Monthly Archives: December 2014

Bookings open: NEW eMarketing Savvy workshops in Sydney and Melbourne

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eMail marketing – eMarketing – holds tremendous potential for anyone wanting more bums on seats, dollars in coffers, campaigners in action. Much of that potential however is going to waste.

email marketing advice

Whether you are getting started or sharpening your act, this workshop is for you.

That’s why we’re staging eMarketing Savvy workshops in Melbourne and Sydney in February and March 2015.

The workshops, delivered by Brett de Hoedt come with notes, an assessment of your eMarketing strategy, follow-up coaching and a 110% guarantee.

It will be high-energy, practical and fun. Yes, fun. These sessions are equally aimed at NFPs, government and small businesses.

If your boss thinks that sending out the occasional email demonstrates mastery of the medium consider:

  • how many ways do you have to build your database? (six or more?)
  • are you A/B testing? (regularly, one element at a time, then making changes)
  • have you optimised your sign-up page? (don’t let them escape)
  • have you created series of emails for subscribers? (to keep front of mind, for longer)
  • what knockout confirmation emails do you currently send to new subscribers? (they are showing their love to you, is it being returned?)
  • how do you try to reinvigorate lapsed subscribers? (if at all?)
  • have you considered what expensive, slow, unaccountable print communications you can swap for fast, free, email?
  • when was the last time an outside expert assessed your communications?

If you don’t have answers you need this workshop.

Learn more, book now, be smarter soon.




Ask Brett: boosting your email open rates

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marketing speaker Brett de Hoedt

Pondering his answer. Hard.

We recently spied a nonprofit marketer’s query on Facebook and decided to turn it into the first Ask Brett in which Citizens are invited to ask Brett a marketing question which he’ll do his darndest to answer. Send your question to

The perplexed marketer requested anonymity but her query ran a little bit like this:

I work for a [insert private sector website serving the nonprofit sector that sends 64% of you weekly emails] and we’ve seen a dramatic and sudden drop in email open rates. We’ve investigated technical issues but that’s not the problem. Any suggestions to boost open rates?


eMarketing advice open rates

This will have them racing to their inboxes in anticipation!

So we created a whole free PDF eBook about it.

Download your copy of Open Up! now.

Open Up! has more than a dozen ways to ensure more precious double clicks, more often.

Now check out our eMarketing Savvy training workshops in 2015.

Don’t forget to share any results you gain via these tactics and email us your Ask Brett questions. 

2015 Board Builder conference officially declared open

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2015’s biggest and most practical day devoted to nonprofit and community sector board members is open for registration. Board Builder 2015 is set for February 23 in Melbourne. It’s the brainchild of the Institute of Community Directors which is the offspring of Our Community.

It is very difficult to resist a pun on the word "board" when writing this caption.

It is very difficult to resist a pun on the word “board” when writing this caption.

Brett will be speaking – he’s been a part of the event since year one. So too will be:

Greg Nance CEO, Surf Life Saving Australia
Jocelyn Bignold CEO, McAuley Community Services for Women
Trent Youl CEO, Fraudwatch International
Wendy Brooks leading philanthropy and fundraising consultant
Brett de Hoedt Mayor, Hootville Communications
Libby Klein and Catherine Brooks Principals, Moores, Not-for-Profit Lawyers
Kaye McCulloch Community Resource Education & Development Manager, 3Bridges Community
Patrick Moriarty and Natalie Bramble Institute of Community Directors Australia.

Lots of concurrent sessions covering director recruitment, securing funding, managing your CEO and workforce and I.T security.  The event attracts directors from big and small organisations, from across the country and across the sectors. Come along.

The price for all this? Ridiculous. Especially if you swoop on the early bird pricing.

Details and registrations here.

Social media sharing: length, depth and looks matter

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Are you getting shared around enough? Probably not.

There are no “copywriters” anymore – just content creators. And those content creators are judged in large part by the degree to which their content is shared. Getting lots of shares and retweets (going viral) feels good and spreads your message. Not getting shared feels more akin to having a virus.

So how do we increase the chances of being shared on social media? Here are some advice based on a study by BuzzSumo of 100 million pieces of social media content.

1. Length matters: here’s a big important counter-intuitive fact – longer posts get shared more than shorter.

Yep – we all say we are overwhelmed with information. We all have too little time and too much to read but this data – based on people’s real behaviour not their answers to a survey question – is very revealing. It seems that when the right people are reading your content they want MORE information, not less. And the more content your provide in a single post or tweet, the more likely it is that the reader will share your work.

how long should a blog post be?
More words = more shares. Get thee to thy keyboard.

As BuzzSumo’s investigation of what gets shared via social media shows, the longer the content, the higher the chances of getting a share / retweet / link. Think 2000 words minimum. Yep – you read that correctly.

Why does this make sense? Well, when we are mildly interested in a topic a short sharp piece of content may suffice but for those readers with genuine interest in you or your issues, the longer, the better. Longer posts win by a country mile.

how to increase social media shares

This guy knew what he was talking about when he talked about talking.

Remember what Aristotle (left) said: good speakers establish their ethos (high moral standing and pure motivations) before delivering the logos (facts, figures and information) while remembering to create pathos (to stir emotions whether angry, sad, patriotic etc).

That’s hard to do with a 150-word post. Of course not all posts are conceived equal. Some pieces of content need nothing more than the usual pith – others though need planning, writing and enhancement. Go long on content that really matters.

This works for Hootville – our most shared and enduring content is always our longer and angrier pieces.


Thumbnails on Facebook creates more sharing.

A picture is worth 1000 shares. Use them.

2. Pictures help too. On both Twitter and Facebook content with pictures were shared much more frequently.

Finally: Content creation is hard work but if you want to create a bond with your reader you need to persuade them of your bona fides. Valuable, relevant, practical, freely available information goes a long way to securing that bond. And it also inspires people to share your work.

Read more about the sort of content that gets shared at BuzzSumo.

PS: this post include 460 or so words.