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school marketing news

How to create effective school newsletters - part 2

Posted by Brad Entwistle

School newslettersIn part one of 'How to create effective school newsletters' we looked at why school newsletters work, appropriate content and frequency of publishing. Let’s consider some other burning questions:

4: Which media do I use?
Print is the oldest of newsletter formats and almost always the most costly.

Email is a very low-cost way to distribute news locally, nationally and even internationally. Email news is great for schools that have captured their parents’ email addresses and who actively use email, which nowadays is almost everyone.

School websites often contain newsletter sections, provided you have login details to access it in the first place. The primary drawback of the web is that it is a ‘pull medium’ ... readers need to consciously decide to go to your site, find the information and ‘pull’ the information from it. All the other mediums commonly used for newsletter communications are ‘push mediums’ where you, the sender actively ‘push’ the communication out to your reader. A website is, however, a fantastic support medium for your newsletter communications.

5: How do I know if my newsletter is working?
Build measurable results into your newsletter. Professional email programs can tell you who has opened your email and how many have ‘clicked through’ to one of your linked web pages. All are quantifiable and you can track the responses to see what works.

6: Why can’t I find any statistics on newsletters?
Statistical studies are only valid when most of the variables are fixed. Newsletters involve too many variables. Your mailing list is always going to be different each week. Your writing and content are different. How can someone else's study apply to your case? It simply can't.

7: What mistakes should I avoid?
Here are imageseven’s list of the most common newsletter mistakes and how to avoid them ...

    1. Burying interesting or important messages at the very bottom of the newsletter. Solution: Place your most important messages in headlines, captions and at the beginning of paragraphs or sections.

    2. Writing articles that are too long. Solution: Write short ‘news in brief’ sections.

    3. Designing disorganised pages. Solution: Remove the guesswork with a well designed template and then stick to it every edition.

    4. Ending an article abruptly, with no ‘call to action’. Solution: Always leave the name of the Head of Department and a contact phone number or email address as a call to action for parents to take regarding anything in their particular article.

    The really exceptional school newsletters balance the all important ‘need to know’ information of their school with stories that reinforce the school’s values and humanise the brand. Want to know more about newsletters? Contact us and we would be delighted to evaluate your school’s newsletter.

    This blog was written by Brad Entwistle

    Brad Entwistle is founder and Managing Director of imageseven. For more than 25 years he has led the imageseven team on a crusade to lift schools’ brands and reveal the true value they deliver to students and their families. When he is not working with schools on their marketing strategy, Brad sits on the boards of two national not-for-profits and enjoys looking at antique maps.

     

    Topics: Education, Communication, Copywriting, Newsletter