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Quick tips on how to grow & maintain your e-mail contact list

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

Reaching out to potential donors has never been easier – they’re just a click away. But staying in touch with your donors,  fundraisers, canvassers, volunteers and lay committees requires effort to keep your email lists current.  Building your list of contacts can only be achieved by growing your email database.  A few simple but essential strategies will help you successfully reach out to a new audience and keep in touch with your current supporters.

  • Most importantly, create multiple access points (online and offline) to collect email addresses.  Using a variety of techniques will increase your effectiveness!

  • Whenever possible, collect and confirm emails at all of your in-person events. This allows you to add new constituents and correct any outdated addresses you may have on file.

  • Offer something of value to entice people to provide you with their email address:  A contest entry or a discounted fee for a program or event, an incentive from a corporate partner or exclusive access to subscriber-only content.

  • Include a request for email in every mailing. Explain the cost savings that email offers by cutting down on postage and other costs associated with mailings.  Include this each time you reach out by mail, be it through an appeal mailing, thank you letter, donation receipt or other communication.

  • Make sure that your website or landing page provides visitors with the option to “Stay in Touch” by providing you with their email address.  A timed pop-up request that appears before the visitor leaves your page can also be an effective email gathering tool.

  • Use social media posts to drive people back to your website where they will be prompted to register their email address.

  • Create great content!  An expert blog, engaging newsletter, or educational webinar can entice people to sign up for valuable insights and information.

Once you begin employing some or all of these tactics, be sure to analyze your results to learn which methods are most effective. A “conversion rate” represents the number of successful email registrants per strategy.  If an individual responds to your request and provides their email address, you have made a successful conversion.  Some online tools have built-in analytics that will provide you with this information.  Find out what works and keep using the strategies with the best conversion rates.  With time, the right efforts will bring success and enhance your fundraising efforts!

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