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Five Things Your Nonprofit Email Newsletter Strategy Needs

Email provides a direct line of communication between a nonprofit and its subscribers. Is your organization keeping donors engaged with content that is valuable, timely, and relevant?

Newsletters have evolved from print to digital format over the past few decades but have remained a primary source of communication. Organizations have continued to utilize monthly, bimonthly, and weekly newsletters to inform their subscribers about their latest events, goals, and achievements.

An effective newsletter should not only notify subscribers of important updates, it should also help drive traffic to your website, attract potential donors, support fundraising campaigns and act as a token of thanks for your valued supporters.

By following these five easy tips, your nonprofit can create an all-star newsletter strategy:

1. Determine Your Objectives & Craft Pertinent Content

Like any campaign, your newsletter needs an objective to help drive the overall strategy. Keep in mind your target audience and what information is valuable to your readers. Don’t forget to consider the tone of the email overall! Set goals for the newsletter that align with the objectives. Share content that includes multimedia pieces like images and videos to keep the reader entertained.  

2. Keep It Simple & Sleek

The appearance of your newsletter can ultimately affect the way readers react to your cause. Overall, your newsletter design should be a direct reflection of your website and include the mission and brand.  

Utilize a single column format so that the design is flexible and easy to read on any device (keeping font choices in mind). Prioritize content into a layout that distinguishes what is the most important while incorporating a fair share of negative space throughout. Graphics, images, videos and other visual elements can help break up the content in addition to headings and bulleted items.  

Remember to include social media links in the footer of the email so readers can post your content and share it with their followers.  

3. Catch Their Eye – Consistently

Subject lines are the main reason readers decide to open your email. So make it something that catches their eye! Strong, well-phrased subjects under 50 characters that communicate a sense of urgency are the most effective. Consider personalizing the subject line by inserting a variable like the reader’s name or company name to improve open rates.  

When it comes to sending newsletters, consistency is key. Whether you send your emails bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, etc., schedule emails to send around the same date. Take into account the best times and days of the week to send your newsletter. Historically, emails that are sent during the middle of the week between 2:00-5:00 p.m. have some of the highest open rates.

4. Segment Your List & Test

Make your content more appealing to readers by segmenting your email list. Consider segmenting by donor, volunteer, etc., to ensure that each demographic receives the data that is the most valuable to them.  

With the right resources, try A/B testing to see what works or doesn’t work and adapt your strategy accordingly. Test constantly to try to find the best delivery schedule and topics for each unique supporter group.

5. Personalize & Acknowledge

Keep subscribers engaged as soon as they sign up to receive your newsletter. Begin the relationship on the right foot by thanking them for joining your list. Let them know they are being acknowledged for their action by showing gratitude. Be sure each email is personalized and addresses the subscriber by name. 

By harnessing the power of automation, you can send emails (like the “thank you for subscribing” emails) instantly. In turn, automation improves conversion rates and enhances engagement, strengthening your marketing strategy across multiple channels.  

 

For nonprofits, newsletters are a powerful way to stay connected with donors and constituents. In the end, the best newsletters get nearly instant opens. Why not send something your subscriber can’t wait to read!? 

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