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Nonprofit newsletters new

  1. 1. Nonprofit Newsletters That Engage How to use email newsletters to raise awareness, strengthen your relationships and help achieve your mission.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc.
  2. 2. Agenda  The Key to An Engaging Newsletter  Why an Online Newsletter is Essential  The Right Content and Frequency  Design Tips That Drive Response  Getting Into The Email Inbox and Opened  Understanding and Using Email Reports Really quick and easy; (Bonus Content: Getting Supporters Signed Up) highly impactful.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc.
  3. 3. The Key to Engaging Newsletters Do You Have the Right Mindset? ■ Not to get immediate action Newsletters build Members will ■ Information focused rather than relationships, provide support to just get action retention and when they are loyalty. ready. ■ Demonstrates the impact your organization is making ■ Keeps your organization in your supporters mindCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 3
  4. 4. The Importance of an Engaging Newsletter Gets New Supporters It takes an average of 7 touches before an action occurs. 59% of people need to hear something about a specific organization 3 - 5 times to believe that information is likely to be true. – Edelman Trustbarometer 2011 Informative Understands and Initiates action newsletter to Gets and keeps connects to your potential them opening (donation/advocacy) cause supporters Initial Action Doesn’t Get You The Biggest Payoff  New supporters cost 10 times more than keeping existing ones  It’s 5 times easier to win back a lost supporter than to find a new one  Loyal supporters generate referrals! An engaging newsletter is even more important for current supporters.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 4
  5. 5. The Importance of an Engaging Newsletter Keeps The Supporters You Have  Supporters want information  In 2010 42% of nonprofits had donors ask to be updated on how their contributions were spent. A significant increase from 32% in 2008. – 2010 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey  Information helps supporters feel connected  The #1 reason existing donors stopped giving to a particular charity is that they no longer felt connected to the organization (57.7%). – 2008 Bank of America Survey  Information lets supporters see that their donation is making an impact  Just less than 20% of donors believe that their donations make a major impact on the organizations they support. – 2008 Bank of America Survey Informative Repeat action Word of newsletter to Keeps them Deepens their (donation/advoc mouth - existing connected interest acy) referrals! supportersCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 5
  6. 6. Nonprofit Newsletter Success Story Center for Adoption and Education (C.A.S.E.) Constant Contact member since 2005 List size: 5,588 Open rate: 26.74% Website: Benefits of Informative content:  Makes this organization a trusted source for information  The referrals generated have been invaluable to their mission “Our informational newsletter has become a trustworthy communication that our readers love to share – across the country.” “As a result, we do get a range of referrals – from individuals who want and need our adoption- sensitive books to professional organizations who otherwise would not have known about the professional and community programs we offer.” - Michelle Lovejoy, Director of Community EducationCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 6
  7. 7. Online, Paper or Both? Many of your supporters prefer and use email:  91% of Internet users between 18 and 64 send or read email. Source: Email Stat Center  Email usage up 22% among 55-64 years old and up 28% among 65 and older. Source: The 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review by comScore  Communications technology preferences continue to shift among donors of all ages with 69% now preferring electronic over print communication. There is more interest in receiving information electronically, particularly among donors 65 to 74. Source: Cygnus Donor Survey 2011 It’s Cost-effective:  Direct Mail costs 20 TIMES as much as email  Email ROI: $43.62 returned for every $1 spent Source: Direct Marketing Association 2009 Email is a powerful compliment to direct mail E-newsletters are the most  Allows for more regular communication important communication tool for nonprofits in 2011,  Keeps supporters more informed and engaged followed by website, direct mail,  Allows for personalized/segmented messages in-person events, Facebook, and  Trackability provides new insights media relations/PR. Source: 2011 Nonprofit Marketing Guide  Reaches new people and raises awarenessCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 7
  8. 8. Engaging Newsletter Content “80% of recipients Stop Reading emails they have signed up for because they deem them Irrelevant.” – Study by the Ad Agency Quris Have Relevant Content By Segmenting What different groups of supporters do you communicate with? Donors Volunteers Board Members Event attendees What are their interests/preferences? Capture supporter information Email/direct mail/social media needed to segment your list and be Frequency preference relevant. Events  Use your sign up forms to let Volunteer opportunities them identify themselves Certain programs  Use surveys to know their Activism interests and passionsCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 8
