CONCERNing Email – 3 Steps for Better Content
“Content is certainly the name of the game in digital marketing today,” states Alisa Leonard of iCrossing on ClickZ. But where do you get ideas for good content? How do you determine what’s worth sharing?
Such is the question that Rachel Acquaviva, Office Supervisor of CONCERN – Southeast Region faced when launching the email marketing campaign for the non-profit company last year. CONCERN is an agency that provides foster care to children; they use email marketing to raise funds, recruit volunteers and find great foster parents.
Here are the steps CONCERN took to develop a content plan for their emails, and how you can apply these steps to your own email marketing campaign.
Step 1: Listen to What People are Saying
CONCERN collects subscriptions at community events and on their Facebook page. Both places allow the organization to get a feel for what people are saying about them and what subscribers will be interested in.
“We get ideas from various sources including social media (Facebook, Linked In). We share information about successful fundraising efforts, office updates (and job openings), and recruitment information. We also love to highlight our events and share photographs of the foster children and families we support!”
How to listen to what your audience is saying:
- Use Google Alerts, Tweetdeck, or HootSuite to track what’s being said about you and your industry
- Sign up to blogs in your industry so you know what’s hot
- Ask people for their opinion (Survey Monkey and SurveyGizmo are two sites you can use to poll people)
Step 2: Look at What Others are Doing
Rachel looked at other organizations, non-profit and for profit, to see what caught her attention.
“When looking at other organizations, I try to not only see what similar non-profits are doing but also what content is catching my eye. If I receive something via mail or email and it engages me, then I try to incorporate it into what I am doing. Whether it’s another non-profit or a for-profit business, I take inspiration from the things that call me to action.”
What to look for:
- What you think is done well about certain emails/blog posts?
- What doesn’t work for you?
- Check out case studies to see what has worked for others (note that their suggestions might not work for your business, but you can determine if it’s worth testing):
Step 3: Find What Works for You
By listening to their audience and observing what works for others, Rachel was able to put together a good content plan.
“We try to reach people who will support our mission in one way or another, from donating funds or volunteering time to becoming a foster parent with our agency. Our ultimate goal is to recruit loving foster families to open their homes and hearts to the foster children we place in care, and hope that eventually our newsletter will reach a large number of potential foster families or people who can help us find them.”
CONCERN uses happy, uplifting stories to motivate their subscribers:
Once you know what people want and what others are sharing, shape your content around that information.
AWeber Helps Deliver
Ready to send your content out? AWeber can help you with that. Rachel uses our service to get the CONCERN emails out to readers:
“As a company, AWeber has been extremely supportive of our organization and mission. It is so helpful that I can live chat with support throughout the day if I have any questions, every staff member is knowledgeable and personable, and there has never been an issue they couldn’t resolve or question they couldn’t answer. AWeber has definitely helped us move into the current century with our marketing efforts!”
What’s Your Brainstorming Method?
We want to know how you come up with what goes in your emails! Share what you found works, doesn’t work or what you’re having trouble with.
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If you’re in the Philadelphia area, come enjoy a hilarious night out and support the foster children of CONCERN at a Chuckles Comedy show at the Valley Forge Beef and Ale on May 18. Reserve your tickets here. Any questions, email Rachel!
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