Your PTA members are getting about 847 emails a day – how do you ensure that your PTA newsletter gets read? There’s no secret template or magical algorithm that can guarantee families will open your messages. But there are some things you can do to make reading easier for your members and increase your chances of getting through a crowded inbox.
1. Be informative. Tell people what they really need to know and leave out the fluff. Unless you know your PTA members really like recipes or craft ideas, leave those items to Pinterest. Give your readers school activity reminders, upcoming PTA event details, volunteer opportunities, a calendar listing and quick links to frequently used sites.
2. Be brief. Use headlines, bullets, bold text and hyperlinks to get right to the point. If your news item required a long explanation, be sure it’s worth the time — or better yet, give the highlights and link people to your PTA website or blog for more details. If an article requires scrolling to get through, it’s probably too long.
3. Be on time. Figure out the best day for your school that allows you to get in front of deadlines and not overlap with other communication tools. At our school, the principal calls with a phone message every Sunday, so we send our e-newsletter on Wednesdays to remind families of items they may have forgotten from Sunday’s message and preview things coming the following week.
4. Be consistent. In addition to being on time, be on the same time and same day each week. Use the same person/email to send the e-newsletter — that means consolidating messages from all committee members into one message — and follow the same format each week. When people know what to expect and you’re not bombarding them from multiple senders, they’re more likely to open your email.
5. Be funny. Being concise and direct doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Have some fun with your writing and infuse your posts with personality. Tucking in a pop culture reference, a catch phrase, some clever alliteration or the occasional pun will encourage readers who were expecting to be nagged and instead got entertained. Check out The Skimm or The Point for email publications focused on serving up snark and a smile with the daily news.