10 Reasons to Start a Newsletter for Your Organization

07/26/2019

While social media can be a great way to make and sustain connections, it may not be the best place for people to engage with your organization. Even if you already have a lot of followers on various social media channels, they are likely to miss at least some of your posts in the deluge of never ending information. Newsletters are an excellent solution. Here are the top 10 reasons you should consider using newsletters to improve engagement around your organization’s work.

1.  Your Newsletter Will Be Seen

Yes, emails can get lost in an inbox. However, due to perpetual changes in social media algorithms, your social posts might not be reaching your audience at all. An emailed newsletter, on the other hand, is guaranteed to land in your readers’ inboxes, and it’s far more likely to be seen and read.

2.   Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Building an email list can be a slow process and you will definitely have fewer people on your email list than followers on social media. However, research shows that engagement with newsletters is far better. Whereas social media posts have an average engagement rate of 2%-6%, newsletters are opened 20%-30% of the time.

3.   You Own Your List

Maintaining an email list is the best way to understand your supporters. It can be nearly impossible to track engaged readers on social media, but with email you can see which subscribers are opening and clicking on content. Knowing who is on your list and who is staying engaged can help you hone your messaging to keep readers coming back.

4.  Newsletters are the Cheapest Option

Algorithm changes on social media encourage organizations to spend on ads that ensure their content gets seen. Emails, on the other hand, are bound to be seen and through your organization’s email account, delivery will also be free. Or, if your organization opts to use a marketing email service, delivering your content will still be far cheaper. On average, organizations spend 25%-35% of their marketing budget on social media advertising, whereas an email marketing service costs a fraction of this amount.

5.   No Word Count or SEO Constraints

If you want traffic on your website, adhering to SEO parameters is necessary. But sometimes,  trying to convey your message using the most searchable words and phrases won’t get your message across quite the way you intend. And likewise, on social media, word count constraints can sometimes collapse the important details of your content. With emails, you can share your full message without concern for SEO or word count limits.

6.   Repurpose Content

Reusing the content you’ve already created for your website and social media by placing it in your newsletters can help guarantee that your engaged supporters will see the content you want them to see. It also means you don’t have to put in extra work to generate entirely new content for your newsletter. Alternately, you can place teasers for your top stories in newsletters with links to your website and social media. This will help boost traffic on all your sites.

7.   Receive More Feedback

Organizations who use newsletters report a higher feedback rate. Whereas engagement on social media can be spotty, supporters of your organization are more likely to respond to a survey, show up for an event, or simply write back to thank you for the fabulous work you are doing in response to a newsletter.

8.   Make it Personal

Although organization websites should be polished and professional, newsletters can express personality, offering a glimpse into the human side of your organization. Newsletters that are friendly and conversational, or written like letters, are often the best received. Allowing readers to feel personally connected to your organization and the work you are doing will help sustain their attention.

9.   Sustain Your Readers’ Engagement

When supporters opt-in to your newsletter, this indicates interest and engagement from the get-go. Keeping your newsletters personal and making sure you are targeting this particular set of supporters will help you sustain engagement. And because your newsletter will be landing in readers’ inboxes at regular intervals, they will remain aware of your organization’s important news and updates.

10.   Remind Subscribers About Your Work

Life gets busy for all of us, and even your most loyal and engaged supporters are bound to ignore a newsletter or two. As long as your emails keep arriving in supporters’ inboxes, however, readers can pick up where they left off when they are ready. On social media channels, not engaging with a page frequently means you stop seeing that page’s posts. With email, on the other hand, your supporters will be consistently reminded of your organization.

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If splashy ads and curated social media posts aren’t generating the engagement you’re seeking, consider newsletters. Not only are they the cheapest option, but they are also far likelier to sustain engagement among those who already support you. Getting lots of “likes” on social media can be fantastic, but keeping supporters interested in your work over months and years is harder. Newsletters are a great way to do just that.  

Emily Withnall

Emily Withnall works as a freelance writer and editor. Emily also teaches poetry in public schools in and outside of Missoula and in the Missoula County Detention Center. Some of her work is available at emilywithnall.com.