Built hundreds of website and helped countless schools realise their potential online. Ian should be called upon for straight-talking advice and to make a difference to the way you present your school through every outlet.
Email has radically changed over the years and the rate of change has accelerated more and more. School newsletters still lag behind what is actually possible. Lots of schools are missing an amazing opportunity to dramatically improve their approach to parental engagement.
If you use email in school to reach parents then here’s a few eye-popping stats that may give you pause.
If you’re sending emails with bulky pdf attachments, displayed in a format that is hard to read on any device then you may need to rethink how you reach parents.
Lots of schools use email to reach parents and, if you’re a parent of school age children, you’ll likely have been on the receiving end of an email that you can’t read.
If you’re like me you won’t read any further. Then I’ll feel guilty because it’s my kids school and the information must be important. So, I might have another try. Invariably I will get frustrated and give up.
I most certainly will not interact with the email I just received. I won’t click on anything (often because there’s nothing to click on) and I won’t engage in any way.The problem lies with the options that are available to schools. If you're used to creating a printed newsletter to send home, we often see this used as a shortcut to sending information home via email. But, printed newsletters and emails are completely different media.
People engage with email very differently from a printed newsletter. Throwing your printed newsletter in an email or an App isn't the best way to go.If you’re going to make the shift so that you can save money on printing, send beautiful emails that work on any device and have the power to report on how emails are engaged with, you need to know where to move to.
Schools need an option to quickly and easily create and send emails so parents receive the content they need in a format they want.
The first thing we need to do is ditch emails with attachments. File sizes, file types and firewalls all contribute to making email sent with attachments to significant numbers a complete minefield. It makes them hard to access and decimates the number of emails successfully delivered.
Then you need to make the emails you send reflect your school brand, identity and ethos. They must work perfectly on any device and lastly, they need to be sent with a clear purpose in mind.So, if you’re sending a weekly newsletter to parents, what’s the purpose of it?
If you want to drive visitors to your website then use short titles, a nice image, a teaser sentence to entice users to click to read more and a clear ‘read more’ button. (We call it a CTA or call to action).
Don’t include too many news articles or readers will feel like they don’t know where to start.If you’re sending a letter from the Headteacher to parents then the approach is slightly different. All the content should be in the email. Every bit of information you want the reader to digest should be right there. If you do need to link to other info, perhaps the latest Term Dates, make clear and simple to read and use.
The emails you send need to be structured so that your readers will interact with the content. Here's a really nice way to structure, for example, a weekly email to parents.
If you're using email to send important messages from the Headteacher then it's vital that you get straight to the point. The content needs to be in the body of the email.In terms of creating the email, you should be able to simply take the content provided and drop it into an existing email template and send it out. It should literally take minutes to go through the phases of Build, Test, Send.
Here's how that email should look for maximum engagement.
You should be able to make some changes to how you send emails home straight away through your current provision. Whatever you change, make sure you track how your emails are being engaged. Then you know what's working and what isn't.
Schudio’s email product solves these problems. We make it easy to create and send emails that look stunning on any device.
Through a powerful system you can choose from a range of pre-built templates. Then add your own look and feel and quickly add in your content, ready for sending.
Simply add your email and you'll get expert advice weekly, direct to your inbox.