Keep your community engaged!
Schools need to stay in touch with their students, parents and community members. The days of relying solely on flyers and permission slips are long gone. Yes these printed materials are still important but they’re now secondary to digital communication.
The email school newsletter often gets a bad rap because it’s seen as old-fashioned or too restricting. We can see how it would be, but when done well, the simple email newsletter is the ultimate in virtual strategy. Engaging 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 enrolment and long-term engagement.
In this article, we’ll discover:
- The advantages of school email newsletters
- The best practices when creating a newsletter
- What you should include to keep readers invested
Advantages of school email newsletters
For a business, email presents a significant marketing opportunity if used correctly. One dollar spent wisely can produce an impressive return on investment. From a ROI perspective, emailing the parents of your students might not be the best idea. But school newsletters help you build relationships and provide information to people on your mailing list. Here are 3 advantages to sending a newsletter:
If you’re looking to attract new students, a school newsletter may provide an inside look at what makes your school special and set you apart from other schools. Even if prospective families don’t immediately begin the admissions process, ongoing digital interactions could eventually lead them to enrol.
Create a sense of community
Schools provide more than academic development. They often serve as the backbone of a neighbourhood and help to foster a warm community-oriented environment. But with the rise of technology and the increasing tendency for people to isolate themselves, it’s getting harder and harder for educators to keep communities alive.
Rather than lamenting the internet’s influence over our children, take advantage of the virtual world and encourage parents and teachers to turn it into a learning opportunity. 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 easy way for most teachers and parents to communicate, but it doesn’t make it any less necessary to publish content such as blog posts and social media updates. These leading education marketing strategies can be easily promoted to your subscribers via email newsletters and social media. For example, website-based calls to action will encourage visitors to sign up for your school newsletter.
Cross-platform engagement will go a long way, not only in delivering enrolment but also lasting involvement. Don’t waste this opportunity by promoting your school on only one platform.
Want to know the marketing strategies you can use to increase your enrolments? Be sure to read our 5 strategies to help make the most of your digital marketing and your time, bringing your organisation together with the right students
School newsletter best practices
Before we get into a few school newsletter content ideas that you might like to include in your next edition, let’s do a quick refresher on successful newsletter best practices:
- Make the switch to digital – Hard copies are out, Send your digital school newsletter via email for a cheaper, more eco-friendly approach to content delivery. Whilst attaching a newsletter PDF to an email might be what most schools are used to, they’re unlikely to attract to a great readership from today’s mobile-first parent.
- Regular distribution time and frequency – Ideally, you should set a regular distribution time as well as frequency so that your audience will know when to expect your posts. For example, you might post to Twitter or Facebook just once a day, or at least three times a week.
- Mobile Optimised – Focus on making sure that your content is mobile-friendly and optimised for viewers on the go. A responsive newsletter is one that adjusts to fit any size screen and still looks the way you want.
- Know your audience – When you’re planning a school newsletter, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. The goal of a newsletter is to inform and engage with them. Knowing your audience will allow you to write the right content for the right people.
- Keep content informative – It can be a good idea to add in fun things to your newsletter. However, the majority of your newsletter should be informative content. Keep your school newsletters as informative and detailed as possible. If a story doesn’t seem to be helping the reader know more about your school, consider rewriting it!
The best way to increase engagement on your school content is to use marketing tools. Check out our list of the top 5 free marketing tools to strategically drive traffic and increase engagement.
What to include in school newsletters
Your school newsletter is still likely to be the number one source of information for your students & parents, but if you’re struggling to make a full edition these days, you’re not alone. With the recent spate of awards night, sport days and other special event cancellations or postponements, you might be wondering what to share with your community next. The good news is that you always have something interesting to share!
1. Highlight student awards and achievements
Has your school handed out any major awards lately? Your star performers deserve the recognition of a special announcement, like one of your students getting an award for their recent exam score. One such example would be X, who just recently scored 100% on their final exam and was given a special award for it.
2. A word from your Principal
One of the things that everyone loves is an editor’s note. They really give you a good perspective on the whole school. A great way to do this is by asking your principal to write a note on anything important they want you to know about. This is also a great way to continue building your Principal’s reputation as a thought leader at your school.
3. Provide a glimpse into your classrooms
Parents love to see what’s happening behind the scenes in their child’s day-to-day life. From things like special events to moments in school, parents want to be updated on what their little one is up to. Round up some photos from various year levels and share a short description of what curriculum units they’re currently working on. Showcasing the work that happens in your classrooms to other students and their parents enables them to see the importance of what goes on at this school.
4. Share a new blog post
If you’ve recently linked a new article to your school blog, go ahead and do some self-promotion! Share a link and a short & engaging description of your post to encourage members in your community to click through. It’s likely that some of your readers don’t even know you have a school blog. They might, for example, see it as the type of thing that only teachers would read. So this is a great way to spread the word about what you’re doing!
5. Celebrate upcoming awareness days
There’s a good cause or world awareness day coming up that your school wants to get behind? Show your support and share how you’ll celebrate it in your school newsletter. People want to feel like they are apart of something big. Include information on how people can get involved for a chance to win the raffle or provide a donation.
6. Interview with a teacher
Shine the spotlight on your stellar academic staff by including a short interview with one of your teachers. Were they already passionate about the subject before they pursued it professionally? How do they spend their free time? What are some of their favourite books or movies? Q&A sessions provide a great opportunity for anyone to get to know your staff better and get information that they might not get from just reading your content.
7. Share a good news story
What the world needs now more than ever is a good news story. Whatever you can do to participate in a community event or volunteer to help others-it will help! This is a great way to give these special people a much-deserved shoutout and highlight the strength of character of those who take the courage to attend your school.
8. Focus on student wellbeing
As the world becomes increasingly uncertain and unstable, many students may be feeling anxious about their futures. If you have a chaplain or counsellor at your school, encourage them to share information about some of the different support topics in each of your school newsletters. Sharing words of encouragement is often the most powerful way our helpers can support students. From providing information on various services to sharing positive messages, your words encourage students to reach new milestones.
Wrapping it up
So there you have it, 8 school newsletter content ideas for when you’re not sure what to share. Now that you’re feeling inspired to write your next edition remember to follow our school newsletter best practices, to get more eyes on your newsletter!
The intent of your newsletter should never just be for you to share your own news. It should be about keeping your community engaged and inspired with what’s happening at your school or district.
In the past, most people were concerned thinking about what their community wanted. Now it’s a perfect time to think about what they actually need. So rather than feeling discouraged at not having as much content to share – start by focusing on what you can share and the new value you’ll bring with this content. And most importantly, whatever content you choose, be consistent!
For more tips, tricks and marketing advice be sure to signup to our monthly newsletter!