What’s the deal here?
As of July 2012, weekly newsletter disseminated
via email by attaching a Word document
13. PAGES. LONG. Entirely too dense and textheavy for on-the-go college students and young
No aesthetic elements or visual aids
Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter
(think of Vine’s recent explosion)
Focus group results: “Honestly, I get so many
emails every day that I just delete your newsletter
before I even open it.”
○ Too much info on community partners’
happenings - WE must be the focus.
○ Random features that aren’t static or
memorable - “recipe of the week” one week,
“crafting tip” the next? No thanks.
Newsletter as an email attachment = one extra
step your audience has to take. Align this
communication element with the need for instant
gratification while simultaneously incorporating
visual aids - including links to further info,
allowing text to be condensed and consolidated
for maximum impact.
I’m here to save the day.
Convert to an established marketing email
service provider, giving us the opportunity
to track valuable analytics such as
unsubscriber frequency and click rates
Allows for easy content creation and
offers 24/7 chat assistance (which has
been utilized often, trust me.)
○ Inexpensive, flexible and adaptable
for tablets and mobile devices
Learn. Grow. Improve. (#1)
January 2013: 789 subscribers
MailChimp FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers
Up to 2,150 subscribers one month into using
(result of tabling displays, rigorous
personal selling and new
collaborations with various groups
across campus - oh, and people
taking notice of MailChimp.)
Learn. Grow. Improve. (#2)
● Optimal dissemination time:
between 10:30-11:30 a.m.
● Click Rates: the more time
students have on their
hands, the more they’ll
What Works. What Doesn’t.
One main focus at top of campaign - feature most prominent + enticing event for that week
Separation of opportunities: volunteer + internship offerings on right-hand side, all upcoming
events in the middle
Calendar format: provides simple “weekly outlook” to plan around one’s schedule
LINKS, LINKS, LINKS. Condensing text so a quick scan is all students need to get the gist of
what’s being told. EVERY WORD COUNTS. They can click provided links to learn more.
What Works. What Doesn’t.
Don’t do it.
Inclusion of events more than two weeks off:
Community partners’ content not 100%
relevant to our mission - if it doesn’t directly
advance sustainability on campus or in the
Columbia community, leave it out.
○ Often times, community partners will
send content for inclusion that just
doesn’t make the cut. Learn to make
quick judgment calls regarding
whether our audience will respond to
something exactly as we intended.
Recyclable content provides excellent
economies of scope across several social
● Pinterest Promo
● Staff Summer Plans Spotlight, linking
To my successor: KEEP TRUCKIN’.
Currently at 2,584 subscribers with an average open rate of 608 (23%)
● Use those analytics. There’s no better way to
optimize our reach.
● Spend some quality time with Google to
dabble in HTML and coding. I’ve only hit the tip
of the iceberg in terms of what we can do with
● Continue to experiment with interactive
features that foster two-way communication explore new ideas for weekly features. Always.