Ready to make your e-newsletter irresistible do donors?
Here are 15 things you can do right now to keep donors clicking.
#1. Send out your e-newsletter from an actual person. Each issue, have copy at the top from that person. “I’m so excited to share XYZ topic with you.” Putting a face to this will make your organization more relatable and appealing.
#2. At the end of the e-newsletter, invite people to connect with the person who is sending it out. “Do you have questions about climate change, or how to support our work? Email me directly at …”
#3. Have links in the footer! Most e-newsletter footers point back to social media accounts, which is great, but don’t forget to link back to your main website AND your giving portal.
#4. Have links in the content! Drive people back to your website to see specific page or “read the full story.” Or provide a “more like this” link. Give people reasons to visit your site, to click through your content, and to spend time with you.
#5. Send out less content more frequently. The more top of mind you stay, the more value you’ll have. To that end, break out your newsletter into chunks, i.e. send four small newsletters intermittently over a few weeks instead of one behemoth of a newsletter every month.
#6. Create a great subject line for every issue of your e-newsletter. To do that you can use urgency, active verbs, emotional appeals, personalization, and more. Literally just google “how to write a good e-newsletter subject line” to get a few ideas going. Whatever you do, avoid “Our Nonprofit News” or anything along those lines.
#7. Show don’t tell. Stories will put faces to the work and give examples of your mission statement in action. So while you can absolutely share news about that grant you got, and how many kids you had in your programs last month, pepper that information with examples of real impact via the people (or animals or things) that your organization has helped.
#8. Quotes work too! If you don’t have time to write a full-on story, grab someone and get a great quote. Use a free program like Canva (see number 14 below) to make the words more graphic and visually appealing.
#9. When raising money, try to show a photo of someone who has given a gift, and use wording along the lines of: “More than 20 people just like you have given to support XYZ Nonprofit, including Roger. He says he gives because he knows how much homeless veterans depend on the warm meals we provide.” This gives readers a clear picture of how people just like them are giving, and they can see themselves in that same scenario. Also, someone else has gone first and paved the way! (If you don’t have a photo, don’t sweat it, see number 8 about using the words and giving them a graphic treatment instead.)
#10. Give away helpful content related to your mission, which adds value to readers’ lives. An animal welfare nonprofit could write: “Three tips for making DIY dog toys.” An environmental nonprofit could write: “The one thing everyone in our city needs to know about climate change.” Give it a punchy headline and try to keep it on the shorter side (around 200 words at most).
#11. Give every story a call to action. Examples at the end of each story could include:
Read more about how we’re helping local neighborhoods go green. [links to website]
Give today to support kids like Kayla. [links to giving portal]
Connect with us on Facebook to see more of XYZ Nonprofit’s life-changing work in your news feed. [links to social media]
#12. Use news hooks to make yourself relevant. Connect your work to the broader context of what’s happening out there in the world. Give readers a sense of how this news matters, and how your organization is working to fight/help/impact exactly these kinds of issues.
#13. Lose any and all academic speak, or internal speak (think acronyms or terms only your organization understands) or language that isn’t crystal clear about what you do and who you help. Write everything so that your 80-year-old grandma could understand it.
#14. If you need design help, get friendly with Canva. It’s a free design resource that will help you create graphics for your newsletter, as well as social media, websites, everything. It’s enormously helpful, and I use it all the time. (www.canva.com)
#15. If you need better photography, try Pixabay for free images. It’s still stock, but a fun or colorful image can pull people into your story and give them a reason to keep reading. (https://pixabay.com/)
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