We’ve seen a LOT of YMCA eNewsletters. As a frequent subscriber to Y marketing and a marketing agency to many YMCAs, below are some quick best practices.
Keep It Short
Newsletters should be quick reads. Make sure you hit the key programs for the month with 25-40 words per program and keep it to 3-5 programs. Remember, the focus of newsletters is to get more members and program participants to your website, which is the hub of your digital marketing effort.
The more eyes that can be on your website, the more possible programs they will see and participate in.
Newsletter Half Life
Newsletters tend to start with high open rates, but all experience some reduction in time. The challenge to the newsletter writer is to keep the content fresh. Repeating the exact same subject line for each newsletter accelerates the drop in open rates. While it is important to establish continuity and branding of the newsletter, ideally each new campaign should provide a clear indication in the subject line of what is inside this newsletter that is of interest.
Grammar & Functionality Counts
We’ve seen many Y newsletters with poor grammar, misspelled words and poor use of imagery. Make sure you put your best foot forward when you reach out to members via email. It may be the only communication they get from the Y in that month.
Have someone proofread.
Make sure you use correct imagery. No JPEG with white backgrounds on color backgrounds.
Check your links to ensure they link to the correct page.
Image Only Emails
Spam filters of email software and 3rd party spam filters look at image only emails as spam. Plus, many users may have their images turned off when viewing emails and won’t see your message before deleting.