Email newsletters are more popular than ever as a way to get content directly from individuals and organizations without the interference of algorithmic filtering from social media platforms. Substack, the newsletter platform, has more than 12 million monthly users and over 500,000 paying subscribers.
For candidates and their campaigns, email newsletters are an efficient, cost-effective way to keep your supporters updated, but the strategy is different from traditional email fundraising most readers will be familiar with.
Here are some tips to create a campaign email newsletter that your supporters will look forward to reading. At their core, successful email newsletters are all about consistency.
Send the Same Time and Same Day
Successful email newsletters become “appointment reading” because your subscribers will make time in their schedule when they know an email arrives. The Best Practice Digital newsletter, for example, hits inboxes every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. – and we’ve been doing it for over two years.
The first step to creating a successful newsletter is to send it at the same time and day of the week. Weekly is the right cadence for most newsletters.
Follow a Format
Establish a consistent format for your newsletter and follow it every week. Your most loyal subscribers appreciate being able to scan quickly to find the information they need. It also helps you with your discipline of getting a newsletter out every week.
Subscribers read email newsletters so they can become smarter and better informed. You must hold up your end of the bargain. A newsletter that doesn’t try to offer value is just a waste of everyone’s time. A truly worthwhile newsletter will help you stand out in your supporters’ inboxes.
Transform Content for the Newsletter
Email newsletters are still a great way for getting calls to action or other promotional materials in front of your subscribers, but they must be transformed for the context of your newsletter format. For example, instead of simply linking to a petition, write a blog post or paragraph in the newsletter about why the issue is timely.
List Build Differently
List building for an email newsletter is different than list building for fundraising because the audiences and content are different. To grow your subscriber base, make clear what the value is, when to expect it, and what the format is like. Tools like Substack make it easy to share previews of your past editions.
Word of mouth and referrals are the best way to grow your newsletter list. The only way to get these is through shipping great content week after week.
Beyond helping your supporters stay up to date about your campaign, newsletters offer additional benefits like better sender reputation and email deliverability because you’re getting more engagement from your audience. This will lead to higher retention on your fundraising list because supporters will appreciate being valued beyond their donation.