Your website is your organization's online home. And e-mail marketing is the bridge between your organization's online presence and community. We encourage you to use your weekly emails as a tool to drive your community to your website. However, your audience’s inboxes are already stuffed with dozens of emails a day. Your messages are packed with exciting news and important announcements, but getting people to open them can be a challenge. Here are some of tips to make your e-newsletters even more effective:
1. Refer back to your website as often as possible. Your website is the home of your digital content. If you’re not constantly referring and linking back to your website, you need to put more information on your website. Emails are essentially a tool to drive your community to your website. If you're advertising a Hanukkah party in your email, include only the time/place in your emails and link to a webpage with more information on your website. This helps keep your emails shorter and will addilitionally boost SEO. Use your emails to generate excitement about your programs and events, but keep supporting the idea that your community will get more information online.
2. Make signing up easy & enticing. Make it simple for your community to sign-up to receive your messages. Consider all of the elements of your subscriber process. The standard “Join our list” is not compelling and it doesn’t offer the value your community they can expect to get in exchange for giving you their info if they sign up. Instead, make your sign-up button a strong and appealing call to action, such as "Stay Informed" and "Keep in Touch." Think of the “sign up” link on an e-newsletter or website as a tool. Provide this easy-to-find link to sign up for your e-newsletter on your homepage and on frequently accessed pages throughout your site.
3. Write interesting content. Don’t send emails just to send them. Share important content that matters to your community. How is your organization enhancing the relevancy of Judaism to your prospective members? Include profiles and stories about your clergy and members. Consider adding a piece of history about your building. Maybe even offer a recipe section and include listings of interesting community events.
4. Segment your audience. Create communication channels specific to different segments of your membership. Consider creating multiple e-newsletters that are focused on the needs of your membership -- not the needs of your synagogue. Parents of Hebrew school children have different needs than your “boomer” members. It is your responsibility to be relevant to your members, so take the time to break down or segment your mailing list into smaller groups of like-minded members. (Hint: membership management databases, like a CRM, make this easy!).
5. Don’t forget about design. Your emails are an extension of your online brand. They should be unified with the look and feel of your website. Incorporate your logo into all email mastheads and use similar fonts and colors to those on your website. Include photos and other images to get people excited to sign up for programs. We also suggest that you use high-quality images, so it maybe time to invest in a photographer or to purchase high-quality images.
Email newsletters are an essential part of your communication strategy. The more vibrant and interesting your enews is, the more engagement you will foster.