Newsletters are a great communication tool—one that, when used effectively, can help you build a strong school community and foster family engagement. Newsletters are more than just a simple email—when carefully crafted, they can deliver value to your community. Here’s how.
Planning Your Newsletter Strategy
1. Know Your Audience
Everything that goes into your newsletter comes down to one thing: knowing your audience. Understand your audience’s interests, concerns, and preferences. Keep the tone friendly and approachable as you feature a mix of valuable information, upcoming events, student highlights, and resources.
2. Find Your Purpose
Think about what your newsletter is trying to achieve. Include clear calls to action (CTAs) that guide readers on what to do next—whether it’s attending an event, volunteering, or reading an informative article. Also decide who will be writing them—a principle, school leader, or other administrator.
3. Decide on a Regular Schedule
Set a regular schedule for your newsletters, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Stick to it so your readers know when to expect updates—and remember that consistency builds trust.
4. Choose a Platform
There’s a plethora of newsletter platforms—find the right one that aligns with your school’s needs. Here’s what to consider.
- Templates: You don’t have to create your newsletter from scratch every time!
- Cost: Find a platform that fits your budget.
- User-friendly: Building your monthly missive should feel like a simple process.
- Analytics and reporting: Understand how your newsletter is performing.
5. Work with your IT Team
Create and securely manage opt-in lists of families.
Crafting Your Content
1. Capture Attention
The subject line and main headlines are your audience’s first impression. Rather than sticking to the basics, try out intriguing headlines that hint at the content’s value. Use action words, pose questions, or share snippets to ignite curiosity.
2. Use Images
Include photos of students, teachers, and school events to add authenticity to your newsletter. Avoid stock photos if you can—they come across as generic. You can also experiment with infographics, charts, and visuals.
3. Make It Accessible
You’ll want to be sure your newsletter is accessible. Use accessible fonts, and consistent colors that contrast appropriately, and don’t rely on images alone to convey information. You’ll also want to be sure your newsletter is optimized for various screen sizes—smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
4. Be Concise
Break your newsletter into smaller sections with clear headings. Use bullet points and write short paragraphs. Lead with, highlight, or bold key takeaways and important dates to ensure your audience doesn’t miss it.
5. Share Success Stories
Highlighting student achievements, teacher spotlights, and event recaps can humanize your newsletter. Showcase the impact of your school’s efforts and the contributions of your staff and students.
6. Ask for Feedback and Continually Improve
Invite readers to share their thoughts, feedback, and suggestions—that way your newsletter is always evolving toward the needs of your community.
You’ll also want to regularly analyze open rates, click-through rates, and reader engagement. Experiment with different content types, layouts, and subject lines to understand what resonates best with your audience. Use these insights to refine your newsletter strategy.
Your Newsletter is One Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
An effective newsletter is one component of your overall digital marketing strategy for your school. For a deeper look, you can download the free Charter School Digital Marketing Guide.
This workbook will empower you to build and follow through on a simple digital marketing strategy for your school. You can use these pages to set goals for your school, refine your messaging, set strategic marketing goals, and achieve them through various digital marketing programs.