While email marketing is a very powerful part of any digital marketing strategy, it’s especially important for nonprofits. It keeps people informed about the work your organization does, advertises events, and drives donations. In 2017, email drove nearly 1/3 of all online fundraising revenue.

So whether you’re looking to increase engagement or drive donations, email marketing is proven to get results.

But what if your email list is small, leaving you with a limited audience? How do you get more email subscribers? We have ten time-tested methods to get more subscribers to your nonprofit’s email list.

How to Get More Email Subscribers

1. Make it Easy to Join Your List

When asking readers to do something, it’s important to make it as easy as possible. Make sure your email signup box is visible on your homepage and on your website’s footer. You can also add it to the call-to-action in your blog posts.

2. Offer a Lead Magnet

People are hesitant to give out their email addresses, especially if there is nothing in it for them. They’re much less hesitant if you can provide something of value in return for their email address, like a lead magnet, also known as a freebie. Reports, eBooks, and PDFs like checklists and cheat sheets are common, effective lead magnets. The lead magnet you offer will depend on your organization and what you can provide your readers. Ideas for nonprofit lead magnets:

  • For an education nonprofit: a list of the best age-appropriate books for each grade
  • For a museum: a scavenger hunt for your museum
  • For an animal welfare nonprofit: a list of ways to help animals without spending any money

3. Provide Clear Value

It’s important to tell people why they should sign up for your email list. What kind of emails do you send? How often do your emails go out? This information can make or break someone’s decision to sign up and if you don’t tell them about the value in your emails, they’ll likely pass on giving you their email address.

To do this, you don’t have to write a long lead-in to the signup box. Simply phrase your ask so it’s clear there is value in the emails you send. Examples:

  • Sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the fight against poaching.
  • Want to learn more about how you can help fight hunger in the Triangle? Sign up for our newsletter!
  • Join our email list to get the latest news on community cleanups in Raleigh!

4. Collect Email Addresses at Events

Sometimes low-tech is one of the most effective ways to get a job done! You should always have a way for people to sign up for your email list at events. This can be as simple as a clipboard and pen or as high-tech as a tablet for people to type in their own emails. You can make it completely voluntary or require it for event registration, just make sure people understand that by giving you their email address, they will be added to your mailing list.

5. Create a Subscribe Graphic to Share on Social Media

It’s easy for your message to get lost in the shuffle on social media but an eye-catching graphic like the example below reduces the chances someone will scroll by without reading. Post your graphic with an enticing message about your newsletter and a link to your signup page. And don’t forget to pin the tweet or post to the top of your profile!

example of graphic for email subscribers

6. Require an Email Address as Part of Membership

If your organization has a membership program, make proving sure an email address is part of becoming a member. This makes it easy for you to keep in touch, but also gives you plenty of subscribers for your newsletter.

7. Update Your Email Signature

You send dozens of emails every week and each one can be turned into an opportunity to gain more subscribers. Your email signature should have a link to your organization’s homepage, but it’s also wise to add a link to your email newsletter signup page. For people that aren’t already subscribed, this provides an easy way for them to sign up to hear from your organization on a regular basis.

8. Encourage Forwarding and Sharing

This is a simple, time-tested method to get more eyes on your content and ultimately, more subscribers. Just include a short sentence toward the end of your emails encouraging readers to forward the newsletter to a friend or colleague that would be interested.

9. Hold a Contest or Giveaway

Having a contest and requiring an email address as part of entry is a great way to get more email subscribers and overall publicity for your organization. You don’t have to give away anything major, either. T-shirts and other swag with your nonprofit’s logo are great giveaway prizes! Just ensure that people understand they’ll be added to your email list when they enter. No one likes getting unwanted mail.

10. Add a Popup Window to Your Site

A opt-in popup window on your website can be a very effective way to get more subscribers. A number of case studies show that sites that use popups see a huge increase in subscribers, some seeing as high as a 1000% increase! The key to effective popups is making sure they only appear on a few pages of your website (never put a popup on every page), are visually appealing, and are easy to close out.

Improve the Way Your Organization Handles Donations

Growing an email list typically means an increase in members and donations. Our nonprofit accounting software solutions can improve the way you manage donors and your entire accounting process. To learn more, call us at 888-249-6008 or fill out our online contact form!