7 Tips for Effective Nonprofit Email and Newsletter MarketingFundraising, Fundraising Services, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Social Media for Nonprofit Fundraising, Telephone Fundraising | Desi Cabrera | August 21, 2012 at 12:01 am
As part of my Social Media Summer Series, last week I wrote about the 5 Benefits of Email and Newsletter Marketing for Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement and today I am continuing that theme with email and newsletter marketing tips that will engage supporters while promoting your cause and adding to the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
- Research. From the conceptualizing phase and throughout, it’s a good idea to subscribe to competing and more established newsletters to asses content, style and frequency of their communications. This will provide you with additional insight when creating and managing your own program so it remains unique to your organization and its supporters. It’s important that your e-marketing pieces stay current but true to your brand identity.
Don’t Spam. Resist the urge to include everyone in your donor database and rolodex in your email marketing distribution list. Send your email marketing and and newsletters only to those who specifically register to receive your emails. Sending unsolicited emails is considered spam and can reflect negatively on your organization, ultimately defeating the purpose of your initiatives. You can always add a linkable “sign up to our newsletter” message to our email signature to alert those you interact with about your newsletter. Also, you can include the details of your newsletter in your next supporter outreach campaign.
- Quality Over Quantity. The number of email addresses in your distribution list is not as important as the quality of those emails addresses. Growing your distribution list organically may take some time, but you will produce better results and will have stronger connections with those who have opted in. They are more likely to read and appreciate the message than those who did not opt-in. Reach out to those who are already engaged with your cause (via your website, blog, past donor, vendor, etc) and give them the opportunity to register to receive emails from you by including a call to action at every opportunity (see above).
- Content is King. Your email communications or newsletters to your subscribers must have content that is engaging and worth your supporters time to open and continued reading. Avoid over self-promotion of your cause or including a long-winded “ask” in every piece of communication. It could be off-putting to the recipient and result in unsubscribing. The goal is to build relationships and create a connection where the supporter is consistently engaged and happy to remain so. The content should be informative about your cause including latest news, developments, successes and tips related to your cause’s objectives to present your organization as experts in your field. Including a Donate Now button should suffice in most cases.
- Ideas Folder. One of the biggest challenges when planning your email communication/newsletter is original, interesting story ideas that keep content fresh. Keeping an ‘ideas folder’ as a resource for future newsletter topics is a great way to ensure that there is always something to write about. Use your interactions, feedback or frequently asked questions from your supporters as topics for future emails. Have other team members within your organization add to your ideas folder and provide topics based on their interactions with your community. Always be on the lookout for a story or even a snippet so that your readers would find interesting.
- Keep It Short. Often email communication/newsletter contains too much information and it can be overwhelming and just gets deleted. Personal communication is often limited to a brief text, Facebook update or Tweet with 140 characters or less. Keeping your communications relevant and concise with links to your website or blog for additional information will generate better results. There is no minimum length or quota each email communication/newsletter should adhere. Send out your best each time and leave the rest out.
- Strong Subject Line. Once your email newsletter has been finalized, it needs to be titled with a strong subject line that will spark your subscriber’s interest to open and read your content. Simply titling it “August Newsletter” will not incite the recipient to open your email however a title with a question or a fact directly relating to the content of the email can generate much better results. Make sure you are avoiding using any spam filter trigger words so your email communication/newsletter gets received.
Implementing an email newsletter marketing plan has many benefits and can complement a nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy provided it’s well planned and executed. Engaging supporters through this method creates a stronger and much more personal connection that may produce long lasting financial support results.
Stay tuned for my next post in my Social Media Summer Series when I cover website and blogging tips. You can browse my Social Media Summer Series posts for nonprofits which includes a series on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest along with other related topics.
Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.