  9. 9. Engaging Newsletter Content Use Your Newsletter Sign-up Form to Segment  Post list options that will tell you which group sign-ups fit in. Just exploring your work, a volunteer, a donor, board member etc.  Provide existing subscribers an email with a link to your sign-up form. Lists/Segments  Once they click “submit” they are automatically added into the list(s) they selected. Don’t have  Keep It Simple a sign up box/form? About 1/3 of nonprofits made it hard to subscribe. – Return Path Nonprofit Study: Telling Use Constant Stories, Building Relationships 2009 Contact’s free customizable  Collecting email address, name and sign up box main interest will let you start and form: bin/constantcontact.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1641 sending engaging communications.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 9
  10. 10. Engaging Newsletter Content Use a Welcome Email to Learn More  62% of nonprofits organizations started the relationships with subscribers off right by sending a welcome message.  90% sent them within 24 hours. Source: Return Path Study: Telling Stories, Building Relationships 2009  Send within 24 hours of sign up to make an immediate connection You’ve been successfully  There may be a delay in getting your next newsletter subscribed to our informative  Automatically sent out if using Constant Contact sign newsletter. Once a month we will up form keep you in the know of environmental updates and opportunities for action.  Include a link to a simple survey to know supporters’ interests and passions and Want to get updates even quickly segment them more specific to your interests? Take a couple Tips: minutes to let us know your  Send the same survey to the people already on interests and passions. your list to segment them.  Good starting point - survey template: “Nonprofit Pack – Donor/Volunteer Interests”Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 10
  11. 11. Engaging Newsletter Content Using the Results of Your Simple Subscriber Survey Ask questions that will help you segment:  Which ways would you like the organization to communicate with you?  What frequency do you prefer?  Which programs are you most interested in?  Which types of information would you like to receive from our organization? Responses are tallied for you with online surveys Save people with similar interests as a separate listTip: You can easily filter on multiple responses to create more defined lists, for example: One List = Those interested in Email channel, Program A, and StoriesCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 11
  12. 12. Engaging Newsletter Content Target Content to Your Segments  Create lists/groups with similar interests  Supporters can add themselves through your sign up form  You can add people from your survey results  Send a newsletter to different groups based on their interests Tips to keep it simple:  Create your general newsletter  Use the copy feature Duplicates are managed for you  Re-creates your newsletter exactly and the copy is completely editable.  Add in a block or two that is unique for each group or just re-prioritize the contentCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 12
  13. 13. Engaging Newsletter Content: Customer Spotlight Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times Open Rate: 38.6% Website: ■ Segmenting ■ Segments their contacts into groups: volunteer, donor, and supporter lists. ■ Tracking engagement ■ Use reporting to see who the first person is to open an email ■ Saving money and time ■ Camp constituents love the nonprofits cost savings on printing and staffing ■ Keeping supporters engaged “We have 600 volunteers in our database, but they’re not all active. It’s a great way to keep the information flowing out there.” David Garry, Volunteer CoordinatorCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 13
  14. 14. Sending Newsletters That Engage Getting the Frequency Right How frequently are other nonprofits emailing? #1 - Monthly (43%) How Often To Send #2 - Every other week (17%) ■ Your goal is to keep supporters engaged #3 - Quarterly (16%) -2011 Nonprofit Marketing Guide ■ At least quarterly ■ Updating supporters twice a year isn’t enough to keep them engaged and keep your organization top of mind Tip: Do you have an 8 page newsletter that you send twice a year? Divide it into a quarterly, more timely email communication. Shorter communications are more likely to be read and shared. ■ Frequency should be driven by: ■ How often can you produce fresh, interesting, relevant content? ■ What your supporters groups want ■ How often do they want updates? ■ Use your subscriber survey to find outCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 14
  15. 15. Frequency that Works Tocqueville Society Email - Quarterly Tax Volunteers Email - MonthlyCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 15
  16. 16. Frequency that WorksYoung Leaders Society Email - Twice Monthly Board of Directors Email – MonthlyCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 16
  17. 17. Content That Engages Supporters Having a hard time getting good content? Keep Track of Everyday Content  Listen to and keep a log of what donors/volunteers/board members are asking about. Listen via Twitter for valuable content  Go to, search on keyword about your industry, organization or topic of interest. Sign Up For Regular Content Feeds (RSS)  Sign up for a topic closely related to your mission – human rights, violence prevention, literacy, climate change, etc.  Creates a pool of content for articles in your newsletter  Examples – Twitter, Google, CNN, NPR Tip: How many times is the word YOU in your newsletter?Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 17
  18. 18. Having a Hard Time Getting Content? Make Your Newsletter Interactive ■ Insert Polls and share results ■ Insert a link to let them ask you questions and have a “Q&A” section to answer ■ Insert a “Tell Us What You Want” section ■ Ask what they like and don’t like ■ Include an option for them to sign up to be a guest columnist 18Copyright © 2010 Constant Contact Inc.
