With over 175,000,000 web sites existing online and millions more added every month, how is your nonprofit going to attract visitors and keep them coming back? This is the question that has plagued many a fundraiser who's taken their nonprofit online. The answer is not too different from a traditional method you all know: e-mail newsletters.
Sites with Anemia
Sites with Vigor
First, because people approach e-mail with a limited attention span, long newsletters don't work well. Instead, you need to use short synopses of your newsletter articles and provide a link to that article on your website. This allows people to read what they're interested in and skip what they're not an important benefit in today's time-strapped lifestyle.
Also, the linking to articles on your site brings the donor onto your playing field, if you will. They're usually online already because they must be connected to receive their mail. Once they've clicked onto your site, they're just one click away from your donation process (if you've set up your site properly). Also, though one story may not compel them to give, you now have many more stories within their reach and another may resonate with them.
Finally, an e-mail approach allows donors to pass the e-mail onto their friends and family, creating a viral effect and giving you more eyes for your efforts. These are the best kind of leads; not only are they free, but they're pre-endorsed by a trusted source - the sender.
Next month, I'll be discussing ways to approach your e-mail strategy. Until then, I hope you'll continue to go the distance.