How the good, bad, and ugly emails help

Every content creator knows that the well of inspiration can run dry when you’re writing to support the same mission in every email. Or worse, you find yourself repeating the same themes, in the same way in campaign after campaign.

One of the best ways to get out of this writing slump is to read a lot of emails. To read good emails breeds good emails. Even the objectively bad emails full of long, boring text and confusing calls to action can help identify what not to do in your own campaigns. 

Reading and identifying good content is a tool to help you write good content. Think of these emails as a mood board of inspiration.  

Notice your own patterns while you’re reading other org’s communications. Do you find shorter or longer emails more compelling? Do you read or skim? Where does the call to action need to be located for you to notice and click? Are there parts of the email that stick out?

This is great first-person research and can help you better understand what your audience will be looking for in your emails.

Other bonuses aside from content ideas:
  • Keep up-to-date with changes in the nonprofit sector – the shift towards person-first language, for example.
  • View your pieces/emails through a comparative lens – what are you doing well and what can you do better?
  • Know your competition – find out what else is in your donor’s inbox from similar organizations.

My challenge to you is to sign up for two email lists today: at least one organization that overlaps with your donor audience and a second whose mission you admire. An organization who is doing a good job on social media is a great place to start since they’re active in the digital realm.

Need some suggestions of organizations who are doing things well? Reach out and we’ll send you some examples.

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