How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

For many nonprofits, email is the bridge that Facebook fans frequently walk across on their way to becoming a donor, simply because it’s more private and less distracting than Facebook.

This is why it’s critical to have a smart email marketing strategy, in addition to a smart Facebook strategy.

No one gets off from joining your email list

No one ever joined an email list just to join an email list (“How many more email lists can I join today?!! I love filling out those cute little forms! Oh, look – here’s another one!”).

It would be great if this were so, but it’s not.

So, you have to do a lot of things right before someone will give you permission to invade enter their inbox.

How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit’s Email List

Here’s what you need to do to create a healthy email acquisition strategy on Facebook:

1. Make The Value Exchange Obvious

People will only join your email list when they feel that the pleasure of joining outweighs the pain.

Before you stick an optin form on your Facebook Page, be clear about the value exchange. You can do this in a few ways:

2. Build The Bridge (Put an Optin Form on Your Facebook Page)

If you’re using a service like Aweber or Mailchimp, create a webform and add it to a custom tab (howto).

The Case Foundation uses the Mail Chimp Facebook app to add a simple but effective optin form to their Page (as shown below).

How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

Important: Make sure you create a new email list in your email marketing software so that you can email these new subscribers the right messages at the right time (segmentation).

3. Point The Way (Design For Action, Not Awards)

How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit Email List
Don’t get OCD about creating a beautiful tab. Design for action, not awards. A few ideas:

4. Remove All Distractions

Forget about your Twitter feed, latest Pin, or your YouTube video. These things will only hinder your acquisition goals.

5. Only Ask for Name and Email

Remember, people use Facebook to connect with friends, not causes. Respect that by only asking for the essentials (first name and email).

You can always ask for street address and other items later on.

6. Make it Mobile

How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

Custom tabs are not viewable on mobile devices, unless you create tabs with a tool like Shortstack.

Shortstack tabs include mobile-friendly URLs (shown above), which can be posted in updates or used in ads to render a mobile version of your tab.

7. Promote Your List with Updates and Ads

How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit Email List

People don’t visit your custom tab just because you built it.

You have to post updates and use Facebook ads to promote it!

In the description of photos, encourage fans to subscribe to your email list to get the inside story. Or share a photo and ask people to take a pledge, like The Human Society of the United States does here.

8. Measure, Measure, Measure

How to Use Your Facebook Page to Build Your Nonprofit Email List
The only way you’ll ever learn what approach is working (or not) is to measure them.

One way to measure is to create a unique form specifically for your Facebook custom tab.

This will allow you to see how it performs compared to other places where you’re collecting emails (in the example above, I learned that Facebook converts better than my blog).

How have you acquired emails on Facebook?

Comments

  1. How do you create the custom forms? I’m using MailChimp and have only been able to create one signup form, that I can find.