The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

5 Ways to Make a Great First Impression on New Email Subscribers

We all know relationships don’t happen overnight.

Busy nonprofits have to work hard to nurture and retain relationships with their supporters, donors, and volunteers to ensure the success of their organization and to further their cause.

Long-lasting relationships start with a great first impression.

One of the easiest and most effective ways your nonprofit can start off in the right direction is to provide a great follow up experience for your new email subscribers.

Let’s look at some of the things you organization can do:

1. Give a warm welcome

One of easiest ways to keep the momentum going with a new contact is to send a Welcome Email. With Constant Contact, you can customize your Welcome Email with your own branding, logo, and content. Each time a new contact joins your list, they will automatically receive your Welcome Email.

Consider incorporating these 4 elements in your Welcome Email as well:

  • A warm and friendly introduction
  • Summary of what to expect in future mailings
  • A guarantee of data privacy and security
  • Personal signature with contact details

Here’s everything you need to know about designing a great welcome email.

2. Offer a thank you and a next step

Thanking new subscribers for their interest shows how much their support means to you. The best thank you will clearly articulate why their support matters, and give them the opportunity to get involved right away.

Think about how you can thank your audience in a unique and heartfelt way. Consider creating a short 30-second video to show your appreciation, or snapping a fun photo of you and your staff.

Then, come up with some ideas to encourage your subscribers to take action. You can test out what works best – maybe you want to ask for a small donation right at the start, or just encourage new subscribers to forward this to a friend so you can grow your list further.

Fogo Fund encourages new subscribers to get involved by printing out a flyer and posting it in their community. This small ask is a great way to spread the word within different communities.

Fogo Fund


3. Nurture new relationships with an Autoresponder series

Autoresponder is a tool that lets you create a series of personalized, automated emails that are sent to a contact after they are added to a list. Similar to a Welcome Email, the benefit of Autoresponder is that you can “set it and forget it.” You choose the frequency in which you reach out to your contacts, design a series of emails, and add relevant contacts to this list.

An Autoresponder is especially useful for new contacts because you’re ensuring they receive a great introduction to your organization right from the start. You could start by telling your organization’s story, then provide valuable case studies to show the difference you’re making, and finish you’re your series by encouraging your new contacts to get involved.

4. Ask for more information

As a nonprofit, you know that data can play a big role in achieving success. Asking your new contacts for information about themselves will help you know more about your audience and the best ways to reach them.

Use an online survey to collect demographic information about your audience. If you added a group of contacts after an event, follow up by asking them for feedback on the event and how you can improve in the future. Allowing them to share their feedback will make them feel more invested in what you’re doing.

This is also a great chance to ask questions that will give you a better sense of what your new contacts are interested in, how often they want to hear from you, and how they found out about your organization.

5. Show off your social side

If your contacts are joining your email list, there’s a good chance they’re looking to stay up-to-date on all the things you have going on. For nonprofits with an active social media presence, emails provide the perfect opportunity to point to your social media channels as well.

Promoting your social channels to new contacts gives them the ability to peruse your older content and catch up on what your organization has been up to recently. That way, even if they haven’t been familiar with your organization for long, they’ll have a better sense of your recent initiatives.

Add buttons to your social media channels at the bottom of each email you send out. You can also add a share bar to every email, so readers can share your emails to their own sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Here’s how Strong Women Strong Girls promoted their social presence in a recent email:


Strong Women Strong Girls footer


Strike while the iron’s hot.

With these 5 ideas in mind, you’re ready to reach out to your new contacts make a great first impression. By putting in the effort and investing time and energy in relationships right from the start, your new contacts will reward you with loyalty that will drive you to success for years to come.

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About This Blog

Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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