Community Newsletter - share your ideas! Here's mine


(Piotr Kuich) #1

Hey there cGeeks!

Again, did some search on a "newsletter" but nothing came out, so I've decided to create a new topic.

I'd like to know:
1. Does anyone here send out a newsletter to your users?
2. How often?
3. What day/hour gives you best open-rate/click-rate?
4. What is your OR, CR?
5. What tool do you use? (i.e. mailchimp)
6. What's the content?
7. What impact do these newsletters have on the community activity etc.?
8. Extra comments?

Here's my experience:
2. I send out monthly newsletters since oct'13 (community is live since jun'13).
3. 50% of our users are NAM, so it goes at 6pm gmt+1, which is 12pm in Boston (more or less). Tuesdays, sometimes Wednesdays and Thursdays but Tuesdays proved to be the best.
4. 29-38 OR, 6-10 CR
5. Mailchimp
6. Have a look here (May issue - sent out yesterday). It looks like that:
a) Headline + subheadline
b) Random category - it changes from month to month (this time we promote crowd-content-translation-project)
c) Featured Community Content
- Article / advise
- relevant question
- video tutorial
- News (this time new community release)
d) Interview with a specialist, we had subject matter experts, tech writers, managers (this time it's a Product Manager of our flagship DCIM product)
e) Poll - usually it's about the community (i.e. what's the quality of the answers you get OR how often do you visit the community). This time we went with something different ;)
7. We keep people informed with "the latest". They seem to like it.
8. We try to keep it funny and amusing. We don't say dear Sir, we keep it casual. Sometimes we throw in some sayings from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, even Harry Potter. Some people get it, some don't - but we enjoy the process!
Since some of us are going to London in May, we decided to promote UserConf, because we believe it's a great place to be, led by cool people for awesome people.

Wow, it turned out to be a long post. Anyway, feel free to ask questions, I'll be happy to address them.


Any tips for newsletter design & best practice?
(Denise Ann Sposato) #2

I oversee several communities of practice (13,000+ members) for RSA Archer, the security division of EMC. We are a technology company that provides Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions. Archer’s customers include
• 6 of the top Forbes 10 companies
• 25 of the Fortune 40 companies
• 9 of the top 10 U.S. banking institutions
• 175+ worldwide financial services customers
• 45+ telecommunications firms
• 50+ leading insurance providers
• 60+ of the foremost technology companies
• 15 media enterprises
• 50 government agencies
I provide this background because our customers are busy, with full-time jobs, and use the Archer Communities as support - documentation downloads, discussion threads amongst peers, new idea suggestions, etc.

I started an Online version of the RSA Archer Newsletter as a means of communicating more frequently to keep customers in the ‘Archer know.’ We previously had an email version of a Newsletter that was unable to keep on a regular schedule due to how many times a customer could be touched in the course of a month by either EMC or RSA. This proved very problematic as the Newsletter was constantly bumped, or distribution lists greatly reduced.

The workaround: an Online version of the Newsletter, launched in April 2014, that gets published the first week of every month. Because it’s online, customers and prospects alike choose to ‘follow’ the newsletter so they have 'opted in; when they ‘follow’ the Newsletter I recommend that they choose ‘Inbox’ so they get email notifications whenever I send out Newsletter ‘Breaking News’ items all month long. This is another plus: emailed Newsletters tend to be ‘old’ the moment they arrive in Inboxes.

With an Online version, the customers are always aware of news that helps them do their jobs, events of note, GRC videos, blogs etc. in a timely fashion and because they have opted in, there are no barriers to communications.

I would highly recommend an Online version of a Newsletter - we have nearly quadrupled our number of opt-ins in 1 year … proving very popular with customers and prospects alike.

Now I’m off to complete May’s Newsletter! I hope you consider an Online version - it works.


(Alena Rybik) #3

Great topic Piotr, a lot of inspiration here :) You have a very nice looking newsletter, short and sweet.

1. Yes, I send a newsletter to our community. The first edition was in autumn 2014.
2. Weekly, sent out on Friday afternoons.
3. Our software doesn't let me track this.
4. It's unfortunately declining, as the sign up list grows. OR right now is about 30-35% (for the first newsletters it was 50-60%), CR (unique) - 10% on average (drop from 20-30%)
5. MadMimi
6. A mixture of company news and community content (30 / 70). We release new game content on a weekly basis, so I include this as well as a link to our latest weekly status update. Community content may include community made videos, competitions, most popular discussions and community highlights of the week. You can see the latest edition here. The amount of pictures makes it look messy, but we're a gaming community, so this is what's expected.
7. I haven't been able to track whether newsletters bring more people to the community or generate more sales or activity. The only thing which is quite noticeable is that the discussions featured in the newsletter usually receive more attention from more members and last for longer. People have been very positive about the newsletter, they like it and send great feedback, but it would be interesting to compare whether not having it would make any difference.


