How to Create Your Newsletter Strategy

How to Create Your Newsletter Strategy
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As any marketer or communications expert will tell you, never underestimate the power of an email newsletter. They offer a deceptively simple yet powerful way to communicate with your audience, build brand awareness, and drive engagement. 

But how do you go about building a newsletter strategy that works for your nonprofit? Today we’ll be exploring some of the key components of a successful newsletter strategy, including audience targeting, content creation, and timing.

What are newsletters for?

Before we dive into the details, let's clarify why it is we’re even sending newsletters. At its core, a newsletter is a regular email sent to a list of subscribers with updates, news, and information about your organisation. 

It's purpose is to be a regular communication that serves as a way to stay top-of-mind with your audience, nurture relationships, and provide value. It’s also an invaluable vessel to communicate your latest projects and events so that your audience remains educated on your latest goings on and engaged with your organisation.

Creating the Strategy

Who are you sending it to?

The first step in creating a newsletter strategy is defining your broader target audience. Who are you sending the newsletter to? What are their interests, pain points, and preferences? Understanding your audience will help you create content that resonates with them and drives engagement.

You probably already have some data, or at the very least ‘gut feelings’ about who they are and what they’re interested in. If you’re not fully certain, try to survey your existing audience with a questionnaire about basic questions about why they’re interested in your organisation, which areas they care about most and the sort of content they would like to see from you. This can provide an invaluable resource and help you understand the makeup of your audience. 

Segmenting your newsletter list

Once you've defined this broader target audience, the next step is to segment your newsletter list. This means dividing your subscribers into groups based on their interests, behaviours, or demographics. By segmenting your list, you can send targeted content that's more likely to be relevant to each group, which increases engagement and reduces the likelihood of unsubscribes.

Students, parents and retirees are unlikely to have identically aligned interests for instance. And they may also want their content presented with different language in different contexts to fully engage. You might also consider geography - if you’re running in person events, it’s probably best to keep invites to a more localised mailing list than everyone in your database! There are lots of different ways you can split your data and while you shouldn’t overdo it, done well segmentation provides immense value for you and your recipients.

What should you use for content?

The tricky part! The key question of any newsletter content is what value it brings to your subscribers. When they see something on your newsletter what does it mean for them? What do they learn or what should be their takeaway?

A great advantage of , newsletters is that they can recycle content from elsewhere in the organisation. They are a highly effective distribution method - so sharing your latest reports, events and blog articles is always a valid strategy. Never assume your audience is browsing your website on a regular basis!

Of course, beyond that, general news, tips and tricks or exclusive offers can also offer incentives to engage with a newsletter. Make sure this content is easy to digest and strongly consider the order you present it. Generally lead with your most important topic - if your most important clickthrough is buried in the middle of your newsletter, chances are your readers might miss on it!

When should you send it?

The timing of your newsletter is vital to its success. You want to send it at a time when your subscribers are most likely to be engaged and have time to read it. Consider factors such as time zones, work schedules, and holidays. You can also test different send times to see which ones result in the highest open and click-through rates.

Also be prepared to ignore conventional wisdom! While you might see many websites recommend slots like Tuesday or Wednesday in the early morning, remember that everyone will be reading the same advice! And your audience might also be unique, especially in the nonprofit sector. What might hold true for professional related organisations  (avoid weekends) might not hold true for you, as people may consider your nonprofit something they engage with in their personal time.  


Creating a successful newsletter strategy requires careful planning and consideration of your audience, content, and timing. 

By understanding your subscribers, segmenting your list, creating valuable content, and sending it at the right time, you can build strong relationships with your audience and drive engagement for your organisation.

If you’d like to find out more about how to build great emails, try watching our webinar on the topic, or get in touch to find out how CiviPlus can help you.

Howdy y’all,

We are delighted to announce a new integration of CiviCRM with Open Social, a community engagement platform.

CiviCRM is the number one open source CRM for not-for profits, used by more than 11,000 organisations worldwide, and Open Social is a leading community engagement platform, used by over 1000 organisations in a range of different industries from Charities to member organisations and companies also.

It’s exciting news for organisations using CiviCRM, who will now be able to combine the power of CiviCRM with the collaboration and community building that the Open Social platform provides.
If you’ve not heard of community platforms before, a community platform is a tool that allows your organisation to create your own branded and tailored social network. Users of the platform (normally your members or supporters) can interact, join groups to share knowledge and exchange ideas, publish and promote events and collaborate within a safe online curated space. With a community platform you can expand your digital offer and strengthen your relationship with your supporters.

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Open Social is open source (much like CiviCRM) and as such has no user licences fees. This means it can be deployed affordably to scale to even the largest of communities. It’s also flexible with a huge range of different add-on modules that can be integrated to enhance the platform.

Our new two-way integration between Open Social and CiviCRM syncs data between the two platforms allowing information about the groups and committees that members have joined to be seamlessly synced to CiviCRM. You can even create Open Social groups and manage their membership directly from within CiviCRM, which would be useful for managing private groups in the case of committees or working groups.

By combining the data of a community platform with that in your CiviCRM your organisation can obtain deep insights into your members' interests and behaviours. You can see which groups are popular and engage with your members on topical issues, automating communications and tailoring their experience.

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A great example is a recent implementation for the UN’s PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). Their user community includes over 2,900 organisations with over 40,000 individuals spread across 6 continents. Their Community Platform now supports discussions between 24,000 users with over 750 online collaboration spaces. The data is seamlessly synced to their CRM allowing for deep insight guiding their policy engagements.

As Open Social partners, we would be delighted to help you start your journey with Open Social and help you build your online community. We can help you through both the implementation and the CiviCRM integration (or other CRM integration such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM).

Please contact us through our website or by email at

Further information about Open Social can be found at their website:

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