  19. 19. Content That Engages Supporters Use Content You Already Have Connect your supporters with specific content on:  Website  Blog  Youtube channel Video in email increase clicks by 2-3 times (Forrester) Video increases subscriber engagement by 20-200%. (Visible Gains) Video results in a 75% reduction of opt-out rate. (Eloqua)  Facebook page  Those age 55 and up is the fastest growing segment of Facebook users. (comScore 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review) Get started with social media http://www.socialquickstarter.comCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 19
  20. 20. Content That Engages Supporters Can You Promote in Your Newsletter? “Over-solicitation” was the second most- reported reason why donors stop giving (32%). – Cygnus Donor Survey 2011 As long as you’re providing informational content, readers won’t mind some promotion. What is a good balance? 85% Informational 15% Promotional “When subscribers read about the new book in the newsletter, they forwarded it to others and C.A.S.E used their online newsletter to bring helped us generate hundreds of pre-sales as attention to its new book W.I.S.E. Up! For well as connected us to professionals at the children in foster care. local and state levels who could get this important book into the hands of foster children.” - Michelle Lovejoy, Director of Community EducationCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 20
  21. 21. Content That Engages Supporters Easily Identify What Content is Working and What Content Is Not Use the Results of Your Clicks Report Identify hot topics Click to see who clicked on a link and easily create lists of people with similar interests. Ask Supporters for Feedback ■ Ask supporters what they like ■ Ask supporters what they don’t like Tip: Good starting point - survey template: “Nonprofit Pack – Newsletter Feedback”Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 21
  22. 22. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response Make Your Newsletters Go Viral Benefits of Providing Engaging Content 1. Increases awareness of your organization 2. Grows your list Make it Easy for Subscribers to Share the Information  Place “Forward” links/buttons near the Top of the newsletter  Place “Share” bar at the Top of the newsletter  Allows your subscribers who are on social media to share the information with their social networks. Make It Easy For Friends to Sign Up  Have a visible “Sign up” box in your newsletterCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 22
  23. 23. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive ResponseMake your Newsletters Go Viral Most nonprofits are using viral components in their emails. ■ Table of Contents ■ Education focused ■ Encourages forwards ■ Encourages Sign ups Source: Return Path Nonprofit Study - Telling Stories, Building Relationships 2009Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 23
  24. 24. Design Guidelines-Personalization Quickly Include Personalization First Name What information do you have beyond email address? City and State  Name  City  Level of membership  Amount last donated Event in city  Program of interest  Name of event they attended  How long they have been a supporterCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 24
  25. 25. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response Use Hot Spots Top left and right corners generally have the highest click rates. Test different layouts with your audience. They may have a different behavior than you expected. Bottom – after reading the valuable content, feature more information about your programs and options to support your mission.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 25
  26. 26. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response How much are you saying? Users spend 51 seconds reading the average newsletter. – Nielsen Norman Group Report: Email Newsletter Usability Make it an easy read ■ Use one or two columns (depending on amount of content) ■ Ideal number of articles is up to 5 ■ Have visual separation between topics ■ Borders between each section ■ Use headlines ■ Include bolding and bullets ■ Add links ■ Say just enough to get the reader interested, then use links.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 26
  27. 27. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response Keep it Short By Adding Links Use teaser paragraphs and link to the full content stored somewhere else. ■ On your blog or Facebook business page ■ On your website (just as easy as adding an image)  Content on a page of your site  Word or PDF document hosted on your site ■ On another website (e.g. CNN) ■ Document hosted online (e.g. Constant Contact) Benefits of adding links: 1. Easy to read 2. Could drives traffic to your website 3. Provides tracking – the clicks report tells you who is clicking on  When readers click they will see a what links! new window with the webpage or document you choose.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 27
  28. 28. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response NoHo Arts District ■ Good use of headers, bolding and links to assist with scanning ■ Two column layout to minimize scrolling ■ Table of contents helps with quick navigation ■ Clean white look and visual separation between each articleCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 28