(Sarah Hawk) #4

Such an interesting topic, and timely. As part of my drive to connect this community a little better, I am in the planning stages of the first CGeek newsletter (on my watch, anyway). I have done it in other communities with great success.

2. I have done monthly in the past but realised that setting an expectation was tantamount to setting myself up for failure. I was writing newsletters when I was uninspired, or when there was nothing much of interest to say. It made more sense to write one when there was lots going on, or when there was something specific that I wanted to draw attention to.

3. Depends on the audience (how international it is). If possible, I think it's good to either aim for it to arrive first thing in the morning before people get busy, or on a Friday afternoon when people are restless and looking to be distracted.

4. OR & CRs here

5. Campaign Monitor in the past, it will be Mailchimp for CGeek

6. Interesting posts, roundups of community activities that are taking place, info about upcoming events, sometimes an interview with a community member

7. They definitely drive traffic, and in some cases engagement. I think of them more as an investment in keeping people connected.


(Alena Rybik) #5

@HAWK: That's quite a big difference between OR and QRs for different newsletters. Were you able to analyze and find the reason?


(Sarah Hawk) #6

@Alena - the OR declined at a steady rate over time.

The CR peaked when we ran a debate and I solicited votes. It was a popular one.


(Alena Rybik) #7

Ah ok, I thought the rates were in chronological order, from the top to the bottom :)

Yeah, I remember you mentioned that debate you used to do. Could you maybe share a link to one of them? I have a bit hard time imagining it, although I think my members would enjoy something like this.


(Richard Millington) #8

Might be good to collect together a few examples of great newsletters, if anyone has any they can share?


(Sarah Hawk) #9

@Alena - Here you go: debate #1 Usability vs Delight

@Rich - I wouldn't hold this up as my best work, but it's the one that got the most click throughs of the ones listed above. UX Mastery Community Roundup.


(Jessica Malnik) #10

@Rich and @Hawk: As for examples, I think Wistia does a really great job with their community newsletter. 

Here's an example of one of their most recent weekly newsletters. :) 

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1029","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"284"}}]]


(Sarah Hawk) #11

So does Sarah Judd Welch with her community.is newsletter. I like the format of having a short, a medium and a long read. Here is an example.


(Melissa Jenkins) #12

Here is our most recent newsletter, and all the other suggestions are helpful! If anyone has a direct input, please let me know! Thanks, Melissa

 What's New Generic Banner
 

Welcome to the April 2015 
Community Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Members Who Share a Cancer Diagnosis With a Family Member
  • Forum Spotlight: Treatment Tips
  • Featured Photography: Inspiration From nowheregirl

Members Who Share a Cancer Diagnosis With a Family Member

Going through a cancer diagnosis alone can be a trying time for anyone. But some members of our Community have shared this experience with another family member. We wanted to know what impact going through cancer diagnosis and treatment at the same time as someone they love had on them. Were there moments that surprised them? Was there any inspiration received? Was there comfort in knowing they weren't alone? Were there any important lessons learned? Some of our members have graciously offered to share their experiences with this unique situation.

Community Member - blondedoris "I was diagnosed in 2009 (at 35) with IDC; my maternal grandmother had cancer but that was all we knew about. My sister was diagnosed with mucinous carcinoma in 2010 (at 49) and then our mum was diagnosed in 2013 with papillary breast cancer." Read blondedoris's story >>
Community Member - DaLaY08 "Surprisingly, I have taken this possible recurrence more easily than my first one. My sister has been very strong throughout the process. I never thought for a minute that we would be going through this together." Read DaLyA08's story >>
Community Member - have2laugh "My family history includes two sisters diagnosed with IDC at age 44 and 45. We are a family of five girls, three of which have been touched with breast cancer. We are all BRCA negative and I am hoping to finally get approval for more advanced genetic testing in May." Read have2laugh's story >>
Community Member - Jenwith4kids "I still can't believe we are going through this together. I'm glad I didn't have to choose a partner, but grateful that I got her and that we don't have to do this alone. Even though I hate that she has to do this too. It's all so messed up." Read Jenwith4kid's story >>
Community Member - SelenaWolf "In a blinding moment of enlightenment, I realized that my mother, rather than placing my life at risk as she so desperately feared, had actually saved it. Because of her persistence over the years to examine myself regularly, I had 'mapped' my own breasts in my mind, becoming so familiar with how they were constructed that...I was able to find it myself before it had progressed too far." Read SelenaWolf's story >>

Read these stories and more from others >>

Want to share your story? Email us at community@breastcancer.org.


