Advantages of Using eNewsletter Services to Inform and Connect with Stakeholders

7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
"E-mail newsletters (eNewsletters) are a valuable cost-effective way to keep your school at the top of your target audience’s mind.” Brian Dixon, Social Media for School Leaders: A Comprehensive Guide for Getting the Most Out of Facebook, Twitter, and Other Essential Web Tools
This past spring, I started using an eNewsletter service called MailChimp to send my Weekly Parent Email Update. I have been sending this update through Gmail for the last two years, but after reading Brian Dixon’s book Social Media for School Leaders, I became convinced to try an online eNewsletter service. I chose MailChimp after speaking with a parent who had already been using the service as a part of her job.

As Dixon points out, there are several advantages of using an online eNewsletter service.
  • Collecting email addresses for your contact list is a simple process. Using an eNewsletter service like MailChimp makes collecting email addresses for your contact list simple. All you need do is provide access to a URL link or a QR code, and parents as well as others can sign up. When they click on the link, they access a form that asks them to enter their email address, first name, last name, and their preferred format for the eNewsletter. Then, they click on “Subscribe to List.” Once they subscribe, you receive an email notification of their subscription. If they use the QR code with their mobile device, the same form will appear on that device. They simply enter the information and submit. ENewsletter services like MailChimp make it quite simple to collect your newsletter email contact list.
signupformforenewsletter
Email Subscription Form
  • You can standardize the format of your eNewsletter with customizable templates. The issue I had sending my newsletter through regular email was having a standard format each week. Using eNewsletter services like MailChimp means you can create a template that you use each week. You simply enter in the new information every week. The templates allow you customize color schemes, bylines, insert clip art, add photos, and even your mastheads. Having the ability to customize the look of your eNewsletter means you make it suit the needs of your school or district.
  • You can schedule when your eNewsletter will be distributed. Another handy feature of eNewsletter services like MailChimp is that you can schedule when you eNewsletter will be sent. This means you can schedule it to hit your parent's and stakeholder's inboxes at the most opportune time possible.
  • You can track how your parents interact with your eNewsletter. MailChimp gives its users the ability to check statistics to see how many of your parents actually open the eNewsletter, top links clicked, subscribers who open the eNewsletter the most, and if there's social media activity. What this does, is allow you to view all the activity involving your eNewsletter and make adjustments to get more of your stakeholders reading and clicking your content.
activityreportmailchimp
MailChimp Activity Report
  • You can set up an eNewsletter archive. Keep all your old eNewsletters in a library for future access.
If you would like to see how the subscription link works, check out our school link at Discovery High School’s Web Page.

I see two drawbacks so far with eNewsletter services in general and MailChimp specifically. First of all, learning the software is fairly steep, though anyone who has experience updating a blog or web page can probably figure it out. There are quite a few features, so taking time to figure them out is a must. Using onsite video tutorials will help. Secondly, trying to keep your eNewsletter from ending up in your stakeholders' spam folder is also a challenge. I still struggle with that one, but apparently the key is make your eNewletters least resemble spam in the first place. I haven't been entirely successful with this one, but I am working on it.

As Dixon points out, getting a high-quality eNewsletter out to your stakeholders and community, will go a long way in promoting your school. While the learning curve using an eNewsletter service might be a bit steep, MailChimp and other eNewsletter services provide powerful tools for using technology to reach your larger school community. 

For more information about MailChimp, check out their Web Site: MailChimp Email Marketing Service.

cross posted at the21stcenturyprincipal.blogspot.com

J. Robinson has decades of experience as a K12 Principal, Teacher, and Technology Advocate. Read more at The 21st Century Principal.




comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...