  29. 29. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response Including Links in Your Newsletter Don’t miss an opportunity to get Give supporters the option to supporters to your website. see Past Issues.  Make images clickable Especially your logoCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 29
  30. 30. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response Accommodate Mobile Phones Email remains the #1 activity on mobile devices increasing 41.6% in 2010. Source: Nielsen Net View View on “Mobile Device” receives an average of 9% of email clicks. Source: Worldata Email usage Study Q4 2010Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 30
  31. 31. Newsletter Design Tips that Drive Response Optimize the Text Version The text version is likely seen by about 15% of your list. – Return Path 2007  Created for you You can Preview and Edit just the text version  Optimize the text version – Make sure your Organization Name immediately appears – Shorten up long URLs – Free URL shortener: bitly.comCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 31
  32. 32. Getting Into The InboxEngagement with Standard Email Programs(e.g. Outlook, Hotmail) ■ Not designed for sending to groups of people ■ Small nonprofits can’t build the sending reputation needed for high deliverability Typical block rate:  Nearly 21% of B to C email is not delivered to the inbox  Nearly 28% of B to B email is not delivered to the inbox Source: The Email Deliverability Benchmark Report, 2009 Return Path ■ No privacy of “To” line ■ No control of Look/Feel ■ No Tracking – don’t know who is reading/engaging and with what content ■ Have to manually handle unsubscribes ■ Bounces are not easy to track or manageCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 32
  33. 33. Getting into the InboxEngagement with Email Service Providers(e.g. Constant Contact)  Designed to send to large groups of people  High deliverability – a whole team dedicated to a strong sender reputation Typical delivery:  Constant Contact sends over 2 billion emails a month  97% or higher deliverability  Personalized one-to-one feel  Branded, design is visually engaging, easier to read  Can track opens and click throughs and adjust content accordingly  Unsubscribes managed for you  Bounces categorized and easy to manage 33Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc.
  34. 34. Getting into The Inbox Avoid the Bulk/Junk Folder All capital letters in subject line Excessive punctuation in subject line Things ATTACHMENTS to Excessive ratio of IMAGES to text Red text Avoid Excessive use of “click here” Excessive use of $$ and other symbols  Determine spam-like content before sending - Use the Spam Check feature  Ask subscribers to White List you Add our address to your address book to make sure you receive our informative updates.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 34
  35. 35. Getting Your Newsletter Opened The “From” Line – Use a Familiar From Name ■ Use what will be most recognizable ■ Organization name, campaign, initiative, acronym ■ May vary by the group you’re sending to ■ Shorter is better ■ Be consistent 60% of consumers say the Habitat For Humanity 7 Shovels Needed By Saturday Create Now Nathalie’ Story: Art Changed Her Bad "from" line most often United Way Young Leaders Happy Hour determines whether they John Smith Donate Today!!! open an email or delete it. Charities R Us Volunteers Needed Source: DoubleClickCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 35
  36. 36. Getting Your Newsletter Opened The “From” Line – Use a Familiar From Email Address Some email programs display From name + email Some email programs Display From email onlyCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 36
  37. 37. Getting Your Newsletter Opened The “Subject” line ■ Keep it short and simple ■ 5-8 words ■ Carry through the most important topic for each group Before: Go Green Association Newsletter After: How to Live in Harmony with Backyard Wildlife Habitat For Humanity 7 Shovels Needed By Saturday 30% of consumers say the Create Now Nathalie’ Story: Art Changed Her Bad “subject" line most often United Way Young Leaders Happy Hour determines whether they John Smith Donate Today!!! open an email or delete it. Charities R Us Volunteers Needed Source: DoubleClickCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 37
  38. 38. Getting Your Newsletter Opened Design for the Preview Pane Maximize the top 2 – 4 inches ■ Use your brand  Visible logo and colors ■ Prevent scrolling left/right  Width = 600 pixels ■ Have an headline/image to pull readers in ■ Have a Table of Contents  Use as Anchor Tags to pull 33% of online customers use Preview Panes to view emails. them down - Marketing Sherpa 2008  Re-word / add short descriptionsCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 38
  39. 39. Getting Your Newsletter Opened  Clear Branding – logo, colors, organization name  Clear tagline  Table of ContentsCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 39
  40. 40. Before You Send Your Newsletter Send A Test For Feedback ■ Is it going into the bulk folder? ■ Avoiding spam like content / design ■ Is it clear who it is from? ■ Would you open it? ■ Do the links work? ■ How does the text version look? ■ Shorten long URLs Send Final Version To Staff First ■ Reminds your team of the content and when it is going out ■ Team can be ready for responsesCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 40
  41. 41. Nonprofit Customer Spotlight: Before and After Newsletter Friends of the Parks Improving Chicago’s Parks since 1975 The After:  Recognizable from area  Relevant subject line  Two columns to fit more into the preview pane  Image to pull the reader in  More descriptive links  Forward to friend buttonCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 41
