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How to create an e-newsletter for your project

So you have an incredible community project and you’d like to shout about it from the rooftops, but unfortunately, that’s not “socially acceptable” anymore. Sigh. Welcome to the digital age, we have newsletters (and cookies – not those kinds).

Newsletters have outdated digital media by hundreds of years. In fact, the original newsletters were physical news-letters containing weather predictions, trivia recipes and news for the general population.

With the rise of digital communication, newsletters made the natural leap online and have become a staple communication method of many businesses and groups throughout the world.

How can you use newsletters to your advantage?

A dedicated newsletter for your group or project is a useful way of keeping people up to date on what’s going on and who’s involved.

Email is a straightforward way to share information and encourage feedback. Sending out monthly email-newsletters that link back to your website or blog can be regular little reminders for people to keep them engaged with your project.

Our top tips for creating newsletters:

  • Research and inspiration. Not sure how to start your newsletter or what to include? Sign up to other newsletters that are talking about similar things so you can get a feel of what you like. *Cough, Eden Project Communities newsletter, cough.*
  • Keep it short! Remember not to write too much in your newsletter as people can be put off by seeing huge amounts of text to read in an email. Simply write a headline or taster and then link back to your site for the full story.
  • Picture-perfect photos. Photos can be a hugely useful way of jumping out of someone’s inbox and into their mind. Everyone has a phone nowadays, remember to take photos of what’s happening in your project and add them to your newsletter to grab the viewer. Make sure you get the permission of people before you photograph them!
  • Know how to use your tools. If you use tools like MailChimp then you can monitor the responses and ensure that no one gets spammed. If you do use a standard email account for a circular, put the email addresses in the ‘BCC’ box so they’re not visible to everyone and put your own address in the ‘To’ box.
  • Stick to the rules. Remember, however you use email, make sure that your data is clean and that if someone says they don’t want to be emailed again, they aren’t!

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