content for your emails
Want to keep people engaged and eager to open your emails? Think about how you can create compelling content and share that in your emails. Best case scenario is that you’ll successfully get someone to take a specific action that your email is driving them toward; they might even forward the email along to a friend or future supporter!
As explained in this Mailchimp blog post on building your email list, one great way to find new subscribers is to run ads that ask them to sign up for your email list or to take another action that will let you capture their information.
Using Mailchimp to get new subscribers
There are a few ways to use your email marketing provider to get new subscribers. For example, in Mailchimp you can take advantage of their integrations and pull in data from other applications and software you use to make sure you’re contacting everyone who has interacted in some capacity with your organization.
Mailchimp also has an app called Mailchimp Subscribe that makes it easy for you to collect email addresses from your phone or iPad. One of the reasons we love this is because you don’t need to rely on an internet connection to use it. And you don’t have to worry about manually syncing your data because it does so automatically.
With Mailchimp, we recommend taking advantage of the fact that you have unlimited sign-up forms. This will let you create different types of campaigns and messaging to appeal to different groups of people you want to sign up for your email list.
One last note: You should always get someone’s consent to send them emails before you add them to your list. That means you should never automatically assume they’ve opted in to receiving emails, and you should never buy a list of emails just so you can grow your list.
Now that you have these tactics, it’s time to put them into practice! We hope you’ll see an increase in your email subscribers and turn them into advocates and donors.
Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.