Drafting a newsletter can be very nerve-wracking. What if no one reads it; what if people unsubscribe as soon as they receive it? Well, chances of both of those things happening are quite high. But in between the unsubscribers and the deleters are a bunch of interested individuals who want to hear what you have to say.
There are some definite tips you can take on board to increase the percentage of those who read it and those who click on a link and visit your website, however. Despite those nerves, it is time to get drafting and provide valuable information to your readers that will have them engaging with your brand and donating to your cause.
Do you have an objective in mind?
If you are purely sending your email out because it is the third Tuesday of the month, then you may find yourself struggling a bit. You need to have a specific objective in mind when drafting it, so it resonates with your readers. Think about what your objective could be this month and then set out to fulfil this aim.
Are you consistent with design and frequency?
If you send out a newsletter every now and again, it may not be so well received. We are creatures of habits and you will be more likely to build trust if you send them out on a regular basis. Try to be consistent with your design, so it matches your newsletter and other marketing material. Once you have drafted it and have the layout approved, stick to it.
Do you have any metrics set in place?
Many nonprofits tend to shy away from metrics because they feel like they are a bit of a failure if they miss the mark. But metrics are particularly useful to see how well your newsletter was received. Focus on the positives – the likes and the clicks which demonstrate your achievements and then work out how to do better next month.
Have you come up with catchy headlines?
Most NFPs spend much of the time writing the text, planning the layout and tweaking the images. But remember, don't leave the headline until the last minute. It is the first thing they see in their inbox and well-placed strategic headings will carry the reader through the entire newsletter. Use them wisely.
Is it as pretty as a picture?
Huge blocks of text can be dull to browse. Break up the words with text or even a video but always check back to see whatever you are adding, connects strongly with the overall objective of the message. Don’t add a picture just for the sake of it.
Do you have a donate button incorporated into your newsletter?
It is such a small thing to do and if you use a template each month, then it is something that you probably don’t even need to think about. Make sure that there is an easy-to-locate donate button on your page in case your readers are feeling in the mood to give.
Constant communication will tick those boxes for accountability and trust, not to mention donor retention. Do your NFP a favour and send out newsletters that are worth writing and reading.