One of the hardest things to accomplish and maintain over time is a high readership of your emails. Here are five quick tips to help you bring in the focus each time you write a message.
1) Focus: Tie your Topics to your Mission
The easiest way to understand who you are is to read your mission statement. This statement should encompass the life and breadth of everything your organization does. By ensuring that your emails are obviously connected to your mission, you’ll ensure those who care about your mission are informed. If the focus of your message doesn’t very obviously connect to your mission, find a way to make the connection – it will show your members that you’re focused on what you care most about.
2) Stop Caring about Outsiders
There is a thrill in getting a lot of likes, shares, or reads on your content. Yet if you focus only on boosting those numbers, you risk alienating the core of your nonprofit. If your mission is to save the wetlands you probably shouldn’t be emailing about national donut day. Even the most brilliant and witty content will start pushing away those who are passionate about your cause. Keep your content on point!
3) Target: Only include those that care
You might have a couple hundred, or a few thousand subscribers to your email list. That doesn’t mean you should just blast out every message to everyone. If you’re hosting a youth clean up day in the park, do you need to send that message to folks who aren’t parents or youth? By targeting who gets which message, you ensure that the messages they do receive are relevant. The most relevant the content, the more likely they are to read and engage with it.
4) Brief: Keep it to the point
Emails should be brief. A great approach is to treat your message as a highlight reel. Give them all the important details (what, where, when, why) and then provide them a way to get more. This could be an event announcement that casts the vision and links to a registration page, or a call for donations that states what is needed then points the reader to a donation page with more details and story.
At the end of the day we read emails very differently than we used to read newsletters. A newsletter had to include everything from titles, articles, calendars, and organizational changes. Today we skim long form digital content without great comprehension. By keeping your content brief your reader feels like they can take time to actually see everything you’ve included.
5) Consistent: Be Regular
If you only ever send out messages in bursts or at irregular intervals then you should expect your audience to be a bit irregular as well. Your organization might be seasonal – and your readers would expect to receive content in season. Don’t feel like your summer youth program needs to be the focus for your members all year round. It’s a loosing battle and will leave you frustrated. Instead, focus on the natural rhythm of your organization and do your best to reflect that in your messaging.
There are so many tips for doing emails well. These are a few of ours, but we would also love to hear what you’ve found works well.