Story Arcs, First Person Accounts, Editorial Schedules, and Creating Value

Kivi Leroux Miller of Nonprofit Marketing and Ecoscribe Communications gave a telephone training today titled “Ensuring Your E-Newsletters are Read – Not Dead – On Arrival This Year”.

She covered lots of good topics related to email marketing for nonprofits.  There were four areas in particular I wanted to share with you today.

Story Arcs – This is a hot trend in email marketing. The idea being you follow one person as volunteer or client, something they are going through, either a process or transition from client to volunteer or mentor.  You break that story up into episodes told over time through your email. This creates interest and excitement for the next email, provided you are telling a compelling or interesting story.

First Person Accounts – Along the same vein as a story arc is the idea of telling stories from the perspective of the person that went through it. Letting a volunteer, donor, or client tell their perspective, in their own words, lets the reader really get a personal connection to what’s happening.

Editorial schedule – Sounds more complicated than it is.  Five minutes spent drafting one up is enough time to make it worth it.  Think through the year and what your organization and reader will be going through.  Then, fill in your content ideas accordingly.  If its February then focus on something Valentines or Love related. Seeing all of your article ideas, and what’s missing will give you a big picture look at how you are creating value for your reader.

Creating Value – This is the MOST IMPORTANT goal or objective when creating an email.  The reader needs to have value in the email to make it worth it for them to read this one, and want to read the next one you send.  Everything else you do related to your email should be done with the goal or idea that you are creating value for the reader.  How am I helping the reader? What problem or challenge are we helping reader solve?What information does the reader need?

I’ll have a more in-depth look at these and more topics from the training in the coming weeks.

I’d love to hear how you incorporate these areas into your email marketing now and if you’ve seen success because of it.

Thanks to Kivi Miller and Network for Good for putting on the free training.  You can find more of these types of trainings here…

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