Planning Your E-Newsletter

Categories: Blog

Author: Ursula Lauriston

Advanced planning of your newsletter is the key to a consistent and timely source of information for your members. In this article, we’ll provide a checklist of action items to keep your e-newsletter on track.

1. Understand your purpose. Then set realistic goals:

Proper planning begins with a proper goal. Do not begin your newsletter process until you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will manage the newsletter?
  • Who is your newsletter for?
  • Do you have their email information? If not, how will you collect it?

2. Create an editorial calendar:

How often do you plan on sending out your newsletter? Decide on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly timeline. Consistency is critical, so pick a timeline and stick to it.

Go back to lesson 1 to plan out your editorial calendar. Think about your audience and send information that is helpful to them and nothing else. Share trustworthy articles you find online, local meeting dates and times, and information on issues affecting member jobs, benefits and pay.

Here are a few editorial calendar templates to get you started.

3. Set up your newsletter:

Designing a banner your newsletter is as easy as reaching out a member of the AFGE Communications team. Just email communications@afge.org or call 202-639-4132 for help.

Then sign up for a newsletter platform. We recommend Mailchimp.com. It is very easy to use and it’s free if you are sending out your newsletter to less than 2,000 email addresses.

The subject of your email is important, so make sure it highlights the most important thing in your newsletter. Keep your newsletter short. Most people are reading it on their mobile device. So the shorter the better.

4. Test and Refine

Each of the above steps can be tested over time. Play around with the best day and time to send your newsletter, the subject, and layout. Once you find the best mix, continue being consistent.

That’s it! Keep these steps in mind and they will help you build a more professional and cohesive newsletter program for your local.


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