An issue with our most recent email to our subscribers about the blog post “Five Changes Nonprofits Can Make For Better SEO” brought to mind a really critical tip that I definitely forget when I’m in a rush, and I know others do too:
Always preview a live version of a blog post or an email before you click publish or hit send! Click everything! Try to break it, then fix it and preview again before sending!
Especially when your email list is full of donors and a hard fought audience that you are proud of, it can be confusing and frustrating for them when a new piece of content has broken or incorrect links (or just plain doesn’t work)! In the example of our recent email, I was in a rush to get the email out and was excited to share this new content with everyone (especially as it was featured on a weekly roundup on fellow nonprofit blog “Kivi’s Nonprofit Communication Blog“) and I didn’t preview before hitting send. Turns out two of the clickable links in the email say they go to our SEO blog post, but in reality they go to our older post on “Why I Ditched Mailchimp for MailerLite.” A useful read, but not what users were expecting.
What happened? Well, like many people who use email systems and want to keep things looking consistent, I duplicated our last email blast, dropped in new content, and hit send without testing first. Whoops!
The key here is consistency in what you’re promising to a reader and what they get. If your link says to the reader “click here and you’ll see an amazing success story from our organization” and it takes them to a financial report instead, they will immediately feel less confident in the quality of your website (and, by extension, your organization to some extent). And once you hit “send” on an email and it’s in their inbox, there’s no turning back!
So, please take it from me: always always always take a couple minutes and test before sending or publishing!
Thank you to all of our subscribers to our newsletter who are so patient with that last email. I promise I’ll work on following my own advice to ensure every email you get is as valuable as it can be!