6-Month Mentored Nonprofit Fundraising Certificate Program
Assignment 21: Launch your new campaign: How to proofread, send and promote your 1st newsletter of the campaign.
This week’s resources:
Class Home Page for Mentored Fundraising
Fundraising Assignment 21 Homework Instructions
Download the PDF Version of this Assignment
Assignment 21: This week we’re going to learn about sending out your first, newly optimized newsletter.
Sending the Newsletter
One of the first things that I do before sending a newsletter is mailing list hygiene. Constant Contact allows me to see which emails no longer work each time I sent an email out. I usually wait a week, and then I go and delete emails that say things like “mailbox full” and “undeliverable.” This typically means that these people don’t work for that organization any longer.
This only takes a minute to do but in the long run can save you hundreds of dollars. You’re paying for each and every one of those names and if emails that you’re paying for and sending out aren’t reaching anybody, you might as will get rid of them. It’s also a lot easier to do a few at a time on a monthly basis than to sit down and try to weed through several thousand emails after a year.
The next thing that I do is to make sure all of recent subscribers are uploaded into our mailing list service provider’s database of our subscribers. It’s very important to make sure that a new subscriber receives something from you fairly soon after they subscribe—otherwise they forget who you are and the relevance of their subscription.
Fortunately, over the past couple of years we have segmented the names as they come in. This means that we know if somebody is from Africa versus North America (two different markets and two different nonprofit email newsletters), or if they are a donor or a recipient of our services (two different nonprofit email newsletters).
Before we learned the need to do this, all of the names were in one big jumble and so we couldn’t target specialized nonprofit email newsletters to the correct people. Start early with learning how to segment! It will save you a tremendous amount of work later on.
Preparation for mailing.
The next thing that I do is that I sleep on the work that I’ve done on the newsletter—and then the next day I print it out and read through it carefully to make sure that it makes sense and that there aren’t typos. It’s even better if you can get another member of your team to read through it.
Then I send a copy of the newsletter to myself and I make sure that it looks good in a couple of different browsers and email programs. I then check all of the links to make sure they work.
Once I’m satisfied that my mailing list is in good shape and my newsletter is perfect—I send it!
Here is a good checklist from Blog Tyrant:
This Checklist Ensures You Send Successful Email Newsletters, Every Time
Most of the email newsletter platforms let you see how a newsletter performed. You can see how many people actually open your email after having received it. You can then see how many people clicked through to your landing page. And you can see how many of newsletters bounced before reaching your subscriber.
It’s really nice to know what sort of response you get from subscribers. You can also use these statistics for fine-tuning subject lines. Some people will send out their newsletters with two different subject lines: 50% of their subscribers get one subject line and 50% get a second, different subject line. This way you can slowly learn which subject lines are performing the best so you can fine tune them.
The homework to hand in through your email to me:
1. Just send me a copy of your email newsletter.
2. And just send another short sentence about open rates and click through rates.
That’s it! Get going!
Thank you for participating in this mentored training program. You will receive your certificate very soon. I hope to have the chance to work with you in another course.
Copyright © Tim Magee