Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report – Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights

I’ve read dozens of articles on nonprofit marketing and I still don’t have a grip on “what works.” Take the newsletter. Before we launched the first issue, I wanted insight into best strategies for timing, content, format—you name it, I dug into it. Of the research I combed through, only one bit of advice continues to ring true: tell the stories of those you serve. If someone on your mailing list cares enough about your organization to not only open the email but also scroll through, they’re likely to care about the community you work with, too. Without fail, the client success story featured in every one of our newsletters lands in the top three of most read articles.


But aside from that, what content is important? What do people want to read? How much will they read? If, like me, you’re struggling to answer these questions, the only tip I can offer is to be weary of the Internet. Don’t believe the first well-written, persuasive article you read. Fifteen more will surface that contradict every bit of advice you started to think was gold.

For example, marketing gurus in the blogosphere generally agree that an email newsletter should be sent out on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Definitely NOT a Monday or Friday, for obvious reasons. But what about the time of day? Some professionals are adamant that the morning hours between 9 and 11 are prime, although I recently read an interesting piece arguing that nighttime is the right time…to up your CTR (click-through-rate). The author made the case for 10 to midnight, saying that professionals no longer work 9-5. People take their work home, and after putting the kids to sleep, get back on their laptops to check email, etc. He’s the only person I’ve read to suggest that, and I think he’s on to something. I plan to find out next month.

LCCR newsletter header

LCCR newsletter header

The spectrum of solutions you’ll find to any number of questions is overwhelming. But if you’re work is related to communications or marketing, I do recommend taking the time to research. It’s a fascinating, ongoing debate to tune into, even if you don’t buy the logic. I’ll continue to keep it up on Google, but in the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts on “how to run the greatest email campaign of ALL TIME.”



This entry was posted on March 17, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.


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