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Take Your School Newsletter to the Next Level

E-newsletters are important communication tools that keep students, parents, faculty and staff informed about school news. With the increase of information sent out over the last year, school communicators don’t have hours to spend creating weekly or monthly newsletters. And then there is the challenge of getting the content from newsletters —school and district newsletters—posted to the website. How many different technology platforms does it take? How can we be most efficient with this basic communication tool? 

Enter Finalsite’s Messages—creating newsletters more efficiently than ever. Finalsite Messages and Posts take the ideas of reuse and repurpose to a whole new level and stretch a COPE mindset: Create Once Publish Everywhere. 

What are Messages?

Messages is Finalsite’s bulk email tool that allows you to create mobile-responsive emails. You can create personalized templates that follow your district’s brand and dynamically pull content from your website. Newsletter content may include posts, calendar events and athletic/activities events. The templates can be entirely manual (building a newsletter as you would in Constant Contact or MailChimp) or dynamic, automatically pulling the last few news posts. You could even have a mixture of both. 

The strategy behind moving school newsletters to Messages 

With Message’s ability to pull content dynamically from your website, you can use COPE and still get updated newsletters. After you send a newsletter, Finalsite automatically generates a Messages archive, so your users can revisit the content on your website. And the content is searchable, which also allows users with disabilities to access your content by making it searchable on your site. 

Take your district newsletter to the next level 

During the 2021 Finalsite University, Client Success Manager Kyle Gresh shared essential best practices for successful email newsletters. Here are some takeaways to apply to your newsletter: 

  • Create consistency. You create trust and a reliable relationship with your audience when you have a consistent newsletter. Multiple factors can impact your newsletter schedule such as the amount of content you are producing or your open/click rates for your newsletters. Regardless of those factors, consistency is key and can be different for each district. 
  • Bring your brand. When your school newsletter template follows the style guide for your district or school, your audience recognizes that brand and associates it with importance. Using similar fonts, button colors, link colors and other design elements from your website can help carry that design to your newsletter. 
  • Make it visual. As you bring design elements over from your website, intentionally use those elements to create a visually appealing template. You have limited space in a newsletter template, and your use of logos, headers and images can enhance your message. 
  • Quit the clutter. The information in your newsletter is important when it has purpose. Creating a standard template for your newsletters allows you to predetermine how many content spaces are available. When it comes time to send a newsletter, you must determine the most crucial information for that newsletter. Newsletters should not be a catch-all for all communications.

  • Design with mobile-first in mind. Finalsite’s Messages templates are fully responsive, so users on all devices can experience a functioning newsletter. When designing a template, use the preview feature to see how your template design will respond on multiple devices. 

Your district newsletter is an important communication tool, but it doesn’t have to fill hours of your time. Messages gives you the opportunity to create newsletters efficiently while not sacrificing design or quality. When you teach your schools to first post the information to the website, then pull the newsletter together from the website, it keeps your school website content fresh and current. And parents can actually find the information when they want to reread it, without searching their email. 

Need help? Give us a call! 

Published on: March 19, 2021