pexels-photo-261706 (1)Email remains one of the best ways for nonprofits to engage with their supporters. According to the results of the 2017 M & R Benchmarks study, email campaigns are a significant driver of online donations, accounting for nearly 26% of all online contributions made to nonprofits. In addition to stimulating greater giving, email also supports nonprofits in their efforts to recruit more volunteers and advocates as well.

With our busy lifestyles, a growing number of us are reluctant to give out our email addresses to third parties, however, so it’s become difficult for most NFPs to add new subscribers to their email lists. The following strategies can help your nonprofit beat this trend and add new subscribers to your list.

Focus on What’s In it for Your Subscribers

In the past, nonprofits could count on being able to sign up new followers easily by including a generic “join now,” box on their site and placing it prominently above the fold. This is no longer a successful strategy since so many folks are afraid of being spammed if they “sign up” for anything. To counter this legitimate concern, NFPs must focus on what they have to offer subscribers that join, rather than the other way around.

Offer Incentives

Rather than asking visitors to your site to simply join, offer them something for free, that will be useful to them. Let your readers know that you will need them to sign up with their email so that you can send them their gift.  These incentives are often known as “lead magnets,” in the marketing industry.

Top ideas for incentives you can offer your supporters include helpful checklists, colourful ecards supporters can send to others, a case study that’s relevant to your cause, videos of Q & As with key stakeholders of your organisation or even a collection of helpful links to online resources that your supporters will find useful.

Make it Automatic

Whenever someone donates to your nonprofit, let them know they are automatically subscribing to receive your newsletter. Let them know upfront that you may also send them important updates from time to time to help them stay informed about the progress you are making. Just make sure you provide them with the option to opt-out of the subscription if they so choose.

Offer a Reward

Ask your existing subscribers to support your cause by encouraging their friends and family to subscribe to your list. Tie this ask in with a contest or other promotion where you offer a “reward,” or small, token gift, to supporters that get their contacts to subscribe.

For example, you might offer a coupon for a free premium coffee at a local shop to your existing supporters that can get friends friends to join. Another option would be to offer subscribers a free tshirt or other swag if they get the most friends to subscribe during the event.

Leverage Your Social Media Channels

Don’t forget about your social media channels when asking followers to subscribe to your email list! Put the word out on your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and similar accounts by posting a captivating photo or post and asking viewers to subscribe to your list to learn more.