Brenna Holmes

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Email is the workhorse of any successful online fundraising program. Email offers a number of benefits, particularly the opportunity for true one-to-one communications. It offers all of the personalization opportunity of direct mail, without the cost of mailing; all of the intimacy of the device (specifically smartphones), without having to train and monitor call center employees; and all of the immediacy of a text, without the 160-character limit of SMS.

For any marketer, building a successful prospecting list is a top priority. But as you tweak your direct mail list tests, also take a closer look at your organization's email house file to ensure it contains the cleanest data and highest quality potential supporters. Below are some considerations for building a clean and well-engaged email file.

Asked not once, not twice, but three times if they genuinely want to learn more about Lenny Clarke's comedy and other events coming to the Palace Theatre in Manchester, N.H., more than 28,000 patrons say yes, they really do. Peter Ramsey, president and CEO of the theater, says during the past seven years, the Palace has been collecting email addresses from ticket holders then verifying their opt-ins twice, "so we'd get it right."

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