E-mail may be an inexpensive way to solicit donations and stay in contact with supporters, but outdated or incorrectly typed e-mail addresses can sabotage any online fund-raising campaign.
Here are a few suggestions for collecting active and accurate e-mail addresses for potential supporters:
*Add a “double opt-in” feature that sends a confirmation link by e-mail to each new subscriber whenever you add a new e-mail address to the list.
*Use every opportunity to collect e-mail addresses from supporters-at special events, on direct mail, or through links at the end of personal e-mails-to reduce errors in the files and encourage followers to sign up for electronic communications.
*Create an e-mail campaign that specifically asks supporters to update their contact information.
*Pay attention to which e-mail messages bounce back. If they’re from donors, consider reaching out to them by telephone or direct mail.
*Upgrade to an e-mail tool with a good track record for getting past firewalls to prevent your messages from getting stuck in spam folders.
Donor e-mail lists are tricky to rent…and generally not very accurate or responsive. It’s tough work, but you need to build your own proprietary e-mail list or append e-mails to your current database.