How many times have you been scrolling through a website, minding your own business, and then BAM! A popup urges you to sign up for a newsletter. Like, um, no. I’m trying to read here.
Inevitably, you’ve signed up for at least a scattering of newsletters. Most companies and nonprofits release newsletters, and for good reason. Nothing tops a newsletter in terms of conveying a bulk of information through a single email.
To get an idea of what a newsletter should look like, here’s part of a sample email from the New York Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation:
See, nothing intimidating, right? The top half is a short, meaningful story that creates emotional engagement with the nonprofit, and the bottom half is a creative and informative reminder about matching gifts. The great success of this newsletter is that it opens with a story, as opposed to the marketing portion, so that when the reader gets to the part about matching gifts it reads more as a nice opportunity to give to a good cause than an ask that fails to humanize what it seeks to benefit.
Here is a another sample electronic newsletter from Anne Arundel County CASA:
In this case, the email took a singular focus on promoting matching gifts to recent donors.
Matching Gift Newsletter Advice:
Newsletters are versatile and can include links to blog posts, donation pages, social media profiles, and more. Newsletters provide both information and the opportunity to add layers to your connections with donors. Added layers include people choosing to follow your social media profiles, engaging with your online content, and donating to your nonprofit.
To learn more, let’s review a newsletter from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA):
This email newsletter is entirely dedicated to matching gifts and is a superb example to follow. While newsletters might provide links to a variety of your nonprofit’s services and content, it’s best to provide a singular focus to the actual written content of the newsletter. Donors might be able to understand simultaneous ideas, but it’s hard for them to take action when you’re asking them to do multiple things at once, such as to volunteer at an event or to check out a new blog post on top of the ask for them to seek out a matching gift.
This is the danger of cramming too much into too little space. How much can and will a reader take in at once?
You can go with an all-at-once approach, but you can also focus on different aspects of marketing in successive newsletters. For example, one month you focus on promoting your social media accounts, the next month on increasing the readership of your blog articles, and, in a subsequent message, you promote volunteer grant programs and matching gifts, as opposed to including all of these parts of your nonprofit in one newsletter.
By giving each marketing avenue its own time and space, donors will engage better with the content you provide. When the time comes to promote matching gifts, that program will be the focus of the newsletter and will grab the reader’s attention, as opposed to one of any number of other topics distracting the donor.
Select one, two, or a few newsletters a year to focus exclusively on matching gifts in order to maximize your readers’ attentions and haul in more donations.