Email newsletters continue to offer a steady stream of website traffic for many nonprofits. But what if you could up your email game by employing nonprofit newsletter best practices and drive even more traffic to your site? These are people who’ve already shown their passion for your cause and requested regular updates. Make the most of these supporters by driving them to your nonprofit website to complete important calls to action.

Nonprofit Newsletter Best Practices

In general, your nonprofit’s newsletters should be a useful and concise recap of what’s happened since the last update. Keeping in that line of thought, nonprofit newsletter best practices tell us to send these puppies regularly, at the same day and time, in regular intervals. You want your supporters to know that they can count on you, and this regularity and familiarity helps to achieve that confidence.

Though every nonprofit is different, the goals of your email newsletters are going to be fairly similar across the board. We want to build a community among supporters and drive them to act. Let’s jump into the best practices you can adopt to drive more website traffic from your email newsletters.

Link to Your Website

This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer. To drive more traffic to your website, you need to include avenues for that traffic to follow within your email newsletter. All of your calls to action, buttons and images within your newsletter should link to a real page on your website. Whether it’s teasing a blog post and linking to the full post or asking supporters to donate to a new fundraising effort and taking them to your donate page, you should be pushing people to your website to convert. You’ll want to make it easy for supporters to find more information and actually taking those actions that you’re asking of them.

As you’re double-checking your email before you send it out, be sure to check all of these links and ensure they’re working properly and directing people to the pages you intended. There’s nothing worse than losing a potential donation or volunteer because of a broken link!

Make the Content on Your Website Useful

Following the previous best practice of linking, the content that you’re linking to should be high quality and add real value. Otherwise, why promote it to your supporters at all? When a subscriber clicks on a link and is taken to a page that’s bare, poorly written or in any way off-putting, that subscriber is not only unlikely to convert, but also unlikely to click on your email calls to action in the future. As you can imagine, content is incredibly important in the conversion process.

Share your most recent blog posts or even older posts that are timely again. The content you’re sharing doesn’t necessarily need to be new, you’ll just need to find a way to make it topical if it’s not.

Welcome New Subscribers

There’s an excellent opportunity to educate new supporters about your cause as soon as they subscribe your email newsletter. When a new subscriber joins your mailing list, you want to ease them into your newsletter and give them a good amount of background information to bring them up to speed and make them feel like an important part of the community.

Of course, we realize that there just isn’t enough time in the day to personally welcome all of your new subscribers and fill them in on everything that’s going on. That’s the beauty of marketing automation. Create a welcome series of between two and four emails that automatically sends to every new subscriber. Share your mission and information on what your organization is all about to start the series. You could also introduce your programs and link to important pages on your website.

Encourage Sharing

You’re putting in a lot of effort to create great content to link to in your newsletter. But are you missing opportunities to share it in other places? Don’t be afraid to include social media buttons within your newsletters or to encourage supporters to visit your social media pages, even specific posts, and join the conversation. Social media can be a great way to foster the community building you incite with your welcome email series.

In your next newsletter, encourage your subscribers to share a recent blog post on Facebook, follow your organization on Twitter or comment on your blog. Engagement across multiple channels will help to grow your audience (with the added bonus of more traffic) as more people see, share and subscribe to your content. And you can kickstart all of this engagement with your newsletter!

Email is still one of the best ways to get your message out. You have a list of folks who’ve told you they want to hear about what’s going on at your nonprofit on a regular basis. Use it to drive traffic and conversions on your website.

Check out our guide to find more ways to increase traffic to your website >

Are there any other ways that your nonprofit drives traffic from email? What nonprofit newsletter best practices do you follow? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


  1. I use email newsletters a great deal – mostly with an RSS feed to give our subscribers an alert to the latest news on a non-profit website I help manage. This content also goes to facebook. I find people are more likely to share content on facebook than a newsletter. Mailchimp has a facility to automatically publish content on facebook and you can also add a sign-up to facebook. I appreciate your useful ideas. We don’t currently have a welcome email for those that sign up- thanks for the encouragement to do that!