Focus On: Newsletters: Start Spreadin' the News
“We try to be as comprehensive as possible with our [newsletter] content. We aim to include items about legislation, pet health care and behavior, and an adoption success story in each issue,” says Pune Dracker, managing editor of “ASPCA News Alert.”
“At least every couple of weeks we like to feature a humane Web site, a listing for an upcoming animal-welfare conference and something global, such as a report on an animal-welfare issue in another country,” she explains.
Dracker says she feels especially good when the ASPCA is able to meet readers’ needs by letting them dictate content. If readers want to know about a chemical or product that is potentially dangerous to their pets, for example, the newsletter editorial staff asks the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, and then prints a detailed response in a future issue.
“We try to reinforce the idea that the newsletter is their newsletter,” says Dracker, who has been writing for “ASPCA News Alert” since its inception in 2000.
Typical newsletter subscribers have never made a donation, are predominately female companion-animal owners, usually open the newsletter two to three times each month and live in New York, Illinois, California or Florida — the most densely populated areas of ASPCA newsletter subscribers. Right now, the organization does not have enough information to pinpoint age and income demographics.
“Some readers come to us just as ‘companion-animal’ people. They love their pets but may not be as familiar with farm-animal welfare or the status of endangered species,” Dracker shares. “The ‘News Alert’ is a great way to introduce readers to these different issues.”
And although ASPCA applies a soft ask to the footer of each newsletter, the organization fetches roughly $200 to $300 each week from subscribers, says Garth Moore, director of Internet communications.
Overall, the ASPCA’s donors with e-mail addresses tend to give more; specifically, they give 112 percent more in average dollars, and the number of gifts they give is approximately 85 percent higher than constituents who have not provided an e-mail address, according to statistics provided by ASPCA’s online partner, Internet software and services firm Convio.