Direct Mail

6 Ways to Drive Digital Donor Acquisition with Emails

Donor direct mail digital fundraising nonprofits woman on phone donating

It is important we don’t make direct comparisons between direct mail and digital donor acquisition tactics. They are as different as they are similar. The big hurdle for many people to overcome is that unlike direct mail, where you often get a new donor on the first mailing, digital acquisition typically involves multiple steps across a greater period of time. It is not a one-and-done scenario.

There are many ways to acquire advocates and donors through digital outreach. Let’s take a look at one of the most common methods.

Develop a compelling offer that will be attractive, meaningful, and relatable to your target audience. 

This offer could be something as simple as asking the person to provide their email address in exchange for an eBook or some other downloadable product that has some value to the prospect.

Develop a dedicated landing page that you direct the target audience to. 

This landing page is dedicated to explaining the offer further, providing some additional information about your organization, and enticing the person to offer their email address (and perhaps other information) to receive the eBook.

You will drive the targeted audience to the landing page via social media, paid advertising, organic reach, and Google Ad words, among other tactics. 

The key to success is identifying the audience and serving up a compelling enough advertisement or call to action to encourage them to visit the landing page. The offer and link to the landing page is promoted and shared widely across all platforms.

Once the person submits the form with their email address and other information you may request, they have officially become an opt-in subscriber. 

At this point, you will acknowledge the transaction in two ways. A pop-up modal box on the landing page thanking them, followed by an immediate confirmation email with a link to download the eBook.

At this stage, you place the new subscriber into a pre-determined drip-style campaign. 

This sequence of communication has one primary purpose: to engage the subscriber more deeply with the organization and ultimately encourage them to donate. The sequence, message, and content of each outreach could include any of the following examples: a welcome message, an informative video, a compelling story, a survey, and a donation request.

During the drip campaign, the results are monitored and analyzed. Reviewing the actual results of the outreach is critical to success. You’ll want to adjust the ads and calls to action and perhaps even the message or the eBook offer itself. In fact, the ideal approach is to test many approaches to the advertisements, the message, the content offered, and even the timing of the posts and ads. Adjusting and making incremental improvements will ensure success.


About the Author

Eric StreiffEric Streiff is the Chief Direct Response Officer for AmPhil, overseeing AmPhil’s Direct Mail Response Group, which develops and executes multi-channel (digital and print) solutions. In this role, he and the direct response strategists help clients achieve their fundraising goals through strategic planning and impeccable tactical execution.

Eric has spent his career serving nonprofit and for-profit organizations in senior leadership positions. His experience includes two decades in New York City, working as a commercial photographer, creative director, and business owner, whose clients included retailers, publishers, and advertising agencies. Over the last two decades, Eric has worked with numerous nonprofits in various capacities, including serving as the CEO for a $32 million charity with operations in seventy-six countries and overseeing the development and marketing efforts at a $100 million international charity.

Prior to joining AmPhil, Eric held senior leadership positions at two multi-channel fundraising agencies, where he served over thirty clients in the U.S. and abroad. Eric’s passion is helping organizations embrace a multi-channel, integrated direct response program that accelerates growth, fortifies financial sustainability, and builds unique brand experiences that are relevant, personal, and meaningful. Connect with Justin on LinkedIn here or contact him anytime at 

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