Digital Charity Lab expert panel member Glyn Thomas did an interesting experiment earlier this year where he signed jup for 100 different charity mailing lists, to test out 1) how easy or difficult it was to sign up, 2) the deliverability of the emails, and 3) what kind of content the charities actually sent him.
Glyn set a few conditions – he used a brand new, standalone Gmail address. He only provided the bare minimum of information, just name and email address and never postal address. He signed up to 100 lists (which was harder than it sounds) and then waited to see the results over a period of eight or nine weeks.
Some of the results will make you groan. The charity whose signup form was so complicated that Glyn (a digital consultant who really wanted to sign up!) had to abandon it. The organisations that forced people to set up an account on their website just to subscribe. The charities who sent him nothing but fundraising asks week after week. The charities who sent him direct mail via post despite him never having provided his address.
Glyn wrote up his findings in an article on the JustGiving blog, and he also did a 7 minute presentation on it at this year’s eCampaigning Forum in Oxford, which you can watch above. Well worth reading and watching – as Glyn says, there are loads of easy wins that you can apply to your email that will lift you above the competition.
Follow Glyn on @glynmthomas