Lately I’ve been cleaning out my inbox with gusto. I’m a bit of an e-mail junkie. I try to get on all of our clients’ lists (yes, I’m watching you). I read as many posts and articles by other fundraisers and consultants as possible. And I love food, home, and fashion blogs. Let’s just say, I get a lot of e-mail.
The last few weeks, I’ve unsubscribed to about 12 different e-mail streams with budgets as high as The Container Store and as low as a local food blog. And I also unsubscribed to a bunch of political lists before the election (even I was fed up!).
Here’s what I noticed when I clicked on Unsubscribe:
It got me thinking about the opportunities an unsubscribe presents for nonprofit e-mailers.
If you really want to provide good donor service and save some of those folks from leaving your e-mail list (and your solicitation process), consider what happens after the donor or supporter clicks on that “unsubscribe” button.
Your organization may not have the people-power, the resources, or the data management system to implement some of these ideas, but any organization that does e-mail can take the spirit of this donor service and make it real.
Think about it. In nearly every other fundraising communications channel we put a priority on retention and we know it’s the way to make the most money for our organization. But in the e-mail space, we seem to only care about acquisition – or how many e-mails we get on our list. This is short sighted in a world where e-mail continues to grow faster than any other fundraising channel.
So, instead of worrying about how many new e-mail addresses you can get, consider trying to keep those that you already have. When someone does hit that unsubscribe button, you want to make sure that you are doing your best to re-engage the supporter and making them think twice about not hearing from you.
And finally, when someone really does unsubscribe, do you actually make it happen? Because nearly a quarter of e-mail lists that I have unsubscribed to are still sending me stuff. And I’m super annoyed – hope you’re not doing that to your donors!