NonProfit Newsletters: 6 Ways to Improve Open Rates

nonprofit newsletters

What’s the hardest thing to do in today’s business climate? 

Sell a product or service? Make customers come back to you? Or simply run a campaign?

Yes, these are hard but the hardest, hands down, has to be running a non-profit organization. While it is comparatively easy to get people to rally behind a material object or a direct value-for-money course, nonprofit organizations have a different beast to tame. 

It is about getting your customers to selflessly rally for a cause. Devote their time, money, and resources for something they may or may not see an immediate return. 

So how do you sell the gratification factor? How do you reach your audience and keep them invested in your journey? 

These are the questions nonprofit organizations have to tackle while running an email campaign as well. And this has a direct impact on the success of their open rates too. Because only when people give you a chance, can you say your piece. So, let’s talk about nonprofit newsletters today, shall we? 

Nonprofit newsletters – the email marketing scenario for nonprofits 

There is no dearth of marketing channels. Then why the emphasis on email marketing and newsletters? Why do we want to focus on this channel for nonprofit organizations? 

While there are many statistics to talk about the success of email marketing across industries, it is even more special for nonprofit organizations. 

Just consider what the other avenues are: social media, paid ads, or word of mouth. But these channels have the tendency to be fickle. And they rely on external factors, thus leaving little or no control in the hands of the nonprofit organization.

Also, functions such as fundraising, cause marketing, and boosting the noise on one or more social issues can be tricky on third-party platforms. There are often censoring issues that limit your scope immensely. 

On the other hand, email marketing is a channel where you have complete control of the content you share and the consent from the receiver. Therefore, it provides a great space for strongly branding your nonprofit organization. 

So is it all happy sailing if a company chooses to promote its brand via email marketing? 

Unfortunately not. The problems we cited in our introductory section do not magically disappear. 

Nonprofits have to deal with many issues :

There are about 100 billion emails sent every day, which means an average user has to deal with hundreds if not thousands of emails every day. Standing out without an inherent material hook can be hard, and that impedes the growth of nonprofits significantly. 

Nonprofits currently report an email open rate of 26%, which means that three-quarters of their built audience are not even opening the email. This is probably one of the easiest low-hanging fruits to tackle, so let’s take a look at some simple measures that can boost a nonprofit newsletter’s open rate. 

6 ways to improve open rates of nonprofit Newsletters 

While you spend countless hours finding the best content for your newsletter, there is a huge section of your audience that is not even opening your emails. Remember even if it seems like a pretty basic thing, email open rates are the starting line of your growth. Only if open rates are high, can they trickle down to manageable CTRs. 

Here is a collection of steps that can help you drastically improve your Nonprofit newsletters’ email open rates. 

1. Solve technical issues 

Sometimes we track metrics without understanding ground realities. Most times, all it takes is a single step that brings 100x results. Solving the technical issues in your nonprofit newsletters is one such example.

Your customers get the opportunity to open your emails only when they hit the inbox in the right way. Which means, no warning labels from Gmail or Yahoo, and no landing up in spam. 

So how do you do that? 

2. Personalization of nonprofit newsletters

Now that we have ensured that the email lands in the inbox, let’s get those open rates up. 

For a nonprofit newsletter, the trick is to get your audience to connect to your content instantly. And that is much more likely when you establish a personal connection with them. 

Personalized emails have seen an increased open rate and conversion rate across all industries and this bodes well for the nonprofit industry too. 

So how do you do that? 

3. Subject line 

If there is one thing that can make or break an email campaign’s open rate specifically, it is the subject line. This is your hook and the titular phase. If your audience is not impressed with this, then there is nothing more to do here. 

So what does an ideal subject line look like? 

For a nonprofit specifically, the need to incentivize the customers is heavy. So, ensure that the subject line packs a punch and does not compromise your email open rates. 

4. Preheader text 

After the subject line and the sender’s name, the only detail that is visible to the audience is the preheader text. Failing to configure this is a major mistake and can bring down the open rates for your nonprofit newsletters. 

Avoid using generic text like “ View this email in a browser” or “Follow us on Facebook”. This is expensive real estate so treat it accordingly. 

As Ann Handley of Marketing Profs puts it, “ The preheader text is your whispered aside. Everyone strains to hear that whispered aside. Challenge yourself a little with that Preheader! Use it!

Your preheader text : 

5. Deliver content that opens better

Yes, the content you deliver has a direct impact on the open rates. Sounds strange? Well, your customers have a longer memory of unpleasant experiences than you expect them to. So if you overpromise and under-deliver, they will be highly apprehensive of opening another email from you. 

Also, some forms of content historically perform better in email marketing campaigns such as : 

Your content can work wonders in building a loyal fanbase that engages with your content across channels. Everything from the colors you choose to the words you use can have an impact on the CTR of your emails. So plan it well and execute with caution. 

6. Experiment with different ideas for your nonprofit newsletters 

Last but not least – understand that running an email marketing campaign is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Customer preferences change with seasons and inbox providers keep updating their spam preferences. 

The best way to ensure a consistent result in your efforts is to :

A few ways to do this : 

Create better converting nonprofit newsletters 

Are you ready to boost email open rates with these strategies for your nonprofit newsletters? Let’s get to it then. And if you think that designing high-conversion emails is going to take up too much of your time, you can even leave it to an external design team. There are several unlimited design services that cover a wide range of marketing designs for a flat monthly fee. 

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