08-01-2011 3:20 PM, EDT
The organization I work for is looking to collect email addresses from donors in our database for whom we do not have emails. We either only had a snail mail address for the donor or the email we had on file is no longer working. We would like to do a solicitation asking donors to send us their emails in order to receive our e-newsletter through EMMA. Does anyone know of best practices for this kind of solicitation? We want to do it as cost effectively as possible. Thanks!
08-04-2011 1:58 PM, EDT
Welcome to the Network for Good community and thanks for posting your question. This is one that I think a lot of nonprofits are thinking of as they shift more of their communication and interaction with donors online.
Many organizations are just starting to collect email addresses regularly, so you're not alone if your donor email list is small. Go ahead and ask donors for email addresses at every point of contact, especially on donation and renewal forms. Use your new email newsletter as an incentive for donors to give you their email address (be sure to let them know what information to expect to they'll want to sign up!). Keep in mind that many donors appreciate the fact that email communications and renewals will save your organization time, money, and paper. Don't hesitate to tell use this as an incentive to help them help you by signing up for email updates.
Here's some additional thoughts on growing your list from our friends at Emma: http://myemma.com/ask-emma/im-just-getting-started-building-my-email-list.-help/ Plus, check out 14 Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List from one of our favorite experts, Kivi Leroux Miller: http://www.thenetworkforgood.org/t5/Email-Best-Practices/14-Easy-Ways-to-Grow-Your-Email-List/td-p/4...
I hope this helps -- and please let us know how it goes. In the meantime, I encourage our other nonprofit friends to share how they're enticing supporters to make the leap to online communications.
Caryn D. Stein
Online Community Strategist
Network for Good