How One Client Built Their Email List From Nothing

How One Client Built Their Email List From Nothing

The Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation has been working to achieve world peace through a scientifically proven approach using Peace Experts who specialize in a highly advanced form of meditation. Intrigued? Check out their website to learn more. They’ve had a strong following in their own community but needed to reach outside their current audience.

Last year, they teamed up with hjc to brand themselves for the general public and work on building a list from scratch. The result is the Global Peace Initiative.

For the 2012 holiday season, they faced a challenge – how do you leverage the season when you have no one on your list? Their focus was list-building, playing off the holidays and peace on earth. Working with hjc the following actions took place:

  • Online advertising in the form of Google AdWords (search  & display) and Facebook Ads
  • Homepage hijack with a direct call to action
  • Facebook tab where people could sign up directly on their Fan page
  • Working with their social media expert, they integrated Facebook and Twitter

The result was great – their list went from zero to almost 1000 in a matter of weeks. 

What was more important than building the list, was maintaining it. The next few months focused on consistently engaging the list and building a strong community who were willing to take action when it was time to ask for a donation.

A series of eNewsletters went out, each with a non-monetary call to action. This got the list used to taking an action after reading an email but didn’t create donor fatigue right away. Their open rate is always over 20% and click through rate varies from 5%-8% (both well above industry averages, according to the recent eNonprofit Benchmarks study). The most surprising thing was that there were zero unsubscribes from the newsletter!

Recently, the Global Peace Initiative launched their first fundraising focused campaign, Be A Part of Peace. We are looking forward to how their new and highly engaged list reacts.

posted on Jul 18

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