Should You Use Pre-Checked or Unchecked Opt-In Forms?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Susan King Cope, the director of development at Carolina Tiger Rescue recently sent me this question: Right now, we provide tours and folks provide their contact info when they check in. We are currently using an “opt out” function. check here) I do not want to receive emails.

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Email List Predicament: Is This OK?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you are doing the right thing or not, or where to stand in that big gray area. Take nonprofit emailing, for example. There’s the CAN-SPAM law, but its application in specific situations is often confusing and subject to interpretation.

Mass marketing, relationships and trust.


But, if you send spammy emails and direct mailers that are impersonal, irrelevant, interruptive, and annoying, your supporters won’t trust you or your employer. One-to-many marketing/fundraising relationships are the same as personal relationships. Trust is essential.

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Are Your Emails Being Delievered? [New Report]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Email deliverability measures how successful an email is at making it into a recipient’s inbox. EveryAction just released their annual Email Deliverability Report which answers the question, “How much is spam costing your nonprofit?” Old email lists.

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Learning About Email at #15NTC

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Email is always a hot topic for you, so I decided to focus on that one day and I learned some great stuff! Avoiding the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Responsive Email Design. How do your emails look on different smartphones or tablets? The Science of Email Deliverability.

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Email Rules to Live By

A Small Change

Many fundraisers are fuzzy on the rules of email solicitations. Nonprofits seem to receive a little grace with people regarding how we use and reuse our email lists. By following the rules, you can make sure that your email blasts do not start to become SPAM and that you can build trust and accountability with your donors. The law governing mass emailing is often referred to as CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. This act regulates legal use of unsolicited email.

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Grow your email list without spending money


Many nonprofits understand the importance of growing their email list but simply don’t have the funds to invest in list-building efforts. In addition, so many people now visit your site on mobile devices that it may be hard to access those fields even if they exist.

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7 Ways to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

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One of the most commonly-asked questions we get about online marketing is, "How do I build an email list?" " Building a quality email list over time is one of the most valuable assets a nonprofit can have. Email is still the primary starting point for people taking action online. Use these best practices to ensure that you are providing multiple opportunities for potential donors to join your nonprofit email list. Use your email signature.

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Quick Tips for Building a Clean Email List

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It's also about using a real email marketing tool for mass mailings and campaigns. Read here to learn more about why Outlook doesn't fit the bill for email campaigns.) Here are a few tips for building and maintaining a clean email marketing list: Consider using a double opt-in email capture. This simply means that whenever someone new joins your email list or when you add someone (with their permission!), Email us any time !

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5 Steps to Finding the Ideal Email Service Provider

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Have you ever felt trapped by your email provider—dissatisfied with the features and/or service but daunted by figuring out how and where to move? Skip to the 5 Steps Why do you need an email service provider? For most nonprofit organizations, bulk emailemail newsletters, action alerts or fundraising outreach—is one of the most productive communications approaches there is. NOTE: If you’re still sending bulk emails from your own email, stop immediately !

Three Steps to Tune-Up Your Email Newsletter

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Could your email newsletter use a quick tune-up? Sign up for it using a new email address, then unsubscribe. Review your sign-up form, the "Thank You" page that loads after clicking "Submit," the double-opt-in email that's sent automatically (assuming you use double opt-in), the confirmation page that loads after that click, and the "Thank you for joining our list" email that goes out after that confirmation.

Email Trends For 2011

The Agitator

Here, from Loren McDonald of Silverpop, an ‘engagement marketing’ firm, is a good stab at email trends we might see in 2011. I’d especially draw attention to his last four points … each relevant for nonprofit communicators and fundraisers: Social and mobile become important sources of opt-ins for email programs. Email marketing increasingly becomes a “dynamic content platform.&#

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Building your nonprofit’s email list

Fundraising Coach

Back in 2000, I used email to raise $100,000 in six weeks. I wrote about it in “The $100,000 Guide to Email Solicitation.” ” (You can buy it in the Fundraising Coach Store but I give it away free to everyone who signs up for my free email newsletter.). People tell me they find the “ten tactical tips,” the actual examples of email, and the overall strategy helpful. How do we build up our email list?”