  42. 42. Checklist: Before You Send Your Newsletter…  Did you include your logo at the top of your email?  Does your organization name appear in text at the top of your email?  Are you using consistent background colors?  Does a clear headline appear in the preview pane?  Does a table of contents appear in the preview pane?  Did you include text descriptions for all of your images?  Did you make your images clickable?  Do you have a link to view your email as a webpage?  Did you ask your audience to add your email address to their address book?  Did you limit your email to up to 5 topics?  Did you use teaser paragraphs and include links to the rest of the content?  Did you include personalization and the word you?  Is there something that can better be expressed using a video?  Do you have forward to a friend, subscribe and share buttons in your email?  Did you avoid spam-like content with the spam checker?  Does your subject line highlight the most engaging content in the email?  Is your “from name” recognizable?  Did you preview the text version of your newsletter?Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 42
  43. 43. Extend the Life of Your Newsletter Share Your Newsletter On Your Social Media Pages  Once you have sent your newsletter share it on your social media sites.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 43
  44. 44. Nonprofit Newsletter Metrics Tracking Supporter Engagement Constant Contact’s Nonprofit Customer Averages Open Rate – 20% Click Through Rate – 12.3% (all message types)Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 44 Source: 2011 Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study
  45. 45. Nonprofit Newsletter Metrics Tracking Supporter EngagementCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 45
  46. 46. Nonprofit Newsletter Metrics Tracking Engagement Trends Quickly compare your current newsletter metrics to your past newsletters.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 46
  47. 47. Nonprofit Newsletter Metrics Using Engagement Trends To Improve Future Results Compare open and click rates  Which were the most/least successful? Print out your best and worst performing newsletters  What do they have in common? Does your audience respond better to certain content, layouts, times?  If you find that all the newsletters you’ve sent with “How To” articles had high click rates, design future emails using that lesson. Test ONE thing at a time  Subject Lines, headlines, link text, format, design - determine what best engages your supportersCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 47
  48. 48. The Key to Newsletters Have the Right Mindset It takes an average of 7 touches before an action occurs. New supporters cost 10 times more than keeping existing ones. Keeping existing supporters engaged is where the real payoff comes. Remember: Newsletters are to inform, not to just get action. Informative newsletters to supporters:  Strengthen their connection to your organization  Increase retention  Increase support  Connected supporters generate referrals!Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 48
  49. 49. Your Next Best Steps Email Marketing Email Marketing Thank you for 60-Day Trial Live Product Tour attending! Sign up for a free, 60-day Register for Constant trial of Constant Contact Have Questions? Contact’s “Email Email Marketing Marketing Live Tour” We’re happy to Constant Contact has worked Join a Constant Contact expert with over 100,000 nonprofits. and other nonprofits live to see help! Get free coaching and support, how easy it is to create a grow your email list, access over professional-looking email Toll-free: 400+ templates, and measure newsletter, manage contacts, and track results. track results, as well as send 866-876-8464 your newsletter, and extend its social reach. Bonus Content – Getting Supporters Signed Up… © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 49
  50. 50. Get Supporters Signed Up Website Include Your E-Newsletter Signup Form Link Everywhere Newsletter 76% of nonprofits placed the sign up form on the homepage. – Return Path Study: Telling Stories, Building Relationships 2009 Website pages Donation confirmation pages Thank you letters Email Signature Paper newsletters Social media sites Current email newsletters Signup forms at events Staff’s email signature Tip: Free customizable sign up box and form from Constant Contact - bin/constantcontact.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1641CONFIDENTIAL Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 50
  51. 51. Get Supporters Signed Up Use Your Facebook Business Page 74% Non-profits maintain a presence on Facebook; Associations 55%. -Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report, 2009 Add your own “Join our List” tab to continue the relationship through email - Step by step directions for tab: bin/constantcontact.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2620 Write a post encouraging supporters to sign up with a link to your sign up form.Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 51
  52. 52. Nonprofit Newsletter Metrics Tracking List Growth Tip: Sign up for a report Median annual list growth 20% for nonprofit sector Source: 2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks StudyCopyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc. 52