Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List

** We had some issues with the recording of the webinar “Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List”.  For some reason it had no sound.  So we are going to re-record it and post the recording here for everyone by the end of the month.  Thanks for your patience and please check back.

Grow your email listWe all know we should be doing more email marketing (at least I hope you do).  However, it makes it hard to spend much time on email marketing if you only have 200 names on your email list.  Is it really worth all the effort if you are only sending it out to 200 folks?

My first answer would be yes, it is still worthwhile.  Those 200 people may be your best supporters and actually take action on the items you send out.  My second answer would be… lets grow your email list!

There are hundreds of ways to ethically grow your contact list, and we will only be covering those ethical methods.  No spam, no buying lists, nothing that will make you feel all icky inside.  In this article we will cover 3 easy ways to grow your email list, but will be covering more in our webinar next week (see the sign up link above).

1) Use a sign up form on all pages of your website

This is probably step number one and has the potential to  make the greatest impact on gr0wing your list.  While many nonprofits have some sort of sign up form on their site, it is often buried on some internal page.  You don’t want your supporters to have to hunt for the sign up form, so put it on all pages of your site.

You can add it to the sidebar of the site, like I have done here (look to the right on all of the pages of my site –> ).  I have also seen some sites that put the opt-in box in the header section of the site above the top navigation.  Either way you want the form on all pages because you don’t know which page or article is going to be the one that inspires them to sign up.

2) Use your email signature

email-signatureThis is one of the easiest methods that you can start using today in about 5 min.  Think about how many emails you send from your Outlook or Gmail account on a daily basis… 100’s?   So what is in your email signature right now?  Probably just your name, title, organization and maybe phone number right?

Why not add a simple link in your signature to invite folks to sign up for your email list. Simply go into the settings of your email program, edit your signature and add in the link to your sign up page.  If you don’t currently use a signature in your outgoing email then start doing it today, with a link to the email sign up of course.

I have done this in my signature as you can see and I will say that I get at least a few signups to my list from this link every week.  5 minutes of work for long term gains.. I like that trade off.

3) Run a contest

 This one requires a little bit more planning and time, but it is so much fun.  It can also generate quite a bit of buzz depending on the prizes and how much you can convince your supporters to spread the word.  I have recently started doing this on a more regular basis and have seen some very encouraging  results.rafflecopter-contest

There are tons of different products and services out there that can help you run an online contest, but don’t get overwhelmed with the choices.  You could very easily just say that the winner will be selected at random from all of your current email subscribers.  This method is very simple and you just use your current opt-in process and do the drawing from your entire list.

The other option is to use a product or service, which gives you the ability to add in more interactivity, features and the potential for your contest to go viral.  The service I am using right now and very happy with is called RaffleCopter.  If we are currently running a contest you can see it in action right here – Nonprofit R+D Contest Page.  What I like about RaffleCopter (besides it being free) is that you can allow folks to enter the contest in multiple ways – sign up for email newsletter, tweet about the contest, like you page on facebook, etc.  Its a great way to encourage folks to spread the word about your organization and increase your email list at the same time.. now that is what I call “easy”.

Now you just have to go out there and take action on at least one of these tips.

Do you have any other tips to grow your email list?  What other ideas or tips would you like us to write about or discuss at the upcoming webinar?  Let us know in the comments below.

** We had some issues with the recording of the webinar “Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List”.  For some reason it had no sound.  So we are going to re-record it and post the recording here for everyone by the end of the month.  Thanks for your patience and please check back.

About Rich Dietz

Rich Dietz has spent his entire career working both in and with a wide variety of nonprofit, political and government organizations as well as technology companies focused on the nonprofit sector including Sage Nonprofit, Convio and KIMBIA. It is this unique background and experience – working directly in nonprofit organizations AND working on the technology side – that allows him to better understand and assist nonprofit organizations with their technology needs. Richard holds a M.S.W. from the University of California – Berkeley as well as a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.

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