The ways that our supporters are receiving their information are rapidly changing, and unfortunately many organizations are not keeping up the pace. There’s a rumor going around that email is dead, but guess what? It’s not.
This list, though not extensive, covers some symptoms which may mean your enewsletter needs some help breathing life back into it:
If you want to capture younger supporters and keep them reading your newsletters, you need it to not look like it was made back in 2001. Don’t use tiny font that can be hard for people to read, just so you can fit more text into your enewsletters. Recent online trends show that less is more. You don’t need to put long, expansive articles in your enewsletters, try putting teasers for articles instead. Readers are more likely to skim through and only click on full articles that really matter to them.
Not linking back to your website
Use your enews to send supporters back onto your website. If you have an article, give a brief synopsis and then have them be able to read the full article on your website. You get more traffic back to your site, and you can then include some well placed calls to action, like downloading resources or donating, on your site. Also, if your email platform has the ability, you can add click-through tracking to find out what articles your supporters are most interested in reading.
Not being mobile-friendly
People are increasingly reading email on their phones, so having a mobile-friendly newsletter is extremely important. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
– If you aren’t very tech-savvy, you could try changing your enewsletter to be a one-column format, which will show up much better on a smart phone. If you absolutely can’t tear yourself away from columns, keep it to two at the most. Also, try adding Read More buttons instead of links, because they are easier to tap on a phone than a tiny link. Are you limited to a small library of buttons? It’s pretty simple to make them yourself in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
– If you or someone in your organization is tech-savvy, here is a bit of code you can try out to make your enewsletter mobile-friendly, via the NTEN Blog. Having a responsive enewsletter will not only help your mobile readers, it’ll improve the experience for all readers.
Transitioning from your enewsletter to your website should have a seamless flow. While the look doesn’t have to be the exact same as your website, it should have the same feel. Make sure you’re using your website’s colors, tone and style. If your website frequently uses images and buttons with rounded corners, do the same in your enewsletter. Make sure your enewsletter has a distinct brand that ties in with your website.
It’s all about you
Nobody likes it when someone spends all their time talking about themselves. So why create an enewsletter that is all about you? Make sure that there are donor-centric elements to your enewsletters. Spend some time telling great stories about how donors are making a difference for your organization. This isn’t just your time to shine, it’s your time to shine the spotlight on how your donors and supporters make the organization great.
What other tips would you suggest to help an organization’s enewsletter have more life?