As we acknowledge all that’s happening in our country and world right now, and react as best we can to our new circumstances across all of Oregon, it is easy to grasp how being able to provide helpful, insightful news to our constituents means more now than ever. Communication is key!
In my role at Extension, I am constantly striving to incorporate the guiding criteria of our Navigator digital engagement effort. In the case of newsletters, it’s easy to focus on these:
As progress is made on the Navigator initiative, it’s nice to get a little refresher on collections of resources that are available for us to access any time. Many times right here in the Navigator blog.
Email newsletters — aka enewsletters
The resources I bring to you today are those that help us with those wide-distribution digital communications we rely on from time to time. These “bulk” email sends can drive traffic to website pages, spur enrollments in workshops and courses, and transform our understanding of our target audiences.
I am talking about enewsletters.
We recognize the importance newsletters have played in our Extension work for decades. In our journey toward a digital future—which our response to the COVID-19 pandemic may have greatly accelerated—we begin to assess the benefits of newsletters delivered to our constituents in email form.
As the future emerges (swiftly, as it now seems), a new normal will begin to establish itself for enewsletters based around these principles:
- Always consider your audience
- What information does our audience truly need? Are we talking about one, large audience… or a collection of distinct audience segments?
- Keep all writing inside the enewsletters short and to the point
- Focus on providing a link—we refer to it as the “call to action” (CTA)—which leads to a web page or similar online destination
- The CTAs are important—because people clicking on each one reveals what is of greatest value to them
- Measure measure measure—rate at which people open the emails, click-through rate, conversions, etc.
- After measuring, react and improve
- Discontinued use of PDF format newsletters—in this format, we simply lose out on all the opportunities to measure the results!
Head off to learn even more
The goal of this post is to provide links to information you can use to transform your team’s use of enewsletters.
We start it off with Ann Marie Murphy’s contribution on email newsletter practices that can help educate, convey information to, and build trust and community with industry-specific, program-specific and general audiences.
- April 14, 2020 post, Email newsletter best practices you need to know.
Back in March, Michele Scheib shared with us about the “plain language” approach to anything you write. Plain language conveys meaning in short, spare sentences and simple words.
- March 2, 2020 post, Better writing for easier reading
Then over to a recorded webinar presented by our own Rich Collins, from PACE, who led us on a journey through the steps of creating high quality enewsletters. I was able to join in as a co-presenter to share a vision of the possible future state of enewsletters as we look ahead to 2021 and beyond.
- May 21, 2020 webinar, CTAs, CTRs, CMS, Oh my! Let’s talk newsletters!
CTAs, CTRs, CMS, oh my! Let’s talk newsletters!
Thursday, May 21
Presenters: Rich Collins (PACE), Mark Kindred (ECTU)Do you write or send a newsletter? Would you like to take it to the next level or even just tweak what you’re already doing? Tune in for some compelling newsletter examples and best practices to help elevate your content and increase your audience engagement!
There was the post about how having email delivery occur inside a sophisticated tool like the Salesforce CRM can provide substantial benefits for those needing to keep tabs on progress.
- October 28, 2019 post, Send an email from inside a CRM instead of Outlook? Why would I do that?
And I will wrap up with a couple posts that are related to each other, exploring ideas how to add new subscribers to enewsletter email lists over time.
- February 25, 2020 post, Aiming to increase newsletter subscribers? We have a plan for that!
- May 5, 2020 post, A reader asked: How do RFI forms differ from newsletter opt-ins? Let’s explore!