Email and E-Newsletters

untitledSince 1996, Karla Capers has been working for advocacy organizations, figuring out ways to use the internet to raise visibility for progressive issues, engage people in campaigns, and try to make the world a better place.

Note from Nancy: I came upon Karla’s terrific guidance for re-engaging folks on the Progressive Exchange list serv, and got her permission to repost here.

I’m Online Director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and we were faced with a real challenge—how to re-engage the many folks who were not reading or acting on our emails.

Here’s our three-part reactivation method:

We Segmented Our Inactives
We defined “inactive” as anyone who’s never given the organization a donation (online or off) and hadn’t opened, clicked, or taken any action online in the last year.

Then, in February, we started to segment out the “inactive” people on our list and excluding them from all outgoing messages. That “inactive” segment turned out to be about 25% of our deliverable email file.
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Guest Blogger on July 16, 2014 in Email and E-Newsletters | 2 comments
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Tom_FurtwanglerGuest blogger Tom Furtwangler manages digital communications and social media for a large international development nonprofit based on the west coast.

There’s a headline arms race on the web these days. Upworthy’s “curiosity gap” approach to click-enticing headlines is now widely imitated and even parodied. You know what I mean: those “You won’t believe…” headlines that we don’t believe anymore.

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Guest Blogger on July 9, 2014 in Email and E-Newsletters | 4 comments
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sotelo_yeseniaGuest blogger Yesenia Sotelo founded Smart Cause Digital where she builds and grows smart websites.

“Email is dead. No one reads their email anymore.”
You might have heard this before and you might hear it again—but not from me! Email is one of the most powerful tools available. In fact, every organization (including yours),  regardless of its size or mission, can do great things with an email list.

“Email is dead! Long live social media!”
I love social media almost as much as I love email. There’s plenty of proof of my love over on Twitter and Instagram. But social media is NOT (yet?) a replacement for email marketing. Email and social media are complementary and they should *both* be in your nonprofit’s toolkit.

Take these three steps to turn your organization’s website into an email-capturing machine…

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Guest Blogger on April 10, 2014 in Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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Gmail Inbox Tabs

Beware the deadly Promotions Tab, the latest “improvement” for Gmail users! That’s what communicators like us have have been sweating about in the past few weeks.

In case you haven’t heard, Google is now automatically filtering Gmail users’ email messages to pre-defined content tabs. They’re sending emails from friends and family to the Primary Inbox (where we’re used to looking all the time), and sending most e-newsletters and other emails from organizations (including the Getting Attention blog and e-news) to the new (secondary by default) Promotions tab.

If you’re a Gmail user, you won’t see Getting Attention and other content you rely on in the location it’s always been in (Inbox). And, if you’re not aware of this change, you may not see it at all. But far worse, members of your organization’s email list who use Gmail addresses are no longer seeing your emails in their Primary inboxes.  

Take a deep breath! Most of us have been setting up filters for years now to sort the mass of emails we receive on a daily basis.

This change is going to impact your organization’s ability to interact with your supporters and partners. Email vendor MailChimp reported that open rates were down right after the change. But take these four actions right now to make sure users who want to read your content will find and read it:

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Nancy Schwartz on August 7, 2013 in Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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Getting your emails opened is the most crucial part of your email campaign. Without that, there’s no hope of motivating the action your organization needs.

When I opened my email this morning to the usual overflow, my eyes were drawn immediately to this short but powerful subject line—Our Son Trayvon. I opened the email immediately.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 22, 2012 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments

Welcome to our newest guest blogger, Kerri Karvetski. As owner of Company K Media, Kerri helps nonprofits communicate online.

Email subject lines have one main job—to get your email opened. You have two seconds to grab your reader’s attention. That’s a lot of pressure. So avoid these avoidable mistakes.
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Guest Blogger on March 7, 2012 in Email and E-Newsletters | 2 comments
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Invest three hours to learn how to use e-newsletters to grow and engage your organization’s base of donors, volunteers, program participants and more. Email remains the core communications tool, and one that’s going to be around for the long run. But you have to use it right!

Please join me for Breakthrough E-Newsletters: 5 Steps to Shaping E-Communications that Connect, Thursday, February 16, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM in New York City.
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Nancy Schwartz on February 6, 2012 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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Guest blogger Holly Ross has spent seven+ years at the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), working with community members to identify technology trends that are reshaping the nonprofit sector. Brett Meyer, NTEN Communications Director, co-authored this post.

As nonprofits have flocked to the e-newsletter as an inexpensive and timely way to communicate with stakeholders, the number of newsletter tips has also proliferated. While subject lines, “from” addresses, and your template design are all important, they aren’t the biggest challenge to putting out a quality newsletter.  The most difficult part is creating good content, content your subscribers want to read.

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Guest Blogger on December 1, 2011 in Content Marketing, Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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