Whether it’s an email address or cold hard cash; if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. There’s increasing statistical evidence that the best time to ask for either is mid- transaction yet we know from bitter experience that most nonprofits feel it an inappropriate moment to put the hard word. Welcome to the worlds of online fundraising and database building.
Fundraising: We were hugely impressed (and somewhat taken aback) when we were asked to donate in the middle of booking tickets for a team night out at The Arts Centre in Melbourne. (Bob Downe at the Spiegeltent if you must know.) Unannounced, mid-transaction we were propositioned with various options to dosh up for the Arts Centre Melbourne Foundation. Note the clever option offered for which we opted.
Database building: Now think of the last time you bought an airline ticket online – were you aksed for your email address? Of course you were. And have you been receiving stuff ever since? We guess that if the content they send is full of enticing bargains the answer is yes.
Here are some other times you may wish to ask for email addresses and permission to use it to forward marketing material.
- When a punter books a place in your course.
- When a job applicant submits an application.
- When a professional makes a referral to you.
- When anyone attends your event.
- When a stranger emails you a general query for services, bequests, volunteering, membership. Turn queries into ongoing contact.
- When a purchase is made.
- When some other service asks for a plug on your website.
Nonprofits spend time worrying about eNewsletter content. They should just as much time building the database. Asking for emails during transactions and interactions is a key way to build your lists. Remember – it takes no longer not costs any more to develop an eNewsletter for 30 people as it does for 3000 people.