Writing Effective Newsletters

*Some of the infor­ma­tion in this arti­cle was tak­en from an arti­cle writ­ten by Ethan Kotel called How to Write Effective Copy


As a mis­sion­ary, one of your goals when writ­ing your newslet­ter is to increase your num­ber of sup­port­ers while clear­ly con­vey­ing your vision and cause. One thing is cer­tain: If you do not clear­ly com­mu­ni­cate your vision (why you do what you do), your read­ers will not be as com­pelled or inspired to become sup­port­ers, whether finan­cial­ly or in prayer. Below are some tips that will help you through the process of writ­ing your next newslet­ter.

1) Know Your Audience

  • Who is my audi­ence?

It is impor­tant when you sit down to begin to write that you con­sid­er who will be read­ing your newslet­ter. Think about each of your read­ers on an indi­vid­u­al basis and as a whole. What is their age? What is their gen­der? What do they do for a liv­ing? How do they know you? What do they real­ly want to hear from you?

Use the­se pieces of infor­ma­tion to write a clear, more per­son­al­ized let­ter for speci­fic groups of peo­ple or indi­vid­u­als.

2) Consider Your Platform and Format

  • Consider how your read­ers will receive your newslet­ter

Will you send it in an email, through MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, as a PDF, or will you send it out via “snail” mail?

  • Emails
    • Instead of writ­ing one email to your entire list, split your con­tact list by age, loca­tion, gen­der or oth­er cat­e­gories.
    • Create one basic email tem­plate and change it accord­ing to who will receive it. This will help you cre­ate a more per­son­al­ized email which will make your read­ers more like­ly to respond and engage with you.

3) Avoid being gener­ic

  • Use excit­ing action verbs that draw your read­ers in and inspire them to take action.
  • Clearly spell out what your read­er should do.
  • Make sure that every word you write has a speci­fic pur­pose, is strong and force­ful, and moves the read­er into tak­ing action.

4) Edit

  • Ask your­self: Is this infor­ma­tion real­ly nec­es­sary?
  • Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!

Go over your let­ter sev­er­al times to give your­self a chance to rethink sen­tences and infor­ma­tion you used. Ask a friend or a rel­a­tive to read it to gain a fresh new per­spec­tive. He/she may catch some­thing you missed.

  • Remember: Consider your audi­ence and what is appro­pri­ate for them.

It’s not hard to write effec­tive let­ters. By fol­low­ing the­se four tips, you can cre­ate more effec­tive and com­pelling newslet­ters which will inspire and moti­vate your read­ers into action and pos­si­bly turn them into sup­port­ers.

I tell you, you can pray for any­thing, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
— Mark 11:24 NLT

The year 2011 was not a good year finan­cial­ly for many peo­ple. The reces­sion con­tin­ued, peo­ple lost their jobs, and some lost their hous­es. Giving to church­es, mis­sion­ar­ies, and oth­er char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tions were down.

As was the case with many oth­ers, so it was with us: our income dropped con­sid­er­ably last year. As I thought about this, I became very dis­cour­aged. A dark cloud of unbe­lief set­tled over me. I found it very dif­fi­cult to believe that God would con­tin­ue to provide for us. For a while, things looked bleak, almost hope­less.

I con­sid­er myself to be an opti­mist.  I believe that God will take care of us, and I try to encour­age oth­ers to believe the same. However, on this occa­sion it took every ounce of strength that I had just to believe. In the mid­dle of a spir­i­tu­al bat­tle sim­ply believ­ing what you know to be true can be a great chal­lenge.

When every­thing is going well and you feel very close to God, it is easy to believe. It seems fool­ish to think you would ever doubt.  But dur­ing times of test­ing or times of spir­i­tu­al attack, it can be very dif­fi­cult to believe. Spiritual war­fare is real.

Luke speaks of the time when Jairus was strug­gling to believe.  He received word that his daugh­ter had died. “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed’ ” (Luke 8:50 NIV).

I am remind­ed of anoth­er father who had to wrestle with unbe­lief.  His son had an evil spir­it that robbed him of his speech. It caused him to have seizures and some­times would throw him into the fire to try to kill him. The dis­ci­ples could not cast it out. When the boy was brought to Jesus, the demon “threw the child into a vio­lent con­vul­sion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foam­ing at the mouth” (Mark 9:20 NLT).

The father said to Jesus, “Have mer­cy on us and help us, if you can.”
Jesus respond­ed, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?”  “Anything is pos­si­ble if a per­son believes.”  Then the father cried out, “I do believe, but help me over­come my unbe­lief” (Mark 9:22–24)!  This father had to fight to believe.

Believing is not only the bat­tle that we must win, it is the work that we must do.  Jesus says, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29 NLT).  We all have been called to believe, and not just in His promis­es, but also in the per­son of Jesus, “the one he has sent.”  Even when we find it dif­fi­cult, we must believe.  For “all things are pos­si­ble to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJ).

Helping Missionaries Win the Battle

WIM is more than just another missions agency.
It’s a family.

We will serve you, train you and care for you,

WIM is a close-knit fam­i­ly of indi­vid­u­als with big dreams for the nations. We oper­ate through per­son­al rela­tion­ships with our mem­bers. We are a fam­i­ly. When asked what WIM is, any one of our mis­sion­ar­ies will tell you that it is a fam­i­ly. As a core val­ue, com­mit­ted rela­tion­ships are the heart of our orga­ni­za­tion. WIM can help its mem­bers to be the most effec­tive mis­sion­ar­ies pos­si­ble, enabling us to accom­plish much more togeth­er as a fam­i­ly than would be pos­si­ble as indi­vid­u­als.

Make Love Known

By Sarah Pennington

I saw some­thing beau­ti­ful hap­pen today. Our fam­i­ly was hav­ing a drink in a cafe when a gyp­sy child came in with an out­stretched hand ask­ing for mon­ey. We gave her some rubles and then talked with the boys about what had hap­pened. As we left the cafe about thir­ty min­utes lat­er, we met the child again. She was beg­ging on the stairs. Samuel smiled and waved and Joshua ran to her and threw his arms around her, hug­ging her tight. Her lit­tle face broke into a HUGE smile. My heart swelled with understand­ing.

For a few sec­onds, she was not a beg­gar, but a best friend.”

She lit­er­al­ly came alive with just a hug. She was ecsta­t­ic! For a sec­ond, she was a dif­fer­ent child. She stands on those stairs, in the cold, in her rat­ty dress and prob­a­bly gets ignored all day. For a few sec­onds, she was not a beg­gar, but a best friend. I real­ized, if she doesn’t know that I love her, then it is my fault. This moment start­ed some­thing in our hearts, and we are pray­ing about it. The truth is, no one will know my love unless I make it known. So let’s make it known. Let’s love.”


Sarah and her hus­band Chad have a vision for shar­ing Christ, mak­ing dis­ci­ples, and lov­ing inten­tion­al­ly. They are pas­sion­ate about tak­ing back what the ene­my has stolen and are com­mit­ted to liv­ing a nat­u­ral life in a super­nat­u­ral way.

Missionary Life: The Joys and Hardships of Living in Another Culture

Living in another country and culture that is not your own can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are ups and downs, good times and bad times, victories and defeats. Have you ever lived overseas or in a different culture? Here are a few of the joys and hardships of cross-cultural living.

THE JOYS: 

  • Enjoyable and last­ing friend­ships
  • Sharing the gospel with mil­lions of peo­ple who have nev­er heard of Jesus
  • Doing some­thing we whole-heart­ed­ly believe in
  • Developing a greater under­stand­ing for God’s love and heart for the world
  • Fresh and cheap food
  • Getting to know your­self bet­ter
  • Learning how to live, thrive, and find joy in the uncom­fort­able

THE HARDSHIPS: 

  • Trusting in God’s pro­vi­sion in all areas of life: finan­cial­ly, emo­tion­al­ly and spir­i­tu­al­ly
  • Being chal­lenged to rely more ful­ly on God
  • Being home­sick and miss­ing friends and fam­i­ly
  • Not being ful­ly known or under­stood by either our pass­port coun­try or our host coun­try
  • Bartering when you’re out and about in the mar­kets
  • Learning where to focus your time
  • Learning to rely on God for every­thing includ­ing, finances, ener­gy, joy, peace, health, food, rest, etc.
  • Driving a vehi­cle in the ele­ments (rain, wind, beat­ing down heat)
Have you ever lived cross-culturally?
We’d love to hear about your experience.

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