Premise: Donor-centered newsletters are among the best things a nonprofit can produce: Donors want 'em, and donors respond to 'em. If you seek the rewards of engaged, active, empowered donors, do a donor-centered newsletter!
Premise: E-newsletters don't work. I can almost say that categorically -- they get low open rates, miserable click-through rates, and pitiful response, almost all the time. (By e-newsletter, I mean communication pieces very much like print newsletters, but sent by email.)
Conclusion: With a day coming when many donors are using the Web as a primary giving medium, we really need to figure out how to do newsletters on the internet -- or we'll be up a certain creek, in a cement canoe, looking around for a paddle.
This is not just an empty syllogism. It's a tough, important issue that's going to get more important soon. Good news is, here at the Domain Group, we've been testing all kinds of new approaches, and we're finding some promising new ways to do newsletters online. Have any ideas? Let me know.
They're asking similar questions in the commercial world. Here's something from a very useful blog called Chris Baggott's Email Best Practices. He brings up the idea of many different individuals within an organization emailing relevant material to constituents:
How should I get my news from your company or organization?
Batched from an institution once a month?
As it happens and from the person I have a relationship with in your organization?
The great thing about email technology is that you don't have to choose. With easy data integration and dynamic content, anyone can now accomplish both. Determine who to assign the relationship to for everyone in your database, set categories or news that are relevant to each subscriber and step away.
Full post here.
Can you imagine a system like that? It's very different from what we're used to in the print-centric world. But imagine the power and relationship building potential!
There are many ways to solve this puzzle.