Wed, October 08 2008

How not to have a retreat

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

sillypie

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Sat, October 04 2008

How to fundraise when the economy is tanking

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Jeff Brooks has a great roundup.  The Agitator and Fundraising Success provided the tips.  It’s a must-read.

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Sat, October 04 2008

5 Steps to Prettier Emails

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   How to improve emails and newsletters •

Here are more great email tips - these from our partner Emma, which powers Network for Good’s EmailNow.  Thanks Emma for sharing your wisdom!

Choose a font style and stick with it.
An attractive campaign is one that’s easy on the eyes. After all, if the eyes are comfortable and enjoying themselves, they’re more likely to hang out and keep reading. Remember that too many fonts and colors, or too many 18-point over-the-top exclamations, can overwhelm those poor eyes and send them running for the hills. Start by choosing your font style. Are you a smooth Verdana person, or a straight-laced Arial type? Perhaps you’re more of an old-school Times traditionalist, or maybe your sophisticated palate lends itself more to Trebuchet. Whatever your font, using it consistently - and choosing your bolds and colors wisely - will make eyeballs everywhere happy.

Use images to enhance your content.
A recent study by MarketingSherpa found that recipients read more of an email’s text if it contains graphics near the top. (Incidentally, if you don’t know the ‘Sherpa, it’s a fabulous resource, and we highly recommend subscribing to the EmailSherpa newsletter.) If you’re using custom brand stationery and a stylish brand masthead in EmailNow, you’ve already got a leg up in this category. When adding other graphics, remember that bigger isn’t always better. Instead, use images that work proportionally with your overall layout and enhance your content instead of creating visual clutter.

Use simple, bold headlines to make your point.
An appealing campaign also makes its appeal to readers early. Too many otherwise nice-looking campaigns bury the lead, to borrow a bit of newspaper terminology. Stylish, bold headlines can grab your readers’ attention, help make your point, and add separation and structure to text-heavy campaigns like, er, this one. What can we say, dear people - we love words like we love a good bread pudding or red velvet cake.

Keep your content from being a chore.
How much content you include in a campaign depends in large part on what you have to say and how much your audience needs to see. But in general, remember that you have just a few seconds to convince a reader to, well, read. By presenting them with a newsletter that goes on for days, you’re risking coming out on the wrong side of readers’ mental math when they calculate how long it will take to get through it. Rather than getting them now, you may be relegated to the dreaded “Library” or “Read Later” folders.

Make sure your subject line is beautiful, too.
Don’t forget that the most important part of your email may just be the five to ten words that introduce it. After all, the relative appeal of your subject line can mean the difference between someone moving on or stopping to look, read, and respond. Experiment with different phrasing to see what works best for your audience.

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Fri, October 03 2008

Trying to figure out online video?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Here is a great guide from See3.  Free and helpful!

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Fri, October 03 2008

9 Ways to Fix Bad Email

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   How to improve emails and newsletters •

I’m very excited that my organization, Network for Good, has partnered with Emma to offer a new Email campaign tool.  I won’t use this space to extoll its virtues (though as a marketing person, I have to say there are many), but I did want to celebrate the fact this week with a couple of email posts.

Here are 9 ways to create vastly better emails:

1. Define Your Audience. You could buy an enormous list of cold prospects (WARNING: bad idea!) or focus on a carefully built list of people who care. You’ll do much better with the latter group who has given you permission to communicate with them. No one likes spam. (Some people enjoy SPAM®, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of meat.) 

2. Define Your Message. Do you have the right message and right time for that message? Focus your message on your audience’s interests, aspirations and desires rather than your own need for money. It’s all about “you marketing” versus “me marketing.”

3. Get to the point in spectacular fashion, in the first few words. The subject line of your email needs to seize the audience’s attention. Don’t ever bury the lead. (A good trick that usually works - throw out your first paragraph.)

4. Offer something of value to the reader-helpful tips, for example. Those are likely to be saved, not trashed. People will think of you in a favorable way.

5. Segment and personalize. The more the missive speaks to the receiver as an individual, the more likely they will perceive it as something other than spammy slop.

6. Be different. People are drowning in email. Whether it’s the tone of your message or the startling honesty of your subject line, a standout element is required.

7. Make the call to action so incredibly easy to do, people just can’t say no. Strive for a one-click or one-second level of ease.

8. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe or get off your mailing list. Include an unsubscribe button and an easy way for people to contact you to update their information. It’s convenient, transparent for you and keeps you in line with CAN-SPAM rules.

9. Don’t email donors, subscribers, etc. via Outlook. Ever.  It will get you into trouble.  You need a professional email outreach tool.

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