Taking the time to decide on the basics of your eNewsletter will save you time in the future. Here’s how to get started.
Using Enewsletter software will allow you to build consistent looking newsletters, manage your mailing lists, and measure engagement, which will help you identify content that works well.
MailChimp and MadMimi are both What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor which let you add text boxes and images without needing to know any html. They are also completely mobile-optimised, which means that your emails will display nicely no matter what kind of device recipients are using to view them.
Please note that you must check any newsletter software you choose must be data protection compliant.
You may already have people in mind who would like to receive your eNewsletter – just get in touch with them to confirm.
Use a contact form on your website to allow people to sign up to the newsletter.
You can also take sign-up sheets to collect email addresses when you hold or attend events.
You just need an email address to sign people up to your eNewsletter, but if you do make a note of first and last names then you can personalise your emails.
Don’t forget that data protection is vital when collecting people’s personal contact details. If you need guidance on data protection and legal matters, check The Loop.
Decide what you want to share in your eNewsletter – and what you want your readers to do after they’ve read it. Perhaps you want to inspire people to take get involved in fundraising or volunteering? Or maybe you want to update people in your area with which services you offer? Deciding what you want the eNewsletter to cover before you start writing it will help you decide on the tone, content and call to action.
Also have a think about how often you want to send out your eNewsletter, as this could affect what kind of content you choose to include. Consider sending out an eNewsletter in the run up to Christmas, when people are more likely to want to donate or get involved with good causes.
With Enewsletters it’s worth setting up an editorial calendar so you can track what you have published and when. Using the engagement data provided by MailChimp or MadMimi you could also log engagement stats on your calendar so you can see what stories are successful.