Ep 214 | Strategies for Growing Your Email List

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Building your email list helps you stay top of mind, engaged and building trust with more potential donors. It also allows you to nurture and encourage your existing donors to give again!

There are several ways to grow your email list and this podcast episode shares just a few. Remember that its about building your list with the right people, not just to say you have a huge list.

What you'll learn:

→ getting the right people on your list
→ ensureing there is a connection with your CRM.
→ how to turn your blog readers into email subscribers.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[2:44] It's not about having the numbers, its about the right audience that is engaged. Don't get wrapped up in the numbers. You want people on your list that are excited about your organization and the work you do.
[4:50] Bring people over to your email service provider from your CRM. Regular communication with your entire audience keeps them engaged. Pull everyone into your email service provider so you can target them with the right messages while also giving them the big picture messaging. You never know what is going to encourage someone to participate more with your organization.
[10:14] Use a lead magnet to get more people that are reading your content on your email list. This a freebie people can download that coincides with your post. It gives them added value and gets them on your email list so you can notify them of future posts. Start with your best performing pieces of content and create a lead magnet to go with it.


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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hello, hello, I am so excited to be wrapping up our month on email marketing with talking about how to grow your email list. Now having emails that you sent out to your list is fantastic. But if you aren't having anyone to send them to or the right people to send them to, then it might not be worth your time. So let's figure out how to get more of the right people on your email list. So you can send them the right messages at the right time, and grow and build your audience so that you can increase the donations that are coming into your organization, as well as nurture those folks retain those donors, and continue to bring in community members, volunteers, potential board members, donors all of the above. By now, hopefully, you know that email is something that is worth your time and effort. So let's get more of the right people on your list. So I'm gonna give you some strategies in this episode on how to grow your email list so that you have people to talk to people to connect with, and people to share your story and impact with so they can become more engaged and donate to your organization. How does that sound? Sounds pretty awesome to me. And you know that email is one of my favorite tools to do just this.

