Newsletter Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations
Newsletters are a great way for nonprofits to keep supporters informed regarding events, achievements and updates. As a multipurpose communication tool, newsletters keep your organization connected with the community, inspire others to join your cause and help you raise money.
Whether you are creating a new newsletter or making changes to an existing publication, the following tips can help you put together an effective communication tool for your organization.
Make it easy for readers to skim the content. Doing this helps readers find what it is that interests them. You can do this by:
- Separating the different sections in your newsletter with bold headlines, images with captions and lots of bullet points.
- Creating regular, predictable content features that your audience will look forward to each month.
- Including a table of contents and quick links to relevant content.
- Developing a “featured content” section in each newsletter. This gives readers the option of going straight to what’s most important now and then coming back to the remaining content later.
Grab Your Readers’ Attention
- Begin your newsletter with a strong, compelling headline or lead-in sentence that piques their interest.
- Develop content that your target audience is actually interested in. If you’re not sure what to include, then consult with your board of directors for valuable feedback.
Give Them More
- When possible, try to add links to resources so that readers can learn more.
- Consider the use of an infographic to create an interesting visual for an event, concept, fundraiser, etc.
While the purpose of a newsletter hasn’t changed, the delivery method has. Best practices for email delivery of newsletters include:
- Giving readers the choice of subscribing. A verified opt-in option and regular updating of your subscription list is a thoughtful way to ensure that your newsletter is sent only to those who want to read it.
- Creating a personalized subject line. With already overflowing inboxes, your newsletter can easily get deleted if the recipient doesn’t know it is from your organization. Try to personalize the subject line and, when possible, include your organization’s name.
- Utilize a single-column template. How your newsletter is formatted can make a big difference for readers who are on mobile devices. Multicolumn formats on mobile devices are overly condensed and can be confusing to navigate, so try to avoid them.
- Increase your font size. A font size of at least 13 or 14 pixels can help make your content more readable.
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