I've been writing the newsletters for my small food recovery nonprofit for about 3 years now. Originally I followed a template laid out by a PR company, but after years of following the same formula, I've moved things around, switched to a mobile theme, and tried to tighten things up.
I have attached a few examples to demonstrate the changes. I definitely feel the newsletter is improving, but would appreciate any feedback especially anything technical to help increase Opens and Clicks (email header/titles/from/reply to/send time), but also tone, conciseness and reader engagement.
Thanks in advance for your time!
2014 Newsletter Example: http://conta.cc/1SQeCyy
2015 Newsletter Example: http://conta.cc/1dp9SP1
2016 Newsletter Example: http://conta.cc/1SNHIyG
Thank you for the opportunity to review your newsletter. You are going to find what follows harsh. Stop reading now if you are easily hurt.
First impressions are extremely important, therefor you are receiving my first impressions first.
There is a gap in the word "February". Not professional.
Beginning the first sentence in the first paragraph is the first-person pronoun "I". Not a good start. As a selfish, random reader, I don't care about how you liked watching something. Beginning "You ...." is much better. That puts the reader's focus on them, not you. "... our Annual Fundraising Gala ... our organization ...." is slightly better, but still doesn't emphasize the reader. "Your" may be better.
Oops. The second sentence also begins with "I". You've gotten the point by now, so I'll move on.
The second paragraph (about 2011) could have used more details about some of the people whom Nourish Now served at the shelter. No, definitely not their names! Making the recipients of the donations more human and deserving would help. Kudos for the link to Panera! That kind of mention helps donors feel good about their donationsm and is an incentive for more donations.
The third paragraph mentions a "refrigerated reefer van". Unless you're supplying pot, the "reefer" portion is redundant. "Reefer" in your context means "refrigerated". A minor quibble: It is unclear whether the truck is also refrigerated.
The sentence which begins "This amazing ...." is far too long, and contains some problems. "... as well as the hire of ..." is ungramatical. The phrase "... needs of each of over 500 ..." needs serious editing. By the time I got to the sentence beginning "Tickets and ...", I'd lost track of what the tickets were for.
The rest of the third paragraph also needs more emphasis on "your generiousity", "Thanks to your donations, ....", etc.
The Oxford comma is one style of punctuation. Each editor / style guide decides whether to use the Oxford comma or not.
Oh, oh. The paragraph beginning "Please join ..." has "... join together ...." How else would we join? Seperately?
"Buy Tickets" is not the best label for the call-to-action button. Think about people's motivation to buy: Having fun, supporting a good cause, winning money (one assumes), helping to donate a specific piece of equipment, etc. And, while we're at it, white text on thse background colors (the graphic looks like a corn cob) is hard to read. (Squinting help you determine whether text is easy to read.)
That's all I can critique now because of time limitations. Good luck!
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