Raising More Money with Newsletters – The Secrets to Success
Despite the popularity – and importance – of digital communications, printed newsletters are still one of the hardest working and most effective techniques for promoting your mission, renewing and upgrading donors, and increasing donor engagement. In fact, in a national survey almost three-quarters of all donors claimed that receiving a regular Newsletter would increase their focus upon and interest in an organization.
Over the past nine years, we’ve helped more than 20 nonprofit organizations turn expensive marketing communications that were inward-focused into donor-centric, revenue-generating powerhouses that regularly yield a 2-to-1 return on investment.
Now we’re letting you in on the Secrets to Success
Secret #1: The Packaging
Newsletters that are self-mailers have low perceived value. Time and time again, we’ve found the secret is partly in how the Newsletter is packaged:
- 11” x 17” folded to four 8 ½” x 11” pages
- 2- or 4-color printing
- Mailed in a #10 window envelope with an engaging teaser
- Include a personalized reply slip and reply envelope
Secret #2: The Content
Too often we see Donor Newsletters that are, frankly, boring, containing no actual news but lots of pictures from the recent big gala or check presentation. Poor headlines, densely written articles that lack emotion, stats instead of story-telling – all conspire to turn your Newsletter into a dud.
- Instead keep the copy short, punchy, and skimmable. Focus on what donors want to read about. Share with them what you did with their last gift. Let them know how they’ve made an impact. Restate your case for giving. What more could you accomplish if you had additional funding? Pull back the curtain; give readers an inside look at your organization.
- Include a letter from the President (or Executive Director) along with his/her photo on the inside left page. Think of this as a boiled-down appeal letter. What’s the reason for making a gift today?
Secret #3: The Details
Once you’ve nailed the packaging and the content, don’t neglect these final details.
- The importance of thoughtful audience segmentation can’t be overstated. Are you mailing too deeply? Not deep enough? Uniquely code each audience segment and make adjustments based on results.
- Ask for a specific dollar amount based on the donor’s prior giving level. And make sure the reply slip includes all essential information: the name of your organization, logo, street address, phone number, and web address.