pexels-photo-1083622Newsletters allow you to communicate directly with your supporters, keeping them informed of your latest happenings and accomplishments. This increases your stakeholders’ connection to your cause, which in turn, increases their involvement with your organisation so that they are more likely to act on your behalf.

The following seven strategies will improve the effectiveness of your newsletters.

Identify Your Audience

Your supporters are more likely to read your newsletters when the content is meaningful to them. To be able to create relevant content, you must first know who you are trying to reach. To identify your target audience, think about who is interested in your cause. Is it just the members and beneficiaries of your services? What about your volunteers, donors, staff, board members, and members of the public as well? Segment your audience by key demographics. What traits, interests and other characteristics do members of your audience share, and, what sets them apart? Many content creators find it helpful to create specific personas to represent the various segments of their audience, and to then work on creating content with a “voice” that matches each segment needs and expectations.

Research What Others are Reading

In addition to identifying your target audience and segmenting your list so that you can create content that is more useful to them, you should also spend some time researching what types of content similar organisations are sending to their supporters. Take a close look at what kinds of topics and articles interest their readers and pay attention to the tone and voice that is used. While you don’t want to be too similar to other content providers, researching them can help you identify the needs and interests of your own audience.

Tell Your NFP Stories from Multiple Perspectives

Your supporters’ interests are likely to be extremely varied, so the type of content that appeals to one segment of your list, might not be as attractive to others. When creating articles and other content for your newsletters, you want to try to connect with your audience on a human, emotional level. Look for ways to tell heartwarming, human interest stories from different perspectives to illustrate your impact. For example, stories shared by members and volunteers will likely be told through a different lens and may appeal to different segments on your list because of the difference in perspective, but both stories will highlight just how your organisation made a difference in their lives so that you have content that appeals to everyone.

Don’t Forget to Include a Call to Action

Calls to action (CTAs) aren’t just used for donation requests. Asking your supporters to share your newsletter, take a survey, or sign up to volunteer are also CTAs. One reason why many newsletters fail to convert their readers is that they lack a clear and convincing call to action. Every newsletter should close with a direct call to action that is easy to understand and follow. Include buttons that make it easy for your supporters to act in the desired way with just one click or tap.

Personalise Your Greetings and the Close

Your supporters have already shown their interest in your cause by signing up. Build on this relationship and increase their sense of belonging to a community of like-minded fans that are working together towards a common purpose. Always personalise your greeting with each member’s name, rather than using a generic greeting. Use your own name in the closing, just as you would if you were sending a letter to a family member or close friend.

Grab their Attention in the Subject Line

Before your supporters can read your newsletter, you first must convince them to open it. Ask your readers a thought-provoking question in the subject line or include a similar “teaser” to peak their interest and encourage them to open the newsletter to learn more.

Did You Optimise for Mobile Users?

Finally, a growing number of us are using our smartphones and other mobile devices to read and answer our emails. Millennials, in particular, use these devices almost exclusively for all of their Internet-based activities. If you want your supporters to actually open and read your newsletters and other emails, then you must optimise them, as well as your website, for mobile platforms. This means using fonts, designs, images and other content that are easy for mobile platforms to load and display!