A nonprofit’s eNews is the unsung hero when it comes to stewarding your constituents. eNewsletters offer an additional touchpoint to communicate and engage with your constituents with the goal of converting subscribers to take the next step whether it’s participating in an event or making a donation. eNewsletters provide the latest information and news happening at your organization that demonstrate impact of giving and make a personal connection to the mission of the foundation to the recipient. Let’s dive into some top tips for an engaging eNews.
Balance stewardship and appeals throughout the year
When you look at your annual communications calendar, how many stewardship emails versus solicitations do you have throughout the year? Often when we first start working with our clients, they are only sending solicitations all year long rather than building 1:1 relationships with their constituents. The eNews offers a break from solicitation communication and a way to provide stewardship and demonstrate impact. A strong eNews and stewardship strategy throughout the year would increase the response rate to your solicitation campaigns. To go one step further, some clients add additional touch points throughout the year in addition to eNews. This could include:
- 6-month anniversary touch point
- 12-month anniversary touch point
Mix up content
eNews can also be used as a way to sprinkle in other CTAs such as Monthly Giving, Event Sign-ups, Mid Level, DAFs, etc. We don’t expect much conversion for these activities from the eNews, but in mentioning these CTAs it primes your audience for better results on specific monthly, Mid Level, Event Sign-Up or DAF campaigns, as examples.
Using conditional content (content based on the recipient’s activity or donation history) is an additional way to show the recipient who is engaged that the organization is managing their gift in a positive way. This can also be used to thank a recipient for their participation in a fundraising event or let them know of an item which may be of personal interest. Check out our past blog post about other ideas to include.
Other quick tips to consider:
- Make sure your newsletter has relevant, excellent stories (specifically about outcomes and volunteers). PS, our team can help gather, interview and write more stories if needed!
- Make sure your newsletter has clear calls-to-action. Such as “read more”.
- Make sure the messaging is about impact and the subscriber more than your organization. A good rule of thumb would be for every 3 stories, 2 stories should be about impact with the remaining being some type of promotion.
- Keep it concise and scannable. Share a short snippet of the story with a “read more” link that links to the full story.
- Review send times and send dates and deploy at more optimal times.
- Consider when other communication is being sent to your audience. Ex. do not send eNews same day as other communication.
- Consider suppressing unengaged emails from your file. Ex if a large number of emails or patients has been added to your file, this would adversely affect your stats. Please see screenshot below for recommended stewardship strategy for patient email addresses*.
- Cross promote what is in your newsletter with social and blog posts.
- Use UTM links for all URLs with the addition of the “ad content” field to see traffic the eNewsletter is sending to your site as well as which parts of the newsletter your constituents are engaging with the most.
- Consider personalized content based on the constituent’s interests, for example if the donor made a donation to a specific fund, make the first story relevant to that topic.
- Use images that are reflective of the specific article or overall message. Engaging images will help drive the content.
Overall your eNews is a key component of stewardship when looking at the holistic view of a constituent’s journey, helping you build rapport with your supporters. The performance should be measured with clicks and unsubscribe rate, and not necessarily donations. Looking to refresh your eNews or strategize about content? Doing Good Digital is here to help.