Now is a great time to look at your overall marketing strategy and think of new ways to grow your organization. An email newsletter is a great way to do it!
With a regularly scheduled newsletter, you can keep your audience up-to-date and make sure that your supporters never miss a chance to volunteer, donate, or spread the word about your organization. You'll also have the opportunity to stay top-of-mind and strengthen relationships with the people who already support your cause and want to get involved.
To help you get started, here are five tips to consider for your next email newsletter plus some great examples of other nonprofits that are already taking advantage of this powerful marketing tool and are seeing great results!
1. Provide value
"We've used it to promote educational tips and fundraising drives to keep our supporters updated and bring them closer to our mission."
—Marlo Manning of Fairy DogParents
People sign up for your email newsletter because they believe in your cause and want to stay informed. By providing information about the great work that your nonprofit is doing, you'll have more people opening your email newsletter and a better chance for people to take action.
2. Stay focused
"We found out that the longer the email was, the less likely it was for people to actually get the information in it. If we send out emails about a specific topic, then it can reach the right people a lot better."
—Mari Irizarry of Reel Works Teen Filmmaking
While you want to provide value, you don't want to overwhelm your readers with too much information. You also don't want to overcrowd your nonprofit newsletter and make it difficult to read on a mobile device. By delivering a more focused message, you'll not only improve your chances of driving action from your readers, but you'll give your audience what they want.
3. Make it easy for people to get involved
"With our emails, we give them multiple opportunities to get involved. It's important for our contacts to understand that they are a crucial part of our community and their support, whatever they are able to give, is what keeps us going."
—Kayla Peck of Strong Women, Strong Girls
While the primary focus of your newsletter will be to keep your audience engaged, you also need to make it easy for people to take action. Make sure that you're making it easy for them to do so and presenting concrete, easy ways to be involved.
4. Be consistent
"Showing up and having a consistent, relevant presence in our newsletters and social media is super hard because we're so busy, but it's one of the things we live or die by. It would be unacceptable not to have up-to-date, relevant news on Facebook or in our emails."
—John Rife of Winter Park Harvest Festival
Consistency is key.
Come up with a schedule that works for your organization and stick to it. As your newsletter starts showing up in your supporters' inboxes on a regular basis, people will start to expect it. If you're doing things right, that expectation will turn into anticipation and you'll have more people opening, reading, and sharing the content your nonprofit sends out.
5. Be social
"We were fortunate to have a couple that volunteered to match all donations up to $50,000 for the entire month. We were able to drive almost all of our donations with our email newsletter and Facebook page."
—Molly Feltner of Gorilla Doctors
Adding a social element to your email newsletter can help improve communication and extend the reach of your message. Provide links to your social networks from your email newsletter and use sites like Facebook and Twitter to share your content and grow your email list.
Start your own newsletter success story
Keep these tips in mind as you plan for success in 2014. With the right strategy, an email newsletter could be exactly what you need to grow your organization and achieve your goals in the New Year.
As Constant Contact’s Content Developer, Ryan Pinkham helps small businesses and nonprofits recognize their full potential through marketing and social media.