Forum Spotlight: Treatment Tips

For Surgery, Janett2014 says: “I cut the leg off an old pair of pantyhose and used that to tie the drains around my neck in the shower. It worked great.” Read more tips from other members or add your own on the Shopping/packing/to-do list for surgery + recovery.... thread >>

For radiation therapy, Evilmidget says: “Always take a jug of ice-water with you to drink on your way home from treatment.” Read more tips from other members or add your own on the List of what to do/get/pack to prep for Radiation Therapy thread >>

For Chemotherapy, Trvler says: “I started having a terrible time with canker sores (about 6 or 7 years ago) and did extensive reading about it because I was miserable. At one point, I had about 6 of them in my mouth. I learned to pop 2 lysine tablets at the first second I felt one coming on and take more of them in the next few days. They stopped them cold.” Read more tips from other members or add your own on the More Tips (and a Shopping List) for Getting Through Chemo thread >>


Featured Photography: Inspiration From nowheregirl 

The Gardening, anyone? thread has been gearing up for spring and sharing lots of inspiring photographs! Many of our members are very talented photographers. This month, we’d like to feature some of nowheregirl’s gorgeous photos from Japan. 

“The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In Japan, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short. When the cherry blossom trees bloom for a short time each year in brilliant force, they serve as a visual reminder of how precious and how precarious life is. So, when Japanese people come together to view the cherry blossom trees and marvel at their beauty, they aren't just thinking about the flowers themselves, but also about the larger meaning and deep cultural tradition the cherry blossom tree.” 

Source: Huffington Post 

Community Member - nowheregirlphoto3

For more beautiful inspiration, visit the Gardening, anyone? thread >>


Please Consider Donating to the Breastcancer.org Community!

As a nonprofit organization, Breastcancer.org depends on the generous contributions of individuals, foundations, and corporations. We thank everyone who has contributed to our mission and programs and who continue to support our fantastic development. 

Donate now, and please indicate that the money is for the Discussion Board community! >>


Want to receive future Community Newsletters in your email inbox? 

Sign up here >> 


Send us your comments and feedback! 

Email community@breastcancer.org or send a Private Message.

 


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(Melissa Jenkins) #13

Here is our most recent newsletter. I apologize, but I can't figure out the formatting!! 

Anyway, I am very appreciative of all the suggestions on the forum! If anyone has direct advice for us, we would appreciate it!
Thanks!

 

 What's New Generic Banner
 

Welcome to the April 2015 
Community Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Members Who Share a Cancer Diagnosis With a Family Member
  • Forum Spotlight: Treatment Tips
  • Featured Photography: Inspiration From nowheregirl

Members Who Share a Cancer Diagnosis With a Family Member

Going through a cancer diagnosis alone can be a trying time for anyone. But some members of our Community have shared this experience with another family member. We wanted to know what impact going through cancer diagnosis and treatment at the same time as someone they love had on them. Were there moments that surprised them? Was there any inspiration received? Was there comfort in knowing they weren't alone? Were there any important lessons learned? Some of our members have graciously offered to share their experiences with this unique situation.

Community Member - blondedoris "I was diagnosed in 2009 (at 35) with IDC; my maternal grandmother had cancer but that was all we knew about. My sister was diagnosed with mucinous carcinoma in 2010 (at 49) and then our mum was diagnosed in 2013 with papillary breast cancer." Read blondedoris's story >>
Community Member - DaLaY08 "Surprisingly, I have taken this possible recurrence more easily than my first one. My sister has been very strong throughout the process. I never thought for a minute that we would be going through this together." Read DaLyA08's story >>
Community Member - have2laugh "My family history includes two sisters diagnosed with IDC at age 44 and 45. We are a family of five girls, three of which have been touched with breast cancer. We are all BRCA negative and I am hoping to finally get approval for more advanced genetic testing in May." Read have2laugh's story >>
Community Member - Jenwith4kids "I still can't believe we are going through this together. I'm glad I didn't have to choose a partner, but grateful that I got her and that we don't have to do this alone. Even though I hate that she has to do this too. It's all so messed up." Read Jenwith4kid's story >>
Community Member - SelenaWolf "In a blinding moment of enlightenment, I realized that my mother, rather than placing my life at risk as she so desperately feared, had actually saved it. Because of her persistence over the years to examine myself regularly, I had 'mapped' my own breasts in my mind, becoming so familiar with how they were constructed that...I was able to find it myself before it had progressed too far." Read SelenaWolf's story >>

