9 Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit’s E-Newsletter

March 16, 2016

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Your e-newsletter matters more to the success of your campaign than you might think! According to many reports, email marketing is the best channel for return on investment. Despite the rise of social media, it has not been replacing email. Instead, social media has been acting as a compliment to email campaigns, the two working in conjunction can greatly increase the success of your fundraising efforts.

So how do you ensure that your e-newsletters are as effective as they can possibly be? Here’s a list of of what to remember when building your email campaigns:

1. Make your emails mobile-friendly.

By the end of 2014, 66% of emails were opened on a mobile device. As mobile devices increase in popularity, that number can only grow over time. Designing your emails to be mobile responsive or mobile first will help them make the most impact when opened by your supporters.

2. Provide quality content.

In addition to emailing your supporters when promoting a campaign, email them with helpful tips, industry-related updates, inspiring stories, and recaps of successful events and volunteering efforts. Make your readers feel good about their support of your organization and informed about the cause they care about.

Your Content…
Your Content…

According to social media researcher and author Dan Zarrella, including more links in your emails will garner better click-through rates and fewer unsubscribes. Cite your stats and facts with source articles, provide links to more information about your campaigns on your website, and of course include buttons to your donate page.

4. Keep your tone conversational and personal.

It is important to speak as if you are addressing one person and not a massive, anonymous list. Craft your message in a trustworthy, natural voice so that your readers feel personally involved. Read more detailed tips on how to build your nonprofit’s voice across marketing materials.

5. Send emails frequently and on the right days.

Zarella’s research determined that less frequent email sends result in more unsubscribes. So keep your emails regular! However, he does advise to not send out emails on Mondays and Tuesdays, the days in which unsubscribes are highest.

6. Make use of storytelling to make your asks more compelling.

It is much more powerful to read a story about a specific journey or problem in the community and how your nonprofit is working to solve it than simply stating your nonprofit’s needs. Learn more about making the most out storytelling.

7. Connect your e-newsletter to your social media.

Ask your e-newsletter subscribers to follow you on your social media in every email, and conversely ask your social media followers to subscribe to your mailing list.

8. Always include an obvious prompt to donate or take action.

Send your readers to the pages that will directly lead them to help your organization.

9. Make it convenient to opt in to your mailing list.

Give your supporters ample opportunity to subscribe to your mailing list by putting e-newsletter opt-ins on your website, blog, and other online materials.


What does your organization do to maximize the effectiveness of its email campaigns? Add your tips to the comments! For even more suggestions on how to ramp up your newsletter, see these best practices by Nonprofit Tech for Good.

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