Perhaps it dates back to times when people shared their common history through oral story-telling, but one thing is certain, people relate to stories – especially if they see themselves as part of the story.
So it follows that it is in your best interest to tell the stories of your clients, volunteers and donors in your organization’s newsletter.
However, it is not enough to tell your story; you need to present it in a way that people will actually read.
Here are some points to consider when creating your organization’s newsletter.
Can a person read your newsletter between meetings, on breaks between chores, while waiting in their car for their kids to get out of school? Each story in your newsletter should take only a couple of minutes to read. Aim for 150-300 words tops. Use pull-out phrases and ensure that if they are the only thing read, they summarize the whole story.
If your story is too long (no matter how well written) the reader may decide she doesn’t have time to read it at that moment and lay it aside. Odds are she won’t pick it up again.
Make your reader part of the story
Consider how you can make your reader part of the story. How does her involvement give the story a happy ending? Check out Dennis Fischman’s tips on telling stories here.
Make your newsletter easy on the eyes
Create a clean newsletter. Incorporate lots of white space. Use only one picture per page that draws the eye to one person who reflects your story.
Present a single, clear call to action
This is what we need. This is how you can help. When we are presented multiple options we can find ourselves waffling back and forth. When that happens, the probability that we will respond at all, diminishes completely.
Include a response device (a way that your reader can help) In a printed newsletter, this would mean a response card and pre-addressed envelope. In an e-newsletter this would mean a link to your giving page. In both formats, also include the name, phone number and email of the person they can contact for more information.
What do you look for in a newsletter? Do you have any proven tips that you could share in the comment area below?
The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.