Read these stories and more from others >>

Want to share your story? Email us at community@breastcancer.org.


Forum Spotlight: Treatment Tips

For Surgery, Janett2014 says: “I cut the leg off an old pair of pantyhose and used that to tie the drains around my neck in the shower. It worked great.” Read more tips from other members or add your own on the Shopping/packing/to-do list for surgery + recovery.... thread >>

For radiation therapy, Evilmidget says: “Always take a jug of ice-water with you to drink on your way home from treatment.” Read more tips from other members or add your own on the List of what to do/get/pack to prep for Radiation Therapy thread >>

For Chemotherapy, Trvler says: “I started having a terrible time with canker sores (about 6 or 7 years ago) and did extensive reading about it because I was miserable. At one point, I had about 6 of them in my mouth. I learned to pop 2 lysine tablets at the first second I felt one coming on and take more of them in the next few days. They stopped them cold.” Read more tips from other members or add your own on the More Tips (and a Shopping List) for Getting Through Chemo thread >>


Featured Photography: Inspiration From nowheregirl 

The Gardening, anyone? thread has been gearing up for spring and sharing lots of inspiring photographs! Many of our members are very talented photographers. This month, we’d like to feature some of nowheregirl’s gorgeous photos from Japan. 

“The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In Japan, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short. When the cherry blossom trees bloom for a short time each year in brilliant force, they serve as a visual reminder of how precious and how precarious life is. So, when Japanese people come together to view the cherry blossom trees and marvel at their beauty, they aren't just thinking about the flowers themselves, but also about the larger meaning and deep cultural tradition the cherry blossom tree.” 

Source: Huffington Post 

Community Member - nowheregirlphoto3

For more beautiful inspiration, visit the Gardening, anyone? thread >>


Please Consider Donating to the Breastcancer.org Community!

As a nonprofit organization, Breastcancer.org depends on the generous contributions of individuals, foundations, and corporations. We thank everyone who has contributed to our mission and programs and who continue to support our fantastic development. 

Donate now, and please indicate that the money is for the Discussion Board community! >>


Want to receive future Community Newsletters in your email inbox? 

Sign up here >> 


Send us your comments and feedback! 

Email community@breastcancer.org or send a Private Message.


(Nick Emmett) #14

We don't yet have one but this has been really useful, thanks.
I used to do one with an internal community I used to manage and am looking to start one here with our customer facing community. Being based on the Salesforce platform I'm looking for ways to automate the content based on the groups they belong to and people they follow but am not sure exactly what's possible yet. Will keep you posted on how we progress!


(Meredith G. Dewald) #15

Hey @Nick_Emmett we’re in the same boat - Salesforce platform, and currently in the middle of implementing SF’s Marketing Cloud for email communication, including our (future) newsletter.

Were you able to automate newsletter content?


(Nick Emmett) #16

Hey @Meredith_G_Dewald - always good to get a new Salesforcer here :slight_smile:

We do automate our newsletter to a degree now but as I understand it from our marketing team, this is predominantly done through Marketo.


(Alessio Fattorini) #17

That’s my community newsletter. What do you think about?

http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=a41bbc791830850fdd32e07a0&id=fa6a0834bc


(Sarah Hawk) #18

I got that in my inbox! :slight_smile:

I find the layout (image followed by text followed CTA followed by image etc) a bit hard to follow.

I’d consider making each section a block all three parts grouped, or break up the flow a bit somehow.

Here are a couple of examples of what I mean
Example 1
Example 2


(Alessio Fattorini) #19

You’re right I can try to remove the CTAs next time :wink:


(Sarah Hawk) #20

Not necessarily saying that, but just grouping the content (image, text, CTA) as a block that is visually separated/different from the one below it. Visual hierarchy, I guess. At the moment it’s a bit hard to see where one thing starts and the other ends.