So before we get into all of the strategies to help you grow your list, this episode is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy sessions. These are 30 minute one on one sessions where we can get together and really connect and go through your email marketing strategy. What are the things that you need to implement? What are you doing? Well, what do we need to be paying attention to? How can we help you make sure your strategy onpoint and helping you reach your organization's goals. So head on over to https://thefirstclick.net/officehours  book your time, and let's get to work. If you need more than just 30 minutes that a VIP day might be for you. You can learn more about that at https://thefirstclick.net/vip. But we can get your whole strategy built out in a day, including some of those emails written to help you continue to build relationships with those valuable email subscribers. So I hope to see you at either our digital marketing therapy sessions or VIP days, if not, thank you so much for being a listener. And let's get into the episode.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So first of all, I want to make sure we're on the same page when it comes to email list growth, we're not just trying to approach it from a vanity metric standpoint, we're not trying to see how many people we can get on our list, so that we can feel really good about having 5000 10,000 100,000 people on our email list, right? It's all about the quality of the people that are there and the people that we're serving and making sure that we're providing value to them. That's what's going to keep people around, keep people coming back, keep people giving to us, referring us all of the things. So we want to make sure that we're not just trying to grow our numbers so we can feel good about ourselves. But we're growing the right numbers, the right people, the right engaged audience. And this is also important, because if you're not, you might have a big list. But having a bunch of people that don't care about what you do can affect the deliverability of your email. So I just want to make sure we start with that caveat of, we're here to grow our email list to get as big as possible with people that care about the work that we're doing and people that are going to engage with us, because they are passionate about what we're doing. We also know that people that are on our email list may not be ready to contribute in a meaningful way. But they still care about what we do. And the lurkers and the people that are just hanging out, I love them so much. And you never know when they're going to convert and flip over to being a volunteer or being a donor or referring somebody our way. So don't discount those types of things. So we're going to talk about building your email list in a variety of different ways. And not just focusing on those that are about ready to give right now because the power of email is the nurturing the engaging personalization giving campaigns that you're going to be sending them priming them to be ready to take future action or take repeat action. Okay. So I hope you're with me on this. I hope you're excited. I hope you're engaged. And we're going to kick this off by really just thinking about your email list as you already have it. So a lot of times there's a lot of email growth that we can build in with who we already have in our in our community. So maybe you have a CRM that's not fully linked to your email service provider, your ConvertKit, your MailChimp your constant contact all of those things, right. So let's think about how we're connecting our email to our service provider, how we're sending those out. So all of your donors, all of your volunteers, all of your event attendees, all of the people that you serve in your community, they should all be pulled through to your email service provider, in segments or tagged in a way that you can make sure you communicate with them in the ways that they need the information that they need. So that's one quick and easy way that a lot of organizations can quickly increase the email list that their emails are going out to. Now, not everybody's always gonna get the same emails, but you know, your general impact stories, your general newsletters, things that you want to broadcast to your entire base, this is a great way to start building that list, making sure that you have a great connection between the platform that you're using to send out these emails, and the CRM that you're using to track those people that you are engaging with. So that's number one. That's the first thing. The second thing is really just asking, and making sure that it's a part of your regular conversation. So maybe you have a QR code on your business card that allows people to sign up for your email newsletter easily. Or whenever you're in donor meetings, if they want more information, or whatnot, hey, can we also put you on our regular email newsletter so that you can continue to get follow up information and impact stories from us, maybe it is at events, saying, Hey, we will be you know, sending you an email here after this event, we'd love for you to stay on our email list. So you can get further further communication, constantly asking for people to join your email list in your offline strategies is also really important and can be really impactful, and helping to grow your list your list. And these people are people that are already engaged, they're already excited about what you're doing, they're warm. And so this is a great way to ensure that we can make sure they're getting more communication from you, and they're getting more information, they're staying top of mind. And when they're ready, they're gonna pull the trigger again, the second thing is doing a newsletter swap. So you might have other organizations that you've partnered with in the past that you have great relationships with in the past that are complementary services to what you do. So maybe they're not exactly what you do, but they have things that would be relevant to your audience. So maybe you are an after school program, and you partner with an organization that supports parents that are feeling overwhelmed, I don't know. So you know, there's things that are complementary about what you do, and getting in front of each other's audiences is super helpful. So creating a email newsletter swap where they can put some information about their organization out to your list, you can do the same to their list is another great way to get in front of people, and get in front of people that, you know, they already have a trusted audience. So if I'm putting somebody in my email newsletter out to you all, you know, that is somebody that I either have a personal connection with, or somebody that I trust inherently, somebody that I feel really good about partnering with, I'm not just going to have some random person put their information in my email, and I'm not going to put my information in some random person's email, again, needs to be somebody that I feel know like trust that I've vetted, that is going to be a good partner for me. So that's a great way again, to pull in some warm leads, and to encourage people to engage with you in the services that you provide because they're complimentary to a service or an organization that they're already engaged with. Now, you might run across organizations that say, well, you're going to take our fundraising dollars from us this, that and the other, I would encourage you all to come at it from an abundant mindset and not from a scarcity mindset. There are plenty of dollars out there for all organizations that are loving on treating their donors well, and making the impact that they say they're going to make. So don't worry about that people want to give to organizations that are you know, fitting with their motivation and what it is that they want to accomplish. So you're just doing them a service by helping them find the right place for that. And they will love you even more for that and help and support you in however they can. So those are the first two. The third one's a little bit more involved. And it's not quite as it's going out more towards like a colder audience or people that maybe don't know about you yet. And that is creating a lead magnet. So a lead magnet is a freebie a checklist, a PDF, an audio file, YouTube video, something that you have kind of gated so they have to give you your email address to to snag it.

