One of the questions that I am asked most often, “How do I collect email addresses for those that I do not have them for?”
Quite frankly, it’s not easy, and it takes hard work.
Below, I will provide you with my top seven tips for collecting those email addresses from your present donors for whom you lack this contact information.
1) Needless to say, but this must be said, be sure that you have an email sign-up form on your reply device. Be sure that this sign-up form is easy to read and use. For instance, consider using a one-box-per-letter form, rather than offering just a free-form space for donors to fill in.
2) Be sure to include ways to stay in touch with your organization in your acknowledgment letters, welcome series letters, etc. Add instructions for joining the mailing list in the body of your letter and/or in a P.S.
Here is a sample that I use: “Throughout the year, we will update you on the impact of your contribution and the meaningful difference that it is making throughout our community. To stay updated, please join our mailing list at www.maltahouse.org. If you are on Facebook, don’t forget to “like” our Malta House page. If you have any questions or would like to meet with me, please contact me directly at 203-857-0088 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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3) Ask, and ye shall receive! Make it a point to call and thank your donors for their gifts. And while you are at it, let them know that your newsletter is full of great information.
It only takes a few seconds to jot down an email address. If you make “the big ask” five times a day for one workweek, that’s 25 email addresses you didn’t have before you started, and 100 email addresses in just one month!
4) If you’re in a situation where you can’t take email addresses, always direct people to your website. It’s best to have a form on every page so that anyone who happens to land there can sign up quickly and painlessly for your emails. And, while you are at it, make sure you have a website “pop-up” to collect those addresses.
5) Do a mailing. Consider sending out a postcard or a personalized, handwritten note with a website to go to, and when they opt-in, provide them with some free content or a giveaway.
6) How many people do you contact personally via email every day? Include a link to your hosted web form in your email signature, and your prospects and donors can sign up to receive your emails without even closing your message.
7) Consider connecting with your donors on social media and sending them a personal welcome message or connect message and sharing your newsletter link as a way to stay up to date. You can also post social shares of your newsletter sign-up link in the hopes that you will capture email addresses of some of your donors (and prospects) who are on your list.
Most importantly, none of these tips will work if you do not ally your donors’ fears. You must assure them that you are not renting out your lists, giving them to others to use, or using their information in compromising ways. When I ask my clients, why is it so hard to get email addresses for their donors, they often say that donors fear what we are going to do with that information.
So, be proactive and address that fear upfront.
As we all begin to move into the digital age, it is becoming imperative that we have complete contact information for our donors, particularly emails. These are the top tips that I share with my clients to increase their email address capture leading to a more robust donor file.
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