nonprofit volunteer with an email list icon

Nonprofit List Building: Do’s & Dont’s

Growing your email list is essential for spreading the word about your mission and connecting with your supporters. We’re here to help you expand your email list while avoiding common pitfalls. Let’s explore the list-building best practices that will help your nonprofit flourish in the email marketing world.

In need of more help? Contact Pure Firefly for training, strategy, and more.

Do Provide an Incentive

Whether you’re building a pop-up or collecting emails in person, providing incentives can significantly boost your opt-in rates. Offering a valuable lead magnet, like a free report or an informative video, encourages visitors to share their email addresses willingly. This tactic not only grows your subscriber list but also creates a positive impression of your brand. As a nonprofit, consider what drives website visitors to be interested in your work, and fuel that interest with a free resource or offer. 

Don’t forget to follow up on the incentive with a well-crafted welcome email!

Don’t Spawn Too Many Popups

While popups are one of the most effective ways to get website visitors’ attention, excessive popups can lead to frustration and a negative user experience. At Pure Firefly email marketing, we recommend using only one strategically timed popup that matches your overall website design. Consider using settings to prevent users from seeing the popup after they’ve already subscribed, or after visiting the site more than once.

Do Build Your Nonprofit List with Social Media

Social media platforms are powerful tools for nonprofit list building. Marketing experts agree that multichannel is the future, beginning with email and social media. Promote your email signup through engaging posts, stories, or even contests. Encourage your social media followers to join your email list and highlight all that your newsletter has to offer. This integrated approach not only maximizes your reach but also ensures that your most enthusiastic followers are connected with updates across platforms, fostering a supportive community.

Don’t Gather Emails for No Reason

Collecting email addresses without a clear purpose can lead to disengaged subscribers and even legal issues. Plus, many email marketing platforms will charge based on the number of contacts you store, so there is little benefit to keeping contacts on file without emailing them.

Make it clear to every subscriber what they’re signing up for. Consider working with an email marketing expert like Pure Firefly to develop a welcome email that describes what kind of content subscribers can expect, and how often they will receive it. By setting clear expectations, you attract subscribers who genuinely want to hear from you. This will lead to higher engagement rates, lower unsubscribe rates, and a cleaner email list overall. 

Do Import Contacts via API

Using API to import contacts is one of the best ways to keep your email marketing strategy cost-effective. API integrations can connect Mailchimp to your CRM, online store, or other online platforms. Integrations allow you to update your contact list automatically and ensure consistency across all your marketing streams.

Here are some tips to make your next Mailchimp integration a breeze:

  • Work with an Expert: If you’re not tech-savvy, work with a professional to help you set up your integration. Custom API development can be a complicated process, so don’t be afraid to reach out to an email expert like the ones at Pure Firefly.
  • Get Permission: When you use integrations to import new contacts, make sure they’ve all opted in to email marketing. Add an opt-out option or disclaimer to any service you’ll integrate with Mailchimp.
  • Check Your Fields: Make sure the information you’re collecting from your subscribers matches the fields in Mailchimp. For example, if you collect mailing addresses on your website, add an address field in Mailchimp.
  • Stay Updated: If you ever notice anything strange, like emails not going through or wrong information, reach out to someone who can help you troubleshoot. Keeping things updated and working smoothly is key.

Don’t Buy a List, Build a List

Nonprofits looking to grow their Mailchimp audience should never be tempted by offers to buy an email list.  Purchased lists often contain disengaged or uninterested recipients, which can harm your sender reputation and result in low open and click rates. It’s also against the terms of service for most email marketing platforms like Mailchimp. Instead, invest in building a genuine, quality subscriber base that willingly opts in to receive your emails. If you’re having trouble with cultivating organic growth, try booking a strategy call with an email specialist to improve your subscription flow.

Build Your Nonprofit Email List with Pure Firefly

Pure Firefly is a full-service email marketing agency with years of experience in IT & design. Our dedicated specialists can help you develop your first lead magnet, welcome automation, or next year’s email program. Try a one-on-one strategy call to get familiar with Mailchimp, Klaviyo, or email marketing in general. Plus, we are one of the only Mailchimp Pro Partners who offer API development. Don’t wait – Contact us to start building your list like a pro!

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