There are two main goals shared by nonprofits when it comes to monthly (or weekly or quarterly) e-newsletters: getting people to subscribe and retaining those subscribers. There’s always room for improvement in both areas, so make sure you keep the following tips in mind when marketing and publishing your e-newsletter:
1. Leverage Social media to gain subscribers: Many of your supporters follow you on social media, so why not ask them to subscribe there? Make a Facebook post or tweet the link to the online sign up form for your e-newsletter. Also, send out a link to view your e-newsletter on the web each time it is published, so people can check it out.
2. Relay the benefits of subscribing: Simply telling your supporters that you have an e-newsletter isn’t enough. They want to know WHY they should subscribe. Do you offer special content that they won’t find elsewhere? Breaking news? Let them know!
3. Keep your e-newsletter short and to the point: People want to absorb what’s new at your organization as efficiently as possible. Have a clickable table of contents, so people can jump to the stories that interest them most. Keep stories short and link to a full version on your site, if necessary. Though, there are varying opinions on this. It’s up to you to decide which route to take for your organization.
4. Tailor your e-newsletter to your supporters: Using click-through tracking, track what articles are most relevant to your supporters. You may be surprised by what articles people find interesting enough to click through for more information.
5. Make sure your e-newsletter previews well: Many people decide whether or not to read a message by scanning the sender name, subject line, and/or preview. Make sure your message displays as nicely as possible on major email programs, and that your sender name and subject line leave no question about what they are receiving.
6. Ask current subscribers to Forward to a Friend: An eye-catching button and tell-a-friend sign up form can allow your happy readers to forward your e-newsletter to other potential subscribers. Make it easy for them to do so.
7. Allow people to change their subscription preferences: Everyone is overloaded with emails these days, so sometimes people decide it’s necessary to cut back. If one of your subscribers makes that decision, make sure there is an easy way for them to change their subscription preferences. They might choose to still receive other communication from you, instead of unsubscribing all together.