7 Creative Ways Nonprofits Can Grow Their Email List

Jul 23, 2020

Let’s face it, growing your email subscriber list is no easy task. But to maximize your email marketing efforts, you’ve got to catch people’s attention in their inbox. It’s in those moments that you can send targeted, personalized, and specialized content to urge your subscribers to go on a journey that hopefully ends with becoming lifelong supporters of your mission.

So, how do you get more email subscribers?  

Like anything you want to thrive and grow, it’s important to have a great strategy. Here are seven ways that can help you collect email addresses and build a valuable email subscriber list.

Determine the Why

First, you have probably developed a huge corpus of free content online, which can draw people into subscribers. But you need to decide what your subscribers are going to receive in exchange for their email. What will they receive from you? Here is a quick list to get you started.

  • Invitations to virtual events, live events, or upcoming exhibitions
  • Announcements about new fundraising events or seasonal campaigns
  • Discounted tickets, challenges, or contests
  • News about volunteer opportunities or workshops
  • A regularly scheduled e-newsletter
  • Calendar of community events

When Less is More

The list of social media platforms is growing every day, and each major platform seems to be consistently adding new features. With a greater need for social presence, it can be hard not to find yourself in a position where you have spread yourself too thin. But not all social media platforms are going to be relevant to your organization and your audience.

So, choose your channels carefully. Where can you build and engage with a genuine community? Trying to conquer too many platforms, you run the risk of watering down your efforts and missing the right audience in the right channels.

The reality is – it is virtually impossible to do them all really well.

A social media campaign with consistent, highly engaging content that is reaching and interacting with the right audience will lead to subscribers.

Optimize your Social Media Profile

Most social media platforms allow you to include a link in your bio. Naturally, most organizations will use their homepage. Make sense, right? Well, the purpose of your homepage is to expose your brand to new people. But if someone is already following you on social media, they probably aren’t new to your organization.

Use this opportunity and link to a page that gives you more value – a page that requires visitors to enter their email to receive content!

Use Guest Bloggers

It’s no secret that content that is personalized and directly relevant to your audience is effective. As a nonprofit, you are uniquely positioned to ask supporters about their experiences with your organization; how has your program affected them, what does it feel like to support or volunteer for your organization? You may be surprised at how many people are really interested in writing blogs or being interviewed for a blog post.

When you invite a guest blogger to share their experience, you can bet they will share the link with their social networks. Additionally, this will encourage your social media followers to participate in conversations that spark engagement and encourage them to sign up for your email list!

Don’t Miss the Hidden Real-Estate

Don’t miss out on these prime pieces of real estate to capture email addresses on your website.

  • Homepage – Seems like a pretty obvious place, but you’d be surprised how many organizations haven’t got a clearly visible signup form on their homepage.
  • The About Page – Did you know the About Page is typically one of the most frequently visited pages on any website? Don’t let that one slide by.
  • A blog’s sidebar is usually one of the highest converting places to add an opt-in form. It should be in contrasting colors so that it stands out from the rest of the page. If it blends it, it will be ignored.
  • The Footer – Once a visitor hits the very bottom of your page, you can be sure that they are interested in your content. Therefore, don’t miss this opportunity to present them with a way to your email list.

Keep it Simple

From the number of fields to the color scheme, your form should be simple. Tell subscribers what they will receive and have a clear call-to-action. Basically, anyone that looks at your form should be able to tell what’s it for, what they need to provide, enter their information, and carry on with their lives within seconds.

If your form is too long or too complex, you risk turning people off and driving them away.

Get Planning for Next Steps

Now that you have a plan to collect more emails, it is also important to have a plan in place to regularly clean your email lists. Why? The cost of not using a healthy email list can damage your sender reputation from email bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. Over time, this damage adds up and can negatively impact your ability to reach your entire email subscriber base. So, start planning now –

  1. How are you going to collect this information?
  2. How will it be used?
  3. Where will the data be stored?
  4. How do you handle unsubscribes?

In case you missed it, check out these other resources.

Webinar Recording: Coffee Talk – 5 Email Tactics Your Nonprofit Hasn’t Tried

Blog: Top 5 Considerations for Choosing a Data Cleansing Service

Blog: Are You Unknowingly Ghosting Your Donors?

E-Book: The Ultimate Guide to Data Cleansing for Nonprofits

Omatic Software
Omatic Software is dedicated to integrating disparate systems and democratizing data access for today’s nonprofits. Founded in 2002, Omatic has worked with thousands of nonprofits globally to remove their data barriers by integrating systems and enabling nonprofit teams to leverage their donor data rather than be burdened by it. The Omatic team has one goal – unleashing the power of data to show a complete view of your donor, enabling data-driven decision making and opportunity creation for your organization.