Focus On: Newsletters: Start Spreadin' the News
NWF’s e-newsletter audience is slightly younger than that of direct mail, and perhaps more technologically savvy, but the organization does not consider it a starkly different pool of donors and prospects.
“These people have the same interests and concerns about wildlife as any other member. What we’re trying to do here is use good direct-response techniques to build donor relationships for the long term,” McGuire says, “by giving [recipients] news and information on how they could get involved and help us further our mission.”
A brand new project
This year marks the debut of Project HOPE’s e-newsletter efforts. While the Millwood, Va.-based humanitarian-assistance charity relies heavily on direct mail to deliver a newsletter to active donors and inquirers, there still remains a void in the organization’s communications efforts, says Interim Director of Communications Lori Allesee.
“Our [monthly] e-mail newsletter is still in its infancy, as we are entering our fifth month of collecting e-mail addresses,” Allesee says. “Today, Project HOPE has approximately 820 active e-mail addresses. We acquire 50 to 70 new addresses each month and an additional 20 through each mailing.”
Allesee says the e-newsletter allows Project HOPE to provide donors and prospects with up-to-date information while educating them about its mission. As part of its work, the organization strives to achieve “sustainable advances in health care around the world,” so the ability to send emergency updates in real-time is crucial.
“Content for the e-mail newsletter is thematic, that is, focused on a specific effort that we are engaged in,” she says.
While demographic data on e-newsletter subscribers has yet to be formally collected, Project HOPE’s quarterly print newsletter reaches a decidedly older, traditional demographic (age 60 and up). When prospective donors inquire about Project HOPE through the mail, they are immediately sent a hard copy of the most recent newsletter.