Got an ugly e-newsletter?

27 Sep

Lack of people, time and financial resource are often at the root of some well-meaning, but ill-conceived, nonprofit and small business communication campaigns. The main offenders are usually social media messaging and e-newsletters.

One of the best things about working in a technology-heavy media age is that there are some really good platforms available to nonprofits and small businesses that fit their specific needs.

Constant Contact has been around a while, but I only recently saw what it could do in action.

The company, based out of Massachusetts, “offers email marketing products, which allow customers to create, send, and track professional and affordable permission-based email marketing campaigns and social campaigns,” according to its Yahoo! Finance profile and boasts 555,000 customers.

Constant Contact has a Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook account with creative ideas on how to launch campaigns and examples of e-newsletters done correctly.

“Then Vs. Now: How Running a Business Has Changed in Five Years,” “When is the Best Time to Post on Facebook?” and “What Does Mobile Mean for Small Businesses and Nonprofits?” are just some of the videos on the Constant Contact YouTube channel that offer helpful tips.

They have plans starting at $15 a month for email marketing, online surveys, social campaigns and event managing. Nonprofits have a different pricing tier.

This type of platform is especially useful for nonprofits and small businesses whose communications department is probably the marketing, social media, public relations and event management department, as well, and manned by one to three people.

Larger corporations will unlikely have a need for this kind of platform because they usually have two to three departments that are doing the same job with more people and more money.

I promise I’m in no way affiliated with Constant Contact. I just saw it in use, and I saw how easy, even for me, it was to use, and I thought I wish we had this when I was working for a small nonprofit in 2009. Our cause was worthy. Our e-newsletter was woefully primitive.

Constant Contact is just one of many good websites to visit. Every organization will have a different need and function based on their goals. Some might not need a platform with so many options. They might just need something they can do a real e-newsletter on, and there are great sites just for that.

Source: paper.li/WindroseNP

Source: paper.li/WindroseNP

Paper.li lets users upload text, photos and videos to set up their online newsletter to where their site looks like a real online news site that readers can follow using social media.

“The successful campaigns I have worked on, where we got over a million people interacting with a Facebook campaign, have been integrated with other marketing activities, such as email marketing. All channels have to work together. We need to think of it as more of a marketing campaign than a social media campaign,” said Marc Blinder, MEA director of social media strategy at Adobe.

I think this is where the digital tide is turning for most organizations. With so many options available, there aren’t really any excuses for a crummy e-newsletter anymore.

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