Cultivating your email list for long-lasting success

Growing your email list is a big undertaking with an even bigger benefit! By focusing on bringing more people into your movement and starting long-term relationships with your supporters, you are creating a sustainable and powerful email program that engages your passionate grassroots community.

Your email list is made of real people who do real work to support your campaign or organization. Small-dollar donors are often the most invested and go beyond donating — they also volunteer, vote, and start conversations that get more people to the polls! Growing a healthy and engaged email list takes time, but our team has your back with tips on the basics, as well as the do’s and beware’s of list building!

Strategies for growing your email list


Through email:

  • Tandem Fundraising: Team up with a campaign or organization related to your cause and create a Tandem form where donors can easily split one donation between both of you! Then send the form to both of your email lists to coalition-build and introduce each other’s work to your dedicated supporters.

  • Peer-to-peer power: When you encourage supporters to create their own fundraising page and share it with their friends and family, you’re reaching people who may not already be involved with your campaign or organization. You’re receiving new donations and adding more people to your email list! It’s easy to get your supporters fundraising with our community forms or supporter forms.


On your website:

  • The barebones: Make sure there’s an easy-to-find place to sign up for your email list on your website. All you need to collect is name and email to make signing up super easy! Even better: Add a pop-up on your website so the first thing people see is an opportunity to join your movement by signing up for your email list.

  • If your campaign or organization has a blog for sharing your work, place a subscription button at the bottom of your blog post, asking “Do you want to receive important updates like this in your inbox?”


Through ads:

  • Try running ads online asking folks to take an action, like signing a petition or joining your movement. When people click, you’ll ask them to provide some basic information like their first name and email to join your list.

  • If your website or fundraising pages don’t show up on the first page of a Google search, make sure you’re buying an ad to get it to the top. That way supporters can find your website easily, and the pop-up they’ll see when they reach your website will drive them to sign up for your email list.


On social media:

  • Drive email sign-ups and keep your social following engaged with different interactive strategies! You can encourage followers to sign up for email updates, or host swag giveaways and ask folks for their email to enter.

  • If you are using social media to ask people to sign up for your email program, make sure your form has a social share image and text that shows up when you share your form’s link to energize potential supporters.

  • Highlight peer-to-peer fundraising and Tandem Fundraising on your social media to extend your reach and include more supporters in your movement!


In person:

  • During events or volunteer shifts, be prepared with a sign-in sheet to collect legible emails. Make sure to collect the email address of every single person who comes out to your rally, event, or canvasses!

  • Use Entry Mode for in-person donation asks at rallies or during door-knocking. This feature helps you easily collect donations one after another on a single device and automatically collect emails with each donation!

  • When people buy tickets online for your event, include a way to subscribe to your list for email updates. Better yet, when you sell your tickets using ActBlue, your event’s contribution form automatically collects email addresses so you can communicate with supporters.

When you add new people to your list, be sure to send them welcome emails introducing your campaign or organization so they get to know you. Never forget that your email list is made up of real people who are trusting you! And remember to keep your list clean as more folks sign up. Fix easy typos like @gnail.com and let go of inactive subscribers, which affect whether your emails will land in spam or “Promotions.” Always have an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of every email to keep your list healthy and full of engaged supporters!

Quick takeaways:

Do: Start building your email list now for success later!

Beware: Assuming you’ll receive an influx of donations around end-of-month or end-of-quarter without first doing the crucial list-building work.

Do: Promote signing up for your email list wherever you can. (Don’t be shy!)

Beware: Stopping at promoting — have a plan to welcome and engage new supporters on your list!

Do: Reach out to us for help! We love talking about digital strategy that fits your campaign or organization and are excited to help you build your grassroots movement!

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