But then it gives them some sort of value. It gives them some solution or some One thing for a pain point. So for example, we have some that are specific to website design or development, we have some that are specific to fundraising online. But once you give us your email, you get this guide. And it gives you all of the information that you need to solve a specific pain point. So it could be pet training tips, it could be information for an exhibit that you have, it could be a deep dive on. I don't know healthy meals or recycling tips, it could be coupon codes from your favorite vendors that support you. So they can shop there as well. You can be super creative and come up with whatever you want. But the trick here is that they give you their email address, they get something immediately that gives them quick wins. And then you send them a series of emails afterward, that are helping nurture grow, build that deeper relationship and encourage them to continue to learn more about who you are. So they might not get the lead magnet initially, because they're ready to donate to your organization. But then through that lead magnet that you've solved the problem that they have. They're like, Oh, these people have it that going on, they know what's happening, they can help me, they're here to help me fix what this is or support somebody that I know needs support. And now this all of a sudden, they're hearing your impact stories, and they're diving deeper with you, and they're engaging with you. And now they're ready to donate at a future date. So it's helping grow your list of people that want to engage with the types of content that you create, and the problem that you solve for your community. Okay, so the next way you can grow your email list is reaching out to your sponsors, the sponsors that you work with, want more ways to engage, and also to showcase that they're partnering with your incredible organization, they want to share it with their employees, they want to share it with their community, they probably want people to know that you are a partner of theirs, and they're excited to be walking alongside you. So having them reach out to their audience to join your email list is a great way that they can increase their impact without having to increase their dollars. And we all love that, right? So being thoughtful and intentional about saying, Hey, we can send you this blurb Would you mind sending out in your internal communication, something to your entire team saying, Hey, we at Company X have decided to support this organization, we feel really passionate, it fits our values, it's in alignment with who we are and what we're trying to do. You know, if you're interested in learning more, here's how you can do it, sign up for their newsletter, learn more, engage more yada, yada, yada, right. So that's great. And then even asking them to post on their social media. Hopefully, they're sharing about the partnership that you have together. But again, being intentional about what that ask is join their email list, because most likely, if they say, well join, or donate to this organization, because we donate, they don't know you, they don't trust you, they're probably not going to do that action. If they say, Hey, here's this organization we're engaging with, they have this amazing tool and resource you can push it back to your lead magnet that you just created, would love for you, for you to check it out, see what they're all about, engage with them, participate with them. We feel passionate about the work they're doing, we know you will, too. But be intentional about that, ask again, the first tip that we threw out at this podcast, be intentional about that, ask and ask them to share the work that you're doing with a lead magnet or with some other email newsletter sign up so that you can harness and get their their followers, their staff, their employees, the people that are loving what that brand is doing into your network. So that's another great way to encourage people to join your list. Reach out to your sponsors, they have a huge network of people. And if they care about you, then their followers and their community will probably care about you as well. And so it's a great way to get them engaged. And continue to make that sponsor the hero and share how great that relationship is. Now, remember, if you're getting a lot of people from that partnership, also make sure you're letting your sponsor know hey, you know, thank you so much for that we were able to grow or you know, had 20 or 30 people join our email list because of that, like your audience rocks, thank them, pat them on the back and let them know that their efforts didn't go unnoticed and didn't go without results. So I think that's critically important as well. The follow up piece on all of this. Once people sign up to your email list the follow up once people are referring people to your email list thanking them that is super critical because it is very, it's work that they're putting in and helping you in providing this resource and sharing who you are and what you do with their folks like that is them putting an effort and so make sure it doesn't go unnoticed. And then finally, make sure that you just ask your donors, your existing donors say, Hey, if you like the content that we're sending out on a regular basis, we'd love it, if you would share it with your friends, family, colleagues, community that you think might also like it, too. There's power in that as well. And so make sure that they have all of that information and that you're asking them, that is the critical thing. We need to tell people what we want them to do what we need them to do. And people are always looking for free ways that they can continue to support the organizations that they love, and your donors love you. They engage with you, they've already given to you. And hopefully, they'll continue to give over time. And so this consistency with your email newsletter, and ensuring that you're sending out quality content, inspirational stories, industry news, how you're continuing to move the work forward, how you're continuing to help people and who you're helping those personal stories, all of that is going to help you stay top of mind with everybody. And so putting that simple ask in there of, hey, if you loved this content, share it with a friend, ask them to join our email newsletter and make it easy. That's the critical thing, right? Make it easy for them to get on your list and understand the value that you're going to provide. So your current donors and your current subscribers are great people to push it out because they're finding value in what they're sending. And they know that their friends and family would love it, that information as well. So these are just a few of the things that are great ways to grow your email list, I'll run through them again really quick. The number one thing that kind of threads through all of it is you have to ask, you have to ask people aren't just going to join it because they see a thing on your website that says Oh, join my email list. Ask make it easy and give them value. Make sure that you try doing a newsletter swap, see if you can get other companies or nonprofits that are in complementary spaces to share and you can do the same. Create a league met lead magnet that's going to add value to your audience. Get your sponsors to reach out to their audience and then ask your existing donors and subscribers to share with their friends and families. So these are a lot of things that you can get started with. So that I hope that you will, I hope that you will try a few of these and see how it goes. Remember that it's going to take time. And remember that it's not about the numbers. It's about the quality and the people that are engaging with you. Be consistent, and do it often. That's going to help you grow your list over time and help your organization be more sustainable in their fundraising goals.

If you've loved this episode, and the content, I hope that you'll subscribe wherever you're streaming this podcast or on YouTube. And make sure you follow or subscribe and or leave us a comment so that more people can find this podcast and find value and engage with us. We're here to help as many nonprofits as we can grow and thrive and increase their impact. So thank you so much for taking the time to listen. I hope you have loved this month's episodes all on email marketing. You can find show notes and additional resources for this episode at https://thefirstclick.net/214 . Thank you so much and I will see you in the next one.


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