I just plowed through my inbox after an afternoon of meetings and came across the monthly email newsletter from Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, one of our long-time clients. I had to put aside what I was doing to write this shout-out for Habitat. Aside from the fact that it’s a great cause, Habitat produces some great emails.
Here’s a link to an online version of the newsletter (MarketVolt automatically generates a version of every mailing you create with the system).
Here are five of the things I like about it:
- Great subject line. “Open Plea for Construction Volunteers! Rain barrel workshop in the ReStore next week!” It’s a bit long. But it includes two topics from the newsletter. Too many organizations use subject lines like “August Newsletter” or “Email Update.” This subject line piques your interest. And it remains readers that the email is full of good content — some not even mentioned in the subject line. So readers wonder, “What else will I find?” as they click to open.
- Attractive, clean design. Habitat has done a great job customizing one of MarketVolt’s built-in, do-it-yourself templates with an outstanding banner image and eye-catching colors. The email is neither too long, nor too busy. Short paragraphs with links to read more.
- Great use of immediacy. Email is great for delivering the last-minute message. And Habitat is a master at doing this. I’ve seen an email from Habitat that says we need volunteers on a building site now. Today’s mailing has several items about events just a few days away. This helps bump up attendance at those events. It also gives the emails a fresh, up-to-the-minute quality. Recipients will open and read these emails because they announce what’s happening now.
- Excellent use of calls-to-action. Every item in this newsletter has a link with an explicit or implicit call-to-action. The “Open Plea for Construction Volunteers” includes a link to “visit our blog for more information.” Habitat can track who clicks that link and identify them as “prospective volunteers.” A follow-up email a day or two before the event may follow. Even if Habitat doesn’t follow-up this way, the organization has some idea of the people who have interest in volunteering. Link-tracking reveals a lot about your recipients — information that you can use to land the prospect. This applies whether you’re a non-profit like Habitat or a for-profit. You can’t track clicks if you don’t include links.
- Prominent Social Media Links. Readers can’t miss the links to Habitat’s pages on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. If you have them on your email list, get them to follow your social media efforts — and vice-versa. Habitat does that well!
Way to go Habitat for Humanity.