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Everyone bends the rules here and there when it comes to selecting lists for email marketing. But I have found that (sadly) most nonprofits don’t have a written opt-in strategy and rarely ask their supporters for permission to send them emails.

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Emailing now is good; Bad email is not good

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Don’t forget: Email your supporters now and again the week between Christmas and New Year’s. But don’t make it bad email. Jeff Brooks of Future Fundraising Now has a great post on why email response rates are down. The main reason: Because email quality is down. He says if email is dying, it’s suicide. Poor permission and opt-in practices.

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3 reasons to run an OPT-OUT campaign


I said you should run an OPT-OUT campaign. Not an opt-in campaign. That’s why helping people change their preferences and/or helping them opt-out of receiving emails could be a really good thing. All of us have too many records in our list.

E-News that Gets Attention & Generates Action—NYC Workshop, Feb. 16

Getting Attention

Email remains the core communications tool, and one that’s going to be around for the long run. Please join me for Breakthrough E-Newsletters: 5 Steps to Shaping E-Communications that Connect , Thursday, February 16, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM in New York City. Master the mechanics—opt-in vs. double opt-in, list management, in-house vs. outsource.

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GOING, GOING FAST: Grab a Seat-May 18 E-Newsletter Workshop in New York City

Getting Attention

In Breakthrough E-Newsletters: 5 Steps to Shaping E-Communications that Connect , you’ll learn everything you need to get a high-impact e-newsletter going for your nonprofit, or to strengthen the one you have. Master the mechanics—opt-in vs. double opt-in, list management, in-house vs. outsource. I promise you it’ll be an incredibly worthwhile three hours when you do.

Email: the original social network

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

There was a great post in ClickZ this week that points out that email is “social.&# The post was a reaction to all the debate about email vs. social networking. Done right, email is just as personal, conversational and bond-building as social networking. People can forward emails just as they share content elsewhere. In fact, as the article points out, you could say that email was the original social network: Philosophically, there is no difference.

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How Much Is Spam Hurting Your Online Fundraising? [New Study]

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

EveryAction just released their annual Email Deliverability Study which answers that exact question. Let’s start with a few basics about email deliverability, and then we’ll break down the report. What determines your email deliverability? Old email lists.

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New digital tracking study reveals UK consumer views on promotional email and social media use

Giving in a Digital World

Last Thursday I was out at the launch event for the DMA’s Digital Tracker Study, a research initiative (backed by online research company FastMAP and email marketing company SilverPop ) that aims to provide regular insights into some of the key questions online marketers are asking in relation to using email and social media use. The majority of email is still read on desktop (67%) or laptop (49%) devices – but 11% of adults now also read them on mobile devices.

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FREE Webinar for You on How and Why You Need to Build Your Email List

Marketing for Nonprofits

For nonprofits, this means you have to build a base of prospective donors to engage in your cause. I've talked about donor acquisition and list building on the blog and in other places. According to Copyblogger, in this webinar you will learn: What is a Minimum Viable Audience, and why you want one The right ingredients to organically grow a healthy opt-in list How minimum is minimum? Building a nonprofit is not easy.

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What to do when half your email list bounces

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How can we collect accurate, home email addresses? Here are a few tips for building and maintaining a clean email marketing list: 1) Consider using a double opt-in email capture. This simply means that whenever someone new joins your email list or when you add someone (with their permission!), an email goes to that email address with a confirmation link. 2) Make sure you’re capturing email addresses everywhere possible.

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5 best practices for delivering progress reports to your major gift and legacy supporters


Make it easy for them to continue the dialogue with a survey, reply button, links to more information, opt-in forms, download offers, etc. Provide your email and phone number.

Made-for-You Nonprofit Marketing Jobs

Getting Attention

Subscribers, we’re working on getting you the ability to opt-in or -out of these listings vs. other posts. Email Marketing Manager & Digital Content Marketing Manager Mercy Corps. P.S. Get this jobs post delivered to your in-box every week!

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6 best practices for delivering progress reports to your major gift and legacy supporters


Make it easy for them to continue the dialogue with a survey, reply button, links to more information, opt-in forms, download offers, etc. Provide your email and phone number.

Motivating Online Sign-ups

The Agitator

In this case, the reviewers credit the superior performance of the winning appeal — which outperformed its competitor by 321% — to describing more benefits upfront, including two opt-in forms instead of one, and using numbers in the headline (“7 Reasons …). The startling difference in performance of these two appeals underscores once again — test, test, test.

Feedback Week: Channel and Volume Preferences

The Agitator

Almost 20% of the total substantive comments were either “don’t mail/email/phone me” or “I would like to receive less mail/fewer phone calls/fewer emails.” In the interest in fairness, out of the 12,000 comments, there were also three people who asked for more emails.

What Do You Think Of IP Targeting?

The Agitator

The capability exists to target email messages to specific consumers (donor prospects?) However, there are serious privacy concerns … have consumers on these lists opted-in to the practice? Essentially, when a user opens an email from a partner of the data firm like Elect Strategies – such as an opt-in email from a news publisher – a cookie is generated which reports back to Elect Strategies the IP address associated with the user’s computer or device.

What to Listen for in Donor Onboarding

The Agitator

In the previous on boarding post I emphasized the imperative to listen as soon as possible. From this information, they customized emails and subject lines to fit the cat versus dog preference of the donor. But that’s also part of the point: people are now used to customized emails.

The 5 p’s of engagement fundraising


As they benefit from what you’re providing, ask them to consider opting-in to have a relationship. If you think personalization is about putting a person’s name on a letter or email, think again. 1- Permission. Donors have immense power these days.

Paying to Acquire Advocates

The Agitator

I had given paid acquisition short shrift in my previous discussion of acquiring advocates because I wanted to get to organic (read: free and free-ish) means of getting advocates. For this, they promise all new leads, all workable email address, and both postal and email addresses.

Share Your Predictions; Get My Trends Report

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

I’m putting together a Nonprofit Communications Trends Report that I’ll release in January, and I need your input and predictions. Here’s what I’m asking: Which communications tools will be very / somewhat / least important to your nonprofit in 2011?

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Share Your Predictions and Get 2012 Trends Report

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Just like last year , I’m asking: Which communications tools will be very / somewhat / least important to your nonprofit in 2012? How often will you email the typical person on your email list? What excites you about your work in 2012? What scares you about your work in 2012? All data shared in the report will be anonymous. When you complete the survey, you can opt-in to receive a free copy of the Trends Report in late December.

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Finally, Cause Marketers Are Hearing Each Other

Cause Related Marketing

After you enter the code, you get the page above that offers up printable coupons for ConAgra items and asks for your email address. Yes, I would like to receive emails from Feeding America." "Yes, Yes, I would like to receive emails about ConAgra Foods brands."

Cause Marketers, Let's Really Start Hearing One Another

Cause Related Marketing

Witness a label effort from 2011 that I found in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database called Child Hunger Ends Here from ConAgra Foods on behalf of Feeding America. After you entered the code, you were ushered to a page that offered up printable coupons for ConAgra items and asked for your email address. But pay special attention to the three things that opting-in brought: "Yes, I would like to receive future emails about the Child Hunger Ends Here program." "Yes,

Is donor qualification more important than donor identification?


Just because a donor matches a certain profile doesn’t mean they should be in your portfolio. Letters like those might generate some revenue from a portion of a portfolio but the other portion might privately balk feeling they shouldn’t have been on the list in the first place.

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Childhood hunger is a hidden epidemic in America that we can no longer ignore. Recently, Donordigital worked with Share Our Strength to coordinate an action for their Hunger Knows No Party campaign to encourage the candidates to turn their attention to childhood hunger in the U.S.

RIDDLE: How do you measure the success (or failure) of your planned giving program?


I was speaking with a client recently about the success he’s been experiencing with our software and strategies when he asked a really great question: “How can I measure the success of my planned giving program in comparison to others?” How did they get in there?

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Text Messaging vs. Mobile Instant Messaging

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the course of the last year, I have noticed a rapidly rising organizational interest amongst my clients in using “text messaging” for communications purposes; specifically for opt-in notifications. Email sucks (everyone). In Summary.

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