There are several benefits to email newsletters:
- They can be very inexpensive – Gone are the days of hiring a designer, paying for printing, going through a mailing house, etc., etc. Now there are several products that can help you send out professional-looking email newsletters for little to no money at all.
- You can send them out at any time – Traditional newsletters take weeks to prepare. An e-newsletter can be typed off and sent out immediately. This is especially helpful when you have a sudden need or want to provide timely information to your constituents.
- They are customizable – Most email marketing programs will allow you to create a customized look that fits your organization’s style and colors, even integrating your logo and other graphic images.
- It builds your “brand” – While you don’t want to go overboard and spam your supporters, an e-newsletter sent at regular intervals reminds them of your work and makes them feel like part of the team.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with including an appropriate call to action from time to time. That’s part of what makes this such a useful tool. For example, suggest that recipients forward the newsletter to a friend who might enjoy it (and include a link back to your site so that friend can sign up to get his own in the future). You can also solicit donations, volunteers for a project, or even registration for an upcoming event.
Finally, e-newsletter programs often allow the ability to track what recipients do with your email. Do they open it right away or save it? What things do they spend the most time reading? What links actually get clicked? By analyzing this data, it’s possible to make future newsletters even more appealing to your audience.