Perhaps you’re not seeing the engagement you’d like; or maybe it’s just time to update your templates. Whatever the case, there are some do’s and don’ts you want to avoid when re-configuring an email newsletter.The purpose of an email newsletter is to quickly and concisely present information to your audience. Anything that runs long or is poorly written or designed will lead to decreased engagement, which leads to users missing key information. If someone misses information, they often times will bug you for it down the road, or reach out to other members.
You can cut down on the back and forth, and get people excited for updates by re-imagining what your newsletters can be. And improve upon the communication between the school and families with the following three steps.
Reviewing Old Content
- What layout or design did you use (if any)? Is there a design template, or a saved email draft?
- Did you have a calendar of events? Who updated that, and did you use group’s calendar or a school calendar?
- School policy reminders (EX: Student drop-off & pick-up routines)
- Progress with goals (sign ups, fundraising, selling, memberships)
- Messages from school (administrators, teachers, staff)
- Student or staff highlights
- Relevant volunteer sign ups,
- Notice of events & RSVP protocol
Exploring New Designs/Layouts & Content Approach
- Find free templates, or create your own? (Examples provided below*)
- Less is more: Embrace white space, clear titles and subtext, and keep it short & sweet. “What can you tell a person in less than a minute?“
- Show me, don’t tell me: Studies show that readers retain more information when presented with media (photo/video)
- Include surveys or platforms for feedback and dialogue on important themes or issues
Recommendations (Frequency & Topics)
- Assign a lead, or a small team responsible for newsletter ideation, creation, and distribution
- Determine frequency (EX: Bi-weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, etc.)
- Create a template for easy recall with each newsletter
- Schedule a production timeline to include:
- Topic submission reminders to teachers, staff, parents/members
- Submission deadlines
- Writing/formatting of newsletter
- Distribution to school registrar or data clerk (print & digital versions*)
- Email distribution to members
- Rinse and repeat for the next month
Email Newsletter Resources
- 13 of the Best Email Newsletter Templates and Resources by HubSpot
- 47 Engaging Email Newsletter Templates, Design Tips & Examples For 2020
- 8 of the Best Email Newsletter Examples to Show You How It’s Done
The PTOffice messenger feature gives you the power to build custom email and text notifications, save templates, and track engagement (sends, opens, clicks, bounces). The ability to track who is — and who isn’t — getting messages helps you know the true impact of a newsletter and how to follow-up with those who didn’t open or receive it.