Problem solver and innovator. Ben oversees new website projects and is always looking for new features to improve the Schudio School Website CMS.
Engaging with your community is easier than ever before. It's possible to share content on your website, your school app, your text message service and even through other specialist online platforms. The content could be anything, from latest news, upcoming events, specific class/lesson updates. It can even be offline content!
But engagement is a two way street, and if you're wanting to engage with your school community you need to provide them with options and tools to engage with you. In this post we're going to provide advice on how to deal with incoming emails through your school website.
While there are a number of different engagement tools available, most of them only provide one direction of communication - Outgoing. Your school website is the most prominent and feature rich engagement tool available! It can be accessed from almost any device with an internet connection and can include functionality to receive incoming communications, wether that's incoming emails, comments, or applications. Lots of work has been put in to create something for parents to engage with, we also need to put some thought into how parents and the rest of the school community can engage with the content.
There are two main options:
A mailto link when clicked opens your default email application and creates a new email. Additional information can be added to the link to quickly populate the new email. The link can include an address (or multiple addresses) a subject line and content of the email message itself. A mailto link can be added to your content by editing the code or your website software may include an easy to use editor to setup the links.
A contact form is usually included on the contact page on your site along with additional contact details and hopefully a location of your school. The contact form will send an enquiry through the form to an email address, but without listing that email address on the website. The Schudio contact form includes lots of additional features on the contact form including different recipient options, central logging of all enquires, quick links to automatically populate the form with a specific contact and SPAM protection.
It's a combination of both methods, including a contact form and also providing the mailto links gives visitors the option of how they contact you. Multiple methods of contact can make audit trails more difficult to complete and potentially a less uniform approach, but is another method to use.
Now that we've looked at the different methods for receiving incoming emails strategy it's worth spending a little bit of time ensuring that these methods are going to be used. Some key things to think about:
- Will you include the links in outgoing communications?
- Create links to them from other pages on your website?
- Will you make it a priority to reply?
- Who will be responsible?
- Will you analyse the responses and take action based on the data?
* Links provided above were using the methods indicated when this blog post was published
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