Dear Marketing Maven …
1. Maybe you don’t need one. People are inundated with newsletters. I’m not the exception — we all get too many. Yawn. Why not put your time and energy into something truly exceptional? Like the packet a friend just got from DonorsChoose to thank him for buying a carpet for a classroom. He got a picture of the kids on the carpet — along with the students’ little, handwritten notes and pictures. Wow. Not feasible, you say? How about simply sending out something useful to your audience? At Network for Good, we send out weekly free fundraising tips rather than a newsletter about us. Our nonprofits love it! If you’re an organization focused on diabetes, how about weekly tips for managing diabetes?
2. If you do an e-newsletter, don’t forget the “e.” You can’t just slap your print newsletter into a PDF, e-mail it and consider yourself the editor of an “e-newsletter.” Write to the medium. Online communications need to be shorter and formatted for the Web. People skim online. They don’t read. Don’t make them download a PDF and turn pages on the computer. Grab attention with photos, short text and good stories.
3. Make it about the donors and not you. Don’t manifest All About Usitis in your newsletter. Your newsletter should not be about how great you are. It should be about how great your donors are! Make your donors feel like the center of attention. People can’t resist reading about themselves — or about what they’ve accomplished.