Any marketing professional focused on lead generation will tell you the significance of list building. With new organizations, awareness is a problem. There isn’t much name recognition, for obvious reasons, and no matter how much great content you produce for inbound marketing, it won’t do you any good unless prospective buyers find it.
Media relations, sponsorships and event attendance can help you build awareness, but they don’t produce contact information for your marketing team to use in nurturing campaigns. Buying email lists, starting pay-per-click advertising based on keywords and collecting information through raffles at events are great methods for building your email lists. If you have contact forms and content forms built into your website, there’s also a lot your site can do for you. The more landing pages you can create around targeted keywords, the more SEO juice you can build for potential buyers searching those terms. Continually update your website to drive direct traffic and capture their information with form fills.
What does list building have to do with fundraising madness?
This year, Brackets For Good expanded its bracket-style fundraising tournament to the state of Indiana, whereas in the past it has been focused solely on the Indianapolis area. My mom, a retired teacher in Evansville, Ind., founded a nonprofit 8 years ago, and as soon as we knew about the Brackets For Good extension, we registered her nonprofit for consideration. Lo and behold, Grandin Evolution made it into the tournament!
As background, Grandin Evolution is similar to a Boys and Girls club but targeted to families living in Evansville’s Grandin Pointe mobile home park. It serves 60 to 70 elementary school children each semester, offering them a safe place to go after school where they receive healthy snacks and homework help and have the opportunity for physical activity in a supervised environment. The nonprofit’s goal competing in the tournament was to raise enough money for playground equipment to host a soccer league for children in the mobile home park.
When we learned Grandin made it into the bracket, I went to work updating the organization’s website and creating an email list of board members and volunteers. During the competition, I secured a newspaper article and television interview to attack the awareness problem, and through email marketing I made it easy for supporters to share information about donating to Grandin Evolution. The campaign resulted in more than $3000 raised, enough to buy dirt to re-sod the playground and to purchase soccer goals.
Next year, we’re hoping to participate in the Brackets For Good tournament again, and in the meantime, we’re planning to ramp up list-building efforts to expand our email marketing reach for next year’s tournament. Go, Grandin Evolution!