Writing compelling stories for your union emails

This blog post is 9 years old. Please, when reading this, be mindful of its age.

I’ve mentioned before the fantastic e-news “Tip of the Day” from the New Organizing Institute. Recently, they sent one out that I thought was worth sharing: how to harness the power of stories effectively for your emails. (Here’s the weblink to the NOI’s email.)

The email highlights a report by M+R Labs about the art of email writing:

Stories are powerful — our brains seem to be hard-wired for this ancient method of sharing information. As a result, including stories in your emails may seem like a no-brainer. But there’s a problem: Non-profits are adding stories to their fundraising messages… and they’re not working.

How can smart organizations harness the power of stories to communicate with supporters and get them to donate? In M+R’s newest publication, we dig into what makes stories powerful, explain recent test results that can help non-profits avoid falling into the personal story trap, and offer concrete tips for crafting emails that successfully use stories to compel supporters to give.

The New Organizing Institute summarises the advice as follows:

1) Stories that explain tell the story of what your campaign or organization is accomplishing, and why you should be trusted with supporters’ donations. But they don’t motivate people to act.

2) Stories that compel put the supporter front and center, making each supporter the hero of a particular moment. More “Choose Your Own Adventure” than “The Great Gatsby,” stories that compel offer people the chance to change the world, and compel people to take action.

Head over to M+R’s website to download the report. I found it thought provoking, and it made me reconsider some of the email-blasts I send out. (Also, you should sign up to the NOI’s “tip of the day” email list here.)

This blog post is 9 years old. Please, when reading this, be mindful of its age.
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