Tips for Developing an Advocacy Newsletter

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Whether you’re representing a nonprofit, a grassroots campaign, or a corporate social responsibility initiative, publishing an effective newsletter can serve as a powerful tool and a great means of keeping your audience engaged and garnering support for your advocacy initiative.

Approximately 90% of Americans have already signed up for at least one recurring newsletter. Of that group, 74% receive newsletters from anywhere between one and ten organizations. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that if someone is already subscribed to a newsletter from an entity they support, they are probably open to signing up for another from the same source. 

Below are some essential tips to help develop an impactful advocacy newsletter of your own:

Know Your Audience

Before you start, you must clearly identify who your newsletter is for first. Whether they are industry professionals, local community members, or policymakers, understanding your audience’s interests, needs, and communication preferences encourages more sign-ups and higher engagement. After you know who you are trying to reach, you can tailor the tone and style of your content to match that demographic.

Identify Clear Goals

Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with your newsletter. You might be looking to raise awareness about a particular issue or mobilize supporters for an event, or perhaps you intend to influence policy change. In any case, having a clear objective will guide your content strategy and help you accurately measure its success.

You can have more than one goal, but keep in mind that each newsletter needs to be focused and purposeful. Otherwise, recipients are likely to skim over your content if they read it at all. 

Curate Compelling Content

Your newsletter should provide value to your readers. Mix updates and success stories regarding your advocacy efforts with informative articles and actionable advice. Also, use compelling headlines and include high-quality images or infographics to break up text and make your content more accessible.

Additionally, you’ll want to tailor the complexity of your content to align with your target audience. If you are writing to a mixed audience of community members, for instance, it’s best to use simpler language that maintains a conversational tone. Conversely, if you are reaching out to industry professionals, you can use more technical language that demonstrates your expertise and knowledge. 

Encourage Action

Advocacy is about spurring people to action. Therefore, each edition of your newsletter should include at least one call to action (CTA). These don’t have to be direct, but they should align with the overall tone and sense of urgency expressed in the body of the newsletter itself.

For instance, if you are trying to expand support for your movement, consider a soft CTA like “Explore ways to support our cause,” followed by links to your social media pages and website. If, on the other hand, you need readers to act fast in response to an urgent matter (such as voting on a controversial bill), your CTA should be more direct.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule

Consistency builds trust and expectation among your readers. Decide on a frequency that is sustainable for you, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and stay the course. Consistent communication keeps your audience involved and your cause at the top of their minds.

If this is your first time publishing your own newsletter, consider starting with a less frequent (perhaps monthly) publishing schedule. However, you must remember that inconsistent posting will make it difficult to build your following and gain new subscribers altogether.

Optimize for Accessibility and Readability

Ensure your newsletter is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Use alt text or images, choose accessible fonts, maintain high contrast between text and background, minimize the use of jargon, and keep your language clear and concise.

Leverage Personal Stories

Stories are powerful tools for connection and persuasion. And sharing personal stories related to your advocacy can make important issues feel more urgent and tangible. Go beyond your own worldview and discuss the real-world impacts that the social or political issues you’re passionate about have had on others in the community. 

Incorporate Multimedia

Videos, podcasts, and interactive elements can enrich the content of your newsletter. They offer alternative ways for readers to engage with your message and can be particularly effective in explaining complex issues or demonstrating the impact of your work.

On top of that, linking to other channels offers a means of growing your following across multiple platforms. For instance, you can encourage people to follow you on social media, listen to your long-form interviews, and visit your website. All of your advocacy outreach efforts should be interconnected.

Foster Community

Encourage your readers to become a part of something bigger than themselves. Invite them to share their stories, participate in discussions, or contribute content. Doing so will enrich your newsletter while also strengthening bonds with those who support your cause. 

Gather Feedback

Understanding the kind of content that resonates with your readers and the actions they are willing to take will help you refine your content over time. Just remember that your content will always need fine-tuning, especially early on. That means you must make it easy for readers to provide feedback and criticism on your newsletter and be open to it, as such information will help you grow. 

Analyze and Optimize

Use analytics tools to track engagement with your newsletter. Pay attention to things like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. These forms of data will help you understand what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve your future content. 

Expand Your Reach With Aristotle

As a leader in political data, Aristotle can provide you with the insights and tools necessary to build a successful newsletter. Our database includes millions of records, which are carefully maintained for accuracy and relevance. We also offer powerful advocacy tools and consulting services designed to help you drive meaningful change. 

If you’d like to learn more, schedule a demo with us today.

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