Revamping Your E-Newsletter

At the University of North Dakota (UND), our email newsletter is something that has been sent out monthly for many years. Parents have always appreciated the content and never complained about the format, yet the emails were simply coming through to parents as text in an email. There was no color, no photos, etc. Our Marketing and Creative Services team on campus had recently launched a weekly student email called “Student Life Weekly.” I envied how colorful it was and how much of an impact it was having on our students. Believe it or not, after conducting numerous focus groups and surveys, our students said that they prefer to receive information from UND via email. Hence, Student Life Weekly was launched.

After one semester of Student Life Weekly, I approached the team about the possibility of mirroring Student Life Weekly for parents in a monthly format. Excitedly, they said “yes” and we began revamping content and layout. The program we use is MailPoet, within WordPress. We start each email with “student concerns” and “what parents can do to help.” This changes each month and mirrors what stressors students are experiencing and then tips for parents follow. The next content area is “important information.” I connect with offices around campus to gather content for this section. Often our Student Health Services and One Stop Student Services have reminders and tips for parents to share here. I always share the academic calendar in each newsletter and then we move into the “events calendar.” This is a fun section where we can highlight to parents all that is going on around campus and in our community so students can never say, “there’s nothing to do!”  

If you are looking to create a monthly newsletter, or revamp what you are currently offering, I would recommend looking to your campus partners as a tremendous resource! Some of the headlines that run in Student Life Weekly are quickly modified for parents and I use the same image. As you all likely know, it is nice for parents to see what their students are receiving as it is a great conversation starter when parents talk to their student. We were able to use MailPoet without having to pay for our own software as it is already being used on campus. In addition, our Marketing team creates images for me to use as headers, etc. which helps to professionalize the look of our newsletter. 

If you have additional questions or would like to learn more, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or 701-777-6468 

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