Published on March 21, 2014
THIS IS WHY NO ONE READS YOUR NEWSLETTER Tips, Techniques & “The Basics” UPDATED: MARCH 2014
Who IS HMC?
Creative Agency for Good
WHO IS HMC? • Founded in March 2011 • Here’s My Chance (HMC) is a “creative agency for good” • HMC empowers organizations to capitalize on the influence of community, content, and social impact • Using our creativity to make a positive impact on the planet is a core mission and part of our business model
Dave & lansie • DAVE GLOSS • Co – Founder and CEO • Avid Meditator • Creative Strategist • email@example.com • @davidgloss • LANSIE SYLVIA • Director of Engagement • Ampersand Enthusiast • Fundraising Maven • firstname.lastname@example.org • @fancylansie
ELLIOT COWAN • Creative Director of Here’s My Chance • Very British • Masters in Industrial Design • Soccer fan, tea drinker, sneaker addict, swimmer, street art fan
WHAT will we talk about? • How you should think about an e-newsletter & why you need it! • Content delivery • The little details (subject line, titles, who is it from) • Testing & data analysis (sending times, volume, A/B testing, lists) • Design & templates • Easter eggs? • Strategy • Extra tips & tricks – ta da!!
DELIVER CONTENT that PEOPLE WANT TO READ
• Once you've captured somebody's attention, it's yours to lose. • Develop a reputation for giving your constituents what they want, and they'll be more likely to read your messages out of habit.
TELL THEM WHO IT’s FROM • The "From" line is often the first thing people look at when your message arrives in their in-box. • I believe e-mail should come from a person, not an organization. I use the format "First Last, ORG."
WORRY ABOUT YOUR SUBJECT LINE • Subject lines have become even more important as webmail and smartphones have become ubiquitous. • Try to keep them factual and descriptive of the content of the message. • Try to avoid going with the first thing that pops into your head. • For more, Kivi Leroux Miller has great suggestions – www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/2010/11/03/7-tips-for-email-subject-lines
TEST, TEST & TEST • There's no reason to go with your gut instinct when so many email providers have A/B test functionality built into their dashboards these days. • And, even if yours doesn't, it's worth the effort to build your own test lists every now and again, especially for your most important messages.
TRAFFIC VERSION A VERSION B 20% Conversion Rate 25% Conversion RateWINNER
TRY PLAYING WITH SENDING TIMES • People are most likely to look at a message when it pops up on their screen with little competition. • Industry standard is people look at messages just before they go to lunch, just after they get back, and just before they head home. • There is even a theory that Saturday morning is the best time, too! • Look when you get things sent to you from your newsletter subscriptions.
SEGMENT YOUR LISTS Even if your organization is focused on a single issue, cross-sections will respond differently to your messaging in spite of their shared interest in your mission.
• Segment people by: • Job type • Organization • Gender • Activity level (number of events attended, messages opened, etc.) • Subject line can be different or even change the entire message. • Social media has taught people to expect a more personal experience.
VARY YOUR MESSAGE VOLUME • Some of your constituents will want to hear from you MORE often than others. • Some of your constituents will want to hear from you LESS often than others. • If someone attends lots of your events and opens all of your emails it is an opportunity to contact them more often. • Look for the best opportunities to reach out to the unengaged.
DATA IS KEY. USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! • You need to keep track of how often your subscribers want to hear from you. • Which subject lines work best? • What time is the most effective? • If you don’t pay attention and look over your data you won’t be able to improve.
• This goes back to the whole "deliver content people want to read" idea… • If your constituents know that your message will just ask them to donate again, they'll likely get tired of it. • Mix it up! • Send out important news, a free offer, a cool conversation happening on your Facebook page. • Build a relationship with your members. Don't always ask for something
• A nice, clean, easy-to-read and understand template can make it more likely that your subscribers will want to open your message. • It is good to have multiple templates that have different functions, such as… • Latest News (1 large picture and article for special events) • General Email (multiple pictures and stories) • What’s been happening (summation after events) DEVELOP A GOOD EMAIL TEMPLATE
INCLUDE SOME “EASTER EGGS” • It helps to find out how many people are reading emails all the way to the end. • It's okay to include fun links in your messages; bonus points if you can make them relevant to the content. • Vary the placement, so they'll have to at least scan your entire message to find them. • This is just another form of engagement, and engagement is the name of the game!
DEVELOP A STRATEGY • It's one thing to try a few of these suggestions to boost your open rates, another to plan it out. • Lay out a plan. • Implement it. • Record the results. • Tweak the plan. • Try again. • Treat your subscribers well and they'll reward you by actually reading the messages you spend so much time putting together.
BONUS TIPS – TA DA! • CLEAN YOUR LIST! - It's more important to have an active, engaged list than a big list that never does anything. • PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS – It’s the same as the ads that are on your screen after you’ve visited a store online. You can do the same.
UPCOMING events & webinars
Questions? Elliot Cowan Creative Director email@example.com www.heresmychance.com firstname.lastname@example.org @hmctwit
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