How to Create an Engaging School Newsletter
How does your school keep in touch with students, parents, and community members? The days of relying primarily on the simple permission slip or flyer are long gone. Yes, these printed materials are important, but they’re now secondary to digital communication.
While education websites and social media should be key elements of your virtual strategy, there’s something special about the simple email newsletter. Charming yet informative, this tool can help you keep a variety of recipients in the loop about school life. Emails are crucial for driving both short-term enrollment and long-term engagement.
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In this article, we’ll discover:
- The benefits of school email newsletters
- How you can implement a newsletter
- What they should include to keep readers invested
Benefits of school email newsletters
It’s no secret that email remains a valuable marketing tool in the business world, where a single dollar spent wisely can deliver an impressive return on investment of $42. While the ROI for school emails specifically may be more difficult to track, newsletters have an important role to play in your digital outreach strategy. Here are a few key benefits:
If you’re looking to attract new students, an email newsletter may provide an inside look at what makes your school special. Even if prospective families don’t immediately begin the admissions process, ongoing digital interactions could eventually lead to new students.
Create a sense of community
Schools provide far more than academic development. Often, they form the backbone of the neighborhoods in which they’re situated. But in a digital, often disconnected world, educators find it difficult to foster a community-oriented environment.
Rather than lamenting the internet’s influence, take advantage of it to get students and their parents involved. By bringing a human element to digital interactions, newsletters get readers invested. The more that parents, caretakers, and other community members care, the better outcomes your students will enjoy.
Integrate with other digital content
Email may be the favored form of communication for most teachers and parents, but that doesn’t remove the need for content such as blog posts and social media updates. These prominent education marketing strategies can be promoted with help from your email newsletter, which should direct readers to specific landing pages or social media accounts. Likewise, website-based calls to action will encourage visitors to sign up for your email newsletters.
Engagement on multiple platforms will produce greater potential not only for enrollment, but also for active involvement long after students have been admitted. Don’t skip this valuable opportunity for cross-platform promotion.
How to get started
The decision of whether to send a school newsletter may feel like a no-brainer, but getting started is another matter altogether. Thankfully, various tools can be called upon to streamline the process of creating an attractive and engaging email newsletter.
Determine your goal
Before you begin drafting content or subject lines, think about why you are sending an email newsletter in the first place. Are you eager to increase enrollment? Do you want parents to get more involved in their children’s academic journey? Will this be one of your primary sources for informing parents and students about upcoming school activities and announcements?
With a focused goal in mind, you’ll develop the tailored content that will produce the desired results.
Develop a schedule
How often will you send newsletters? Too many emails may cause busy recipients to disengage. Depending on your situation, monthly, biweekly, or even weekly mailings may be preferable. At a minimum, plan to send newsletters at least once per month. Create a reliable schedule so that recipients know when to expect updates.
Take advantage of newsletter templates
Layout and design can be complicated, time-consuming ordeals — particularly if you want to craft a dynamic, yet easy-to-navigate newsletter. Using a newsletter template saves you time and helps you create mobile-responsive emails that you can easily customize to reflect your school’s colors and brand.
Use engaging subject lines
Newsletter recipients may pay more attention to school communication than other types of emails, but that doesn’t mean they’ll always read them. The right subject line can ensure that your messages not only stand out but also compel recipients to learn more. These should be direct, concise, and full of personality.
What to include in school newsletters
With the right content, a carefully crafted newsletter can make the entire school feel more like a cohesive community, rather than a collection of separate classrooms. Here are some ways you can bring your school, staff, and parents together with your newsletter content.
Student of the week
Take show-and-tell digital with a student of the week feature that allows readers to learn more about your most inspiring students. This can take on a Q&A format, in which featured individuals share details about their past accomplishments, current interests, and plans for the future. Encourage those selected for this feature to submit a favorite photo to accompany the text.
Staff member of the week
Students don’t always regard school staff as real people. Change their perception with a feature echoing the student of the week. This blurb could highlight teachers, nurses, librarians, administrators, custodial staff, and all those who work hard to make your school a welcoming place.
Share pictures of staff members’ kids, pets, and vacations. In addition to a photo, include details about what inspired these professionals to enter the field of education and any interests they have outside of work.
Stories or poetry written by students
Let students get involved in your newsletter and share their best work. Short stories and poems should be encouraged, especially if they relate somehow to the newsletter’s overarching theme. Students and their parents will be thrilled to see their work featured — and this could inspire some to dedicate more time and effort to creative writing.
Updates on charitable initiatives
Regular updates on charitable initiatives ensure that giving becomes an integral part of your school’s culture. Let families know how they can get involved and why their efforts matter. After these events conclude, they’ll enjoy learning how they and their neighbors made a difference for those in need.
Newsletter content should prominently feature results from recent events. For example, if students raised money for the local humane society, this accomplishment should be featured.
Get specific, highlighting dollars raised or pounds of food gathered during a drive. Next, let readers know about upcoming events, including any details. Remind them why the cause is so important.
Highlights from recent events
Not all families attend all events hosted by your school. While they can get an idea for what they missed on social media, newsletters take this a step further by weaving the details of a particular event into a story, complete with attendance stats and quotes from participants.
Readers will realize what they missed and hopefully get involved with the next event.
Input from newsletter recipients
While the ideas outlined above can give you a great start, the best content may ultimately be suggested or developed by the parents and educators who receive your newsletter. The more involved they feel, the more likely they are to keep reading.
If you’re serious about boosting enrollment and engagement via education marketing, check out The Download. This free online marketing guide will provide powerful insight into the most effective practices for the field of education.