It’s difficult to imagine an e-mail cultivation strategy if you don’t have many e-mail addresses. Here are a few tips to get you started collecting them:
EVERY time you communicate with your constituents do not overlook the opportunity to ask for an e-mail address.
1. Many e-mail clients, such as MS Outlook, will allow you to automatically attach a “signature” at the bottom of every message you send. Consider having all of your staff and volunteers add a line to their signature that says, “subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter by visiting our web site at www.yourorganization.org”. (This is where Tip #6 comes in handy.)
2. Instruct your staff/volunteers to ask for an e-mail address whenever they speak on the phone to a donor or member of your organization, even if that person just called with a simple question. The short script could go something like this, “May we have your e-mail address? We’d like to keep you updated on what’s going on with our organization.”
3. Include a line for “e-mail address” on any return-reply mailing that your office sends out including RSVPs for special events.
4. Have a method to collect e-mail addresses at any event you hold (sign-in sheets, raffle ticket sales or silent auction bids/purchases).
5. When making face-to-face visits be sure to ask the donor if he/she would like to receive e-mail updates.
6. On your web site provide a “subscription” field in which a visitor may enter an e-mail address to receive monthly or weekly updates from your organization.
7. Whenever you collect e-mail addresses it is also important ask for permission to communicate with your donors in this way about your organization.