I really, really appreciate everyone who took the time to answer my recent survey questions about email newsletter goals and metrics — more than 600 of you!
When I was listing choices for e-newsletter goals as I wrote the survey, I tried to come up with some choices that were pretty specific and some that were really generic. I hoped that the more specific goals would win out over the generic ones, but alas, that’s not the case.
Here’s how it broke out:
The top goal, by a mile, selected by 40% of survey participants was “Keep people informed about the work of our organization.” When you combine that with the 11% who selected “Remind people we are here and doing good work” you have more than half of nonprofits producing email newsletters for what I think are really vague reasons.
Given that nonprofit communicators said in our 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report that they spend more time on email newsletters than on any other communications piece they produce, I really think you as nonprofit communicators and your nonprofits as a whole should demand more of this work product.
I don’t think it’s necessarily worth investing that much time into something that doesn’t have more direct goals — like most of the other choices in the survey.
I’ll be sharing more about the various newsletter strategies I do recommend for nonprofits in a webinar I am presenting at CharityHowTo tomorrow on April 16 and again on May 2. I will also share some guidance in a new e-book that we will release later in May. In the meantime, be thinking about how you can really put your newsletter to work for you!