Your email newsletter is crucial for the success of your organization. Sixty-three percent of organizations surveyed in Australia did not send a single email to new subscribers within the first 30 days of signing up. They're missing out on one of the most effective ways to convert fans online.
In this post, you'll see how you can make the most of each element, from the subject line, through the body text, and to your call to action at the end of each newsletter.
The email platform that shows the shortest character count in the default view is Hotmail. Readers can only see the first 37 characters of your subject lines. So, try to keep them to 37 characters or less.
If you can't find a way to do this, then make sure that you front-load the most important words at the beginning of the text. Keeping subject lines readable will ensure that readers know what's inside and whether or not they want to open your emails.
Make sure that these short subject lines somehow leave a question unanswered or generate a sense of urgency. The only way your newsletters are going to be read is if you make them enticing.
Here's an example of a great subject line from an email newsletter from Guide Dogs, sent out on April 15, 2016:
"You're not allowed to read this."
Is this simpler than you expected? Are you wondering what makes this subject line great? It's brief, and it facilitates a question: "Why not?" followed by, "I'll read it if I want to." If the answer to the reader's question can be found inside the email, readers naturally want to open it to find out.
Instead of telling the story of the work that your organization does, give all the credit to readers. If you make them feel like philanthropists, they will be philanthropists. Rather than saying something like, "In January, Feeding America fed 111,000 hungry people in New Mexico, Oregon, and Nevada," here's what Feeding America actually said:
Feeding America thanked its volunteers. The organization delivered the data, along with a note expressing its gratitude. Its staff members gave credit for the amazing work to the readers of the newsletter, not themselves. You want to tell your brand story in your newsletters, and this is the right way to do it.
Alzheimer's Society wanted to generate website traffic that would get people involved in its marathons. It sent out a newsletter to its Get Involved subscribers publicizing all of its current events. At the bottom of the newsletter, it included calls to action (CTAs), encouraging readers to "find out more."
When you want something from readers, you need to ask for it. Tell them what you want. A converting call to action is clear, simple, and actionable at the current moment. You can explore case studies that showcase the various ways to use CTA buttons and choose the best wording for your goals.
For some inspiration, and to see what other nonprofits are sending their subscribers, take a look at Copper's Charity Email Gallery online.
When all's said and done, the anatomy of the perfect email newsletter for a charity or nonprofit includes a killer subject line; a brand story that doesn't focus on the brand; and a clear, actionable call to action. Employ what you've learned here to your next email campaign.
Marry McAleavey is a content marketing specialist at the essay service writing company. She is constantly searching for new ways to create engaging content.
Image 1: Feeding America
Image 2: Alzheimer's Society
Well said, Marry!
Come up with a short subject line that grabs attention. Lead with your most important information. Tell your story in a way that makes it all about your valuable people (donors, members, volunteers, etc.). Ask for their help with a clear call to action based on your goals. Use numbers to show impact and results. Never forget to thank your supporters for their great efforts.
You covered some very important points that are key ingredients to a successful newsletter campaign.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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