Never underestimate the importance of a great e-newsletter and how it can help build engagement and drive your audience towards your goals. Here at Weight Creative, we are often tasked with creating e-newsletter campaigns from the ground up with new layout templates and auto responders. Often times, we’ll find that our clients have pretty underwhelming implementations with their e-mail marketing, and it’s no surprise that they struggle with success. So here’s some insight from our years of experience to help you with your own campaigns.
Use e-mail campaign software
Seriously. Often times a website’s content management system (CMS) can send out half-baked e-newsletters or you have an AMS system that also provides this functionality. We see these used often, simply for the convenience. Unfortunately, often times these services are terrible with clunky interfaces, hard to update templates that don’t match your website’s layout and analytics that make no sense to you.
Sure, it might automatically pull in your subscriber database because it’s tied to your AMS, but without ways to measure success and tons of time spent updating your newsletters each time.. it could easily be wasted efforts. We like platforms like Mailchimp and Aweber because they have easy to use drag and drop interfaces and more often than not, offer more flexibility and reporting than all-in-one systems like, for example, Nation Builder. (Sorry Nation Builder, but I’m constantly underwhelmed by you.) Okay, let’s move on.
Have a goal for your readers
Make sure you know what you want your readers to do. Sure, an e-newsletter is a great place to simply give updates and keep your readers in the loop, but it’s also an opportune time to remind your subscribers about important causes to donate to, new publications that your NGO might have put out or events that they should be interested in. These should take priority, and your newsletter should be built with pushing them towards these end goals.
Build your content with substance.
Especially with the rise of email templates and generators, it’s all too easy to just dump a bunch of links into your e-mail and call it a day. This is well intentioned, sure, but it’s not going to do anything for your marketing engagement and conversions. Even if you don’t have a fancy layout for your newsletters, create REAL content – use it to tell a story, build in some narrative, flow and commentary. Get them interested. Adding in these personal touches is a great way to give your readers a more subjective approach that allows them to connect with you and your non-profit.
This is huge. If your newsletter has a reputation of providing insight and useful information, you will find that it is much more likely to be opened – regardless of whether or not you have a promotion or other enticing offer. A great way to do this is through stories and reports that explain concepts and ideas based on current events or discussions happening within your target community.
Tweak your timing
Every audience is different, and your newsletter could easily go from being informative and interesting to annoying and distracting if sent too often. Conversely, you could only be sending it once you feel like you have something to share, which is a common mistake. If this is the case, reframe the way you view your newsletter and send it out regularly! It could give your readers something to look forward to. In either case, the big take away here is that people like regularly scheduled content, and analyzing how often you are sending your newsletters could be worth your time.
Make it shareable
One of the best ways to grow your e-newsletter lists! This can be achieved by having that added value content we spoke about above. Things like a great story, an infographic, interesting facts and most importantly, a share button will all go far to help increase your NGO’s presence in this space.
Hopefully you found a few tips in this article that will help your non-profit increase it’s engagement and you’ll see an increase in open rates and subscriptions. And as always, if you want help growing your lists or you have other troubles with your e-mail campaigns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by scheduling a quick, casual call to talk about where you’re at and what you might be struggling with. Or heck, even shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!