In an ideal world, you would be able to quickly download or buy a list of potential donors who would be ecstatic to support your nonprofit’s mission. After all, you know your target market of passionate supporters has to be out there… somewhere!
High-quality leads aren’t up for sale, but there are certain strategies you can implement to ensure that the right people will make it onto your list — and stay with your organization long-term.
Verify New Email Addresses ASAP
First things first: don’t let a spam trap email sneak its way into your mailing list! Spam traps are "fake” emails created by security and anti-spam organizations with the intention of cracking down on the unsolicited emails of untrustworthy organizations. Only clean, valid email addresses are wanted here!
So make sure you’re using a double opt-in with automated verification emails just in case your supporters mistyped their email addresses in the contact field. (Psst! Donor Engine’s email marketing software keeps your mailing list spam trap-free with a double opt-in feature as well as automated response emails).
You can also use email verification services like Xverify
, and Email Checker
to maintain a high deliverability percentage and ensure your carefully crafted campaign emails don’t just bounce away into oblivion.
Ensure Your Emails Look Good On Every Device
You may have created your email campaign on a desktop computer, but the reality is that 54% of nonprofit emails are read on mobile
— that’s not to mention the various operating systems and sizes of the mobile devices out there. You want to ensure your campaign emails look attractive and professional no matter what device your supporter views them on!
You might consider using Email On Acid
for email rendering tests (both offer a free trial). For a preview tool you can use for free, try GetResponse’s Inbox Inspector
Incentivize Opt-Ins By Offering Targeted Content
For some eager supporters, the promise of your email newsletter will be enticing enough to get them on board and share their contact information with you. For others, it may take a little more incentive. Hopefully you view this as a worthy challenge — the supporters who want to see more value upfront might just end up being your most passionate promoters in the end!
Creative Ways To Provide Content Of Value In Exchange For Email Addresses:
- Whitepapers and research studies
- Regularly scheduled blog posts and updates
- Informative videos (links to YouTube, Vimeo)
- Quick, fun, and easy surveys/questionnaires for new supporters
- Social media contests & giveaways (you can drive social media traffic to your opt-in page)
- Exclusive membership options, or restricted "members-only” resource areas of your site
Remove Inactive Supporters From Your Mailing List
Sometimes, it can feel painful to dedicate your organization’s resources to building your list… only to eventually let some of them go. Still, inactive contacts are literally doing nothing for your mailing list except dragging down your analytics. They should be periodically cleared out in order to maintain a high quality list of prospects.
To be considered active, a contact should have completed any of the following actions:
- Signed petitions
- Given a monetary gift
- Submitted a volunteer application form
- Clicked on hyperlinks
- At the very least, the user should be opening your emails!
There is no concrete rule as to what period of time should lapse before a contact is considered "inactive.” It will be up to your organization to decide which of your contacts are duds in your list that no longer help your nonprofit achieve its mission. This will probably range between 6-12 months of inactivity. You might even consider segmenting these users for an incentivized re-engagement campaign before purging them from your list completely.
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that the quality of your mailing list is always more important than the sheer quantity of records in your database! By focusing on improving the quality of your list, your nonprofit will boost trust among supporters, build a positive reputation, and increase your email campaigns’ conversion rates.