Sunday, 6 March 2011

What are the benefits of sending e-newsletters?

Everybody is doing e-newsletters these days. You are probably receiving them from companies you purchased products from, from charities, from friends or family members in the mission field, from your church, from consultants like us, radio stations and much more.

Inbox clutter – a term that did not even exist a few years ago, is now becoming a real issue. And, many of us are discovering the usefulness of the DELETE button. But, we don’t delete all emails we receive – as a matter of fact we enjoy reading some of them and use ideas or advice we get from others.

What we are likely to delete are emails we don’t find interesting, useful or did not ask to receive, like spam or mass mailings. The same can be said for people who receive your charity’s e-newsletters.

The bad news is that the majority of people who receive your emails might not be reading them right now. But, the good news is that you can change this situation by writing better e-newsletters that can be opened and read by your constituents.

Here is a quick list of benefits I have identified but you might think of others too:

1. E-newsletters can enable your charity to strengthen relationships with supporters and retain them for the long term. Inspired donors are more likely to keep giving rather than those who have not heard from you for a long time.

2. E-newsletters can help strengthen your charity’s brand and position your charity in the supporters’ minds as an organisation on the forefront of fighting poverty, making a difference to young people, or doing whatever your charity’s mission is.

3. E-newsletters can help you send timely messages and updates about your work as soon as you receive such news. Donors don’t have to wait for months until your next schedules magazine to hear about the launch of a new initiative, to respond to an emergency appeal for helping people in a disaster area, or to pray for a particular situation. An e-newsletter can help you get the message out to donors quickly before it becomes old news.

4. Sending emails to large numbers of people is more cost effective than sending direct mail and if your mailing list recipients respond to your calls to action you are likely to get much higher returns on investment (ROIs).

5. E-mail updates or newsletters are easy to create especially when you are using a hosted email sevice like Vertical Response (which is free for charities).

6. You can measure the impact of your e-newsletters and drive traffic to different parts of your charity’s websites, blogs, social networking sites, etc. You can also cultivate stronger relationships with people who are reading your emails because you know who they are.

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