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The why & how of a college newsletter

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Publishing a regular newsletter is an essential aspect of any communications strategy. Integrating a newsletter into your content calendar does not have to be difficult or time consuming. If done properly, i.e., with the right tools and effective scheduling, issuing a newsletter can be a simple way to boost your entire communications plan by a few notches.

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The why & how of a college newsletter

  1. 1. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 1 The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  2. 2. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 2 Why it’s important to issue a College or University Newsletter? 1. Expand your reach 2. Strengthen your ties How to launch and maintain a College or University Newsletter 1. Define your audience(s) 2. Develop a schedule and a team 3. Set up a template 4. Make it visible 5. Monitor and analyze Overview Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  3. 3. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 3 Why it’s important to issue a College or University Newsletter Image source: www.minini.biz Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  4. 4. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 4 Students and faculty are an integral part of a college’s overall network, but there are many people outside campus grounds that are interested in what’s happening at the college. By offering a newsletter to an extended audience, your college will expand its overall branding to various subsets of the external community, including potential partners and prospective students 1. Expand your reach Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  5. 5. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 5 A newsletter:  helps your college stay connected to a given community.  you are also giving them another way to contact you and to keep in touch. Even as students or faculty graduate and retire, they will likely stay subscribed to the newsletter, thereby preserving the relationship they have with the college.  Example: One of University of British Columbia's various newsletters helps the Faculty of Food and Land Systems "Reach Out" to their audiences. 2. Strengthen your ties Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  6. 6. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 6
  7. 7. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 7 How to launch and maintain a College or University Newsletter Image source: www.minini.biz Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  8. 8. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 8 One of the greatest advantages of a newsletter is that you can design it to target a specific audience. This gives you the opportunity to directly contact a specific demographic with information on important news, updates, and events.  For example, you can launch separate newsletters for alumni, prospective students, partners, faculty, staff and currents students. This is beneficial because it allows you to enhance the impact of your communication efforts on various initiatives. 1. Define your audience Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  9. 9. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 9 By defining your audiences and then designing distinct newsletters for each of them, you will make it easier for readers to be aware of opportunities that are of interest to them.  Example: Carleton University publishes a monthly newsletter specially catered to prospective students. 1. Define your audience Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  10. 10. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 10
  11. 11. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 11 2. Develop a schedule and a team Once you’ve defined your audience, you need to establish a schedule and a team.  Maintaining a consistent schedule for your college newsletter will ensure a timely and efficient distribution process.  Set up a content calendar that will map out the creation and distribution timeline, and which stories will be featured in the newsletter.  This schedule will be easier to draft when you know who you will be working with, so develop a team. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  12. 12. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 12 2. Develop a schedule and a team As always, we suggest including students in all of your higher ed marketing initiatives.  In the case of a newsletter, students can help with choosing topics and writing the content.  Ideally, someone who is a part of your target audience would be on the team.  For example, an alumnus would be helping with the Alumni Newsletter, an international student on the International Student Newsletter, etc. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  13. 13. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 13 3. Set up a template You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you send out a newsletter.  Whether you decide to distribute a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter, the best way to maintain a smooth process is to create and stick to a specific template. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  14. 14. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 14 3. Set up a template There are many different email marketing service providers (for example, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Vertical Response) that allow you to customize any one of their available templates. Once you choose a template, modify it so that it includes the following:  College or University logo  Social media buttons  Contact information Once you have your template ready all you need to do is insert new content and corresponding images. This will allow your team to maintain a simple process and consistent look. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  15. 15. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 15 4. Make it visible Make it easy for people to subscribe to your newsletter by setting up a “Sign Up to Our Newsletter” call-to-action on your website.  If you’re setting up a general newsletter for the entire college, place the sign-up option on every page of your site by integrating it into your header or sidebar.  If you decide to distribute several audience-based newsletters, integrate a “Newsletters” page into your navigation and list all of the different newsletters on that page with the corresponding “sign-up” option for each one. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  16. 16. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 16 4. Make it visible Example: California College of the Arts (CCA) placed their Newsletters page through their “About Us” section. Also, the sign-up form allows users to sign up for several different CCA newsletters that may interest them. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  17. 17. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 17 5. Monitor and analyze The key to maximizing on your newsletter campaign is:  ANALYTICS Almost every email marketing service provider will offer a monitoring tool that will allow you to track certain metrics, such as:  the number of new subscribers,  how many recipients opened the newsletter,  Etc. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  18. 18. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 18 5. Monitor and analyse This level of monitoring paired with Google Analytics will give you an even more detailed view of the activity on your newsletter and how readers are engaging with it. Setting up the analytics of your newsletter properly will help you:  distinguish your audience (alumni, prospective students, faculty, etc.) AND will allow you:  to follow up with each reader based on how they interact with the newsletter. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  19. 19. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 19 5. Monitor and analyse If your college or university has yet to launch a newsletter, now is a perfect time to get it started.  Gather up a dedicated team  Establish your goals and audiences  Set up a template  Follow a manageable schedule. After the first few issues, you'll find your readership go up rather quickly, and you can expect to achieve a more in-depth connection with your communities. Source: Higher Education Marketing – The Why and How of a College Newsletter
  20. 20. The Why And How Of A College Newsletter Slide 20 Questions? 1.514.312.3968 info@higher-education-marketing.com Visit our Website: Higher Education Marketing FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON LINKEDIN FOLLOW US ON TWITTER FOLLOW US ON PINTEREST FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE+

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