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Breakthrough Nonprofit E-Newsletters

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Designing and regularly distributing the right e-newsletter is a proven way to strengthen relationships with your organization’s key audiences and to motivate them to act.

E-newsletters create a two-way dialogue that motivates conversation with donors, volunteers, clients and others; showcases the impact of your organization’s work; increases program and service utilization; and positions your organization as a thought leader in your field.

Here's how to make that happen!

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Breakthrough Nonprofit E-Newsletters

  1. 1. Breakthrough E-Newsletters 5 Steps to Shaping E-Communications that Connect
  2. 2. I’m so pleased to be here with you today… I’m Nancy Schwartz • Publisher, Getting Attention Blog & E-Update • President, Nancy Schwartz & Company
  3. 3. Today’s Learning Objectives 1. Increasing impact—Opens, click- throughs, response rate 2. Building and maintaining a good email list 3. Evaluating and revising 4. How to fit it in w/everything else
  4. 4. You’ll Leave Today Knowing How to… 1. Define realistic goals 2. Shape the right approach 3. Design the most effective delivery 4. Master the mechanics 5. Promote your e-newsletter to get the most from your effort.
  5. 5. …And with Your E-News Plan 1. Directs your focus 2. Forces you to articulate objectives 3. Baseline for making the right decisions 4. Generates better results
  6. 6. Credit: Kivi Leroux Miller, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com
  7. 7. Effective e-News = Engagement + Action Photo: Julia F
  8. 8. Baseline— What E-news Success Looks Like Personal Stories that engage Clear, visible calls Useful info to action whether readers give or not Accessible Credit: Lori contact Jacobwith info
  9. 9. E-news Plan Template 1. Goals 2. Measurable objectives 3. Target audience 4. Roles & responsibilities 5. Content 6. Personality-Image & tone 7. Format, design & timing 8. List building & maintenance 9. E-News service provider (ESP) 10. Work plan 11. Evaluation & revision
  10. 10. Evaluation—Planning’s Other Half Only 37% of orgs know what’s working. 63% don’t.
  11. 11. E-news Plan Template 1. Goals 2. Measurable objectives 3. Target audience 4. Roles & responsibilities 5. Content 6. Personality-Image & tone 7. Format, design & timing 8. List building & maintenance 9. E-News service provider (ESP) 10. Work plan 11. Evaluation & revision
  12. 12. Focus & Goals
  13. 13. Measurable Objectives • Open rate = # messages opened / # messages delivered  • Click‐through rate = # clicks / # messages delivered  • Response Rate = # actions taken / # messages delivered • Unsubscribe rate = # unsubscribes / # messages  delivered
  14. 14. Evaluate to Increase Impact 1. What’s working 2. Who’s engaged and who’s not 3. Your base’s habits 4. What content is most compelling
  15. 15. How did it do?
  16. 16. Know Your Audience • Segments • Wants • Needs • Preferences • Habits
  17. 17. Point of Connection— Powerful Messaging—Where Org Needs Meet Audience Wants Org Needs Meet Audience Wants
  18. 18. Roles & Responsibilities – Editor‐in‐Chief – Writer – Proofreader – Formatter – Technologist – Review – Analyst
  19. 19. Content – Classic E-News or…
  20. 20. Content – Action Alert
  21. 21. Editorial Calendar
  22. 22. Content Formula • Maximum of 4 elements, aka standing heads • One call to action per element/story • Be consistent
  23. 23. Your Subject Line is Critical! • Flag waving is not a rebellion • Friday is the last day to test your ocean IQ! • Phenomenal • Short: 50‐60 characters max • Specific about what’s inside • Show what’s in it for the reader (in 1st 2 words) • Piggyback on hot topics
  24. 24. Content: Style • Keep paragraphs short. • Line breaks between paragraphs. • Use bullets and white space • Headlines and sub-heads • Highlight links in a color
  25. 25. Make it personal!
  26. 26. Give Your E-news Personality!
  27. 27. Design—Keep It Simple
  28. 28. Building Your Mailing List • Make sure it’s very easy to sign up • Include sign‐up everywhere online, and links  offline • Feature elements that increase registration  rates • Convey the value to readers
  29. 29. Maintaining Your Subscribers
  30. 30. Email Service Providers
  31. 31. Your E-News Work Plan 1. Collect article ideas 2. Turn ideas into rough drafts 3. Drop draft copy into e‐news template, edit 4. Write final article titles, draft subject line 5. Test by sending to internal "newsletter approval"  group and every e‐mail client 6. Check every link 7. Print out to do a final proof 8. Sharpen the subject line one  last time before you publish
  32. 32. Evaluation and Improvement Open rate = # messages opened / # messages delivered  • Average is 15‐25% • Declining due to image issue • Increase by: – Writing for the preview pane – Test changes in subject line, format, time, day Stats: NTEN/M&R: 2010 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study
  33. 33. Evaluation and Improvement Click‐through rate = # clicks / # messages delivered  • Average is 1‐10% • Increase by: – Make content and descriptions compelling – Ensure subject line is accurate – Test changes in format – Highlight what you want readers to click on (box)
  34. 34. Evaluation and Improvement Response Rate = # actions taken / # messages delivered • Average for fundraising emails .75‐2% • Average for advocacy emails 3‐15% • Increase by: – Providing a compelling reason to act – Optimize your landing page
  35. 35. Evaluation and Improvement Unsubscribe rate = # unsubscribes / # messages delivered • Average is .3%‐1% for a single email • Decrease by: – Providing a compelling reason to act – Optimize your landing page
  36. 36. E-news Plan Template 1. Goals 2. Measurable objectives 3. Target audience 4. Roles & responsibilities 5. Content 6. Personality-Image & tone 7. Format, design & timing 8. List building & maintenance 9. E-News service provider (ESP) 10. Work plan 11. Evaluation & revision
  37. 37. Other Useful Resources  http://delicious.com/gettingattention/e-news Flickr: accentoneclectic
  38. 38. Contact Me! Email: nancy@nancyschwartz.com Twitter: @NancySchwartz Phone: 973-762-0079 Blog: http://GettingAttention.org Website: http://NancySchwartz.com Facebook: http://Facebook.com/gettingattention Getting Attention Resources • Subscribe to the E-Update • Read the Blog – GettingAttention.org • Read recent e-update articles (over 70)

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