Creating an Effective Newsletter

Espace idées   •   October 23rd, 2019

We all know by now that social media is a must! But email is still an effective means of communication that all nonprofit organizations should use. Not only can it be a useful tool to communicate information, but emailing newsletters can also help you:

  • Build loyalty and connect with subscribers;
  • Engage and obtain commitments;
  • Build relationships;
  • Acquire new donors, volunteers, partners, sponsors;
  • Keep in touch with your audience;
  • Brand your image;
  • Strengthen your reputation;
  • Stand out from other organizations!

In this article, Espace idées shares useful tips on how to create an effective newsletter. Let’s get started!

1. Choose Your Platform

First of all, you need to choose which platform can best meet your needs. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Is there a free or inexpensive platform that could work for your organization? Does the platform have a discount for nonprofit organizations?

  • How many subscribers do you have right now and how many do you think you’ll acquire this year?
  • How many emails do you plan on sending per year? What is the maximum number of emails that the platform will allow you to send?
  • Can you personalize the newsletter’s design?

Two of the most popular platforms are MailChimp and Cyberimpact. Visit their websites for more information.

2. Frequency of Mailings

How often do you want to send your newsletter?

  • Each week?
  • Each month?
  • Each season?

Try as mush as possible to respect the frequency of mailings you’ve decided on. You can also create a calendar and an annual plan of subjects to cover in each of your newsletters to guide you in your content creation and save time.

3. Sender and Email Subject Line

Clearly identify who the email comes from! It’s usually a good idea to use the organization’s name and not a person’s name for credibility and reliability reasons. And choose a sender email that your recipients can reply to if they have questions or comments.

A catchy subject line is the best predictor of whether or not recipients will open and read your newsletter. Avoid generic titles like "November Newsletter,” "Newsletter of the Month" or "Winter Newsletter.” Be original!

  • Use a more casual tone and be authentic;
  • Use humour if appropriate;
  • Use a sense of urgency (a deadline, for example);
  • Don’t use the word “newsletter” or other terms and direct references related to a fundraising solicitation.

4. Content

Go straight to the point and clearly indicate what actions you want your readers to take, be clear and concise.

Your readers subscribe to learn more about your organization. Build a relationship of trust through newsletters that are informative and personalized. A few content ideas include:

  • Presenting of your organization and the people involved (employees, volunteers);
  • Sharing news or interesting facts related to your cause or about your organization;
  • Talking about projects completed or under way, services offered, resources;
  • Introducing an awareness or a fundraising campaign;
  • Announcing fundraising activities;
  • Promoting an event, an anniversary or a national day related to your cause;
  • Sharing your recent blog article or a video;
    Using infographics (a creative way to show stats);
  • Highlighting testimonials;
  • Showcasing PHOTOS!

If you need a hand setting up your first newsletter or improving the layout and content of your current newsletter, Espace idées is here to help! We offer personalized